Live Free Or Quit

While Americans publish their personal information for all their friends to see, the majority don’t like that employers are asking for access to this personal information.

 According to a new survey by American Pulse, 57.3% of Americans think social media is “here to stay,” that nothing can replace it. 40.8% think something new will come along, while only 1.9% believe society will revert to older forms of technology. Women are more likely than men to agree that social media will be around for the long haul.

 However, some employers are asking current and future employees to grant them access to private social media profiles. If an employer asked for social media passwords, 2 in 5 would quit or withdraw their application in order to find another job, and only 1 in 10 would hand them over.

Response to Request By Employer For Personal Social Media Passwords


% of Respondents

Do not use social media


Quit/withdraw my application and find a different job


Hand them over; need a job


Edit my social media profiles first, then hand over the passwords


Delete my social media pages


Source: American Pulse Survey, March 2012

 Only 11.4% of Adults 18+ said they were comfortable showing their social media profiles with a potential employer. While the majority would prefer not to friend or follow their bosses, men (14.7%) are more willing to share their social media profiles with employers than women (8.3%).

 Dianne Kremer, Senior Analyst at BIGinsight, notes that “... men may be more willing to share social profiles at work because they are more dominant on ‘professional’ social media sites... Twitter and LinkedIn users are primarily male, while personal sites like Facebook and Pinterest attract more female users...”

 Additional key findings in the study show that:

  • 64.2% say they would sacrifice employment to keep their personal lives private, while 35.8% would rather keep their job
  • 85.5% somewhat/strongly agree that asking for such private access to social sites intrudes on the right to privacy
  • 82.2% believe accessing someone else’s social media site is unethical
  • 72.3% somewhat/strongly agree they have nothing to hide on websites where they share information
  • 88.9% think citizens should be responsible for information they share publicly online.

For more information about American Pulse, and access to the PDF file, please visit here.



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