- Do employers have the right to know what their employees do when they are not working? Why or why not?
I do not think that employers have the right to know what their employees do when they are not working. Employers should judge employees by their working ability instead of personal life. As long as employees have good performance in work, there is no reason for employers to interfere their personal life. However, it becomes harder and harder to draw the line between work and personal life. Just like Abe (2009) mentioned, “people have come to experience the convenience and efficacy of digital interactive media in their everyday life.” The products of digital era such as Facebook, MSN and smartphone make the line between work and personal life blurring. Employers can easily get employees’ personal life information even when they are not intended to.
- Can these cases with professional athletes (Sanderson, 2009) can be applied to (or compared with) other types of employees — such as lawyers, teachers, advertising sales reps, etc. Why or why not?
I think the cases cited by Sanderson (2009) can be compared with other types of employees. Although the athletes cited by Sanderson (2009) are famous, people may have much interest in their life. We can still see that there are many “normal people” being discussed on certain forum about their special/unethical behavior. For example, there was a case in Taiwan that a nurse was taken a photo when she was maltreating an old patient. The photo was wide spread online and eventually the hospital fired the nurse. It may be hard for other types of employees to interact with online users actively. However, users are willing to provide information when they think the encounter is interesting and worth to discuss.
- Is the typical college student’s participation in Facebook an example of Abe’s “peer surveillance”? Why or why not?
I think that college students participating in Facebool is an example of Abe’s “peer surveillance” (2009). Although the system of Facebook is not like mixi that you have to be invited by a member to participate in and there is no “trace record” in Facebook, we can still choose to friend with whom, to share life with the friends we feel safe and comfortable. When feeling safe and comfortable, we would be more willing to share our personal life. And we can interact with friends on Facebook. We are “as an active agent of surveillance” on Facebook.
- When you think about Abe’s claim that “every aspect of our communication via those media can be easily traced back and stored” (p. 76), does this seem good to you, or bad? Why or why not? Consider the idea that everyone is monitoring everyone else.
I would say that communication can be traced back and stored is good to me, but it is definitely convenient. I do not have to bring map to travel, do not have to memorize every word I typed. To be honest, I was the kind of people Abe (2009) mentioned, I didn’t think I may be in the risk of being monitored. I just enjoyed the convenience which technology gives to me. However, the situation mentioned by Abe reminds me the movie “Enemy of the State.” We may not face the exaggerated situation. Yet, if our personal information such as bank account is really easily being got by others, then this seems bad to me.