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How much does Generation Y love social media?


It's social media week this week, but a new report might not hold too much cause for celebration. Cath Everett reports.
Despite preconceptions to the contrary, most Generation Y workers believe their employers should not allow staff to use social media at work, refrain from viewing their social networking activity and hold back from using the medium for recruitment purposes.
Instead the 4,500 15 to 34 year-olds questioned by digital consultancy Decode tend to view the channel as a medium for personal rather professional interaction.
Decode's chief executive Robert Barnard said: "Most people think that the most digital generation ever will be clamouring to make work all about social media but, in reality, Generation Y still want to separate their personal space from their workplace."
According to the study entitled 'Decoding Social Media @ Work', only 31% of UK respondents believed that employees should be allowed to use the channel at work, with women (74%) being more against the practice than men (64%).
Some 43% of female Generation Y respondents also felt that employers should not look at their social networking interactions compared with 33% of males, while only 33% of both sexes were open to potential employers seeking them out through social media. Again there was a gender bias, however, with only 27% of UK women being comfortable with such approaches compared with 38% of men.
But there was also a generational split, with young Generation Yers even less inclined to support the use social media in the workplace than their older counterparts.
The report said: "The younger end of Gen Y are not all that supportive of social media and are certainly less supportive than those Gen Y who have become parents. However, when it comes to being sought out by employers, the youngest Gen Y-ers are far more keen. So the younger end of Gen Y support social media as a job-gaining tool, but tend not to support it in the workplace in a general sense."

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