Photo courtesy of  Flickr

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Social media use is more prevalent in North America - particularly the United States - than anywhere else in the world. After all, most all successful social media platforms were created in the United States; when paired with the fact that the United States is the wealthiest country on planet Earth and has the highest proportion of Internet users of any country in relation to its total population, the fact that social media use is so prevalent within the United States only makes sense.

Back in 2008 - in terms of age as related to the change of technology and the Internet, a decade is similar to a general half-century's worth of societal change - only 10 percent of United States residents used one or more social media platforms. Over the years, social media penetration throughout the United States market has increased to a whopping 80 percent in 2017, a statistic that has risen every single year since 2008.

Although the median age of the United States' labor force is roughly 42 years, says the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics - younger people are statistically more likely to use every social media platform other than LinkedIn from ages 18-29, then 30-59, and lastly 60 and above - employees of any company in any industry at any level are more likely than not to own and operate at least one social media account, if not more.

Social media use isn't all fun and games, despite what it may seem

Believe it or not, personal social media use - whether such accounts are operated within the workplace or on vacation in another country - can wreak serious havoc on employers' welfare.

As such, employers in the United States should be invested on an all-in basis in their workers' use of social media. Although asking them for passwords and usernames for the social media profiles they operate is undeniably unethical - invading employees' privacy this way can result in them hiding things, making them much more difficult to uncover, not to mention distance employees from their bosses and places of employment - and illegal in certain jurisdictions throughout the United States, employers should find effective ways of monitoring workers' social media use.

Although utilizing a social media check to screen employees' social media when they apply can be very beneficial. In fact, FAMA suggests that employers should monitor their activity on an active, recurring basis.

Still skeptical? Irresponsible social media use has resulted in company-wide failures - here are a few means by which such shutdowns can happen

If and when employees complain about their employers' in-house pitfalls - think things like problems with security - criminals are immediately more likely to strike those businesses in hopes of striking it big without facing much resistance or a high chance of eventually getting caught.

Clients and customers trust many businesses with personal, private info that can be used to go as far as to steal one's identity. Further, when such patrons sue businesses for not safeguarding their information well enough, judgments are often awarded to the tune of many thousands of dollars.

Lastly, employers must keep a proverbial eye peeled for employees who start chatting about money problems written with emotional overtones. Such posts can reveal being desperate for money, making those employees more likely to commit fraud against their employers.