Social media at work: Time wasting or efficient networking?

I previously hadn’t thought of there being much of a link between work and social media. Perhaps scrolling past someone on Facebook complaining about the length of the working day or thanking G or F that it is Friday. Only recently have I been hearing and reading that a large number of companies are utilizing social networking into their everyday employee operations.

 

I certainly see the benefits of social media at work; enhancing client network, advertising opportunities, time efficiency, increased communication. But, I would almost guarantee that it is not being used in this way by the majority of users today. Right now someone is at work wasting time on Facebook or Twitter when they could be working!

 

I speak from experience, I was with a company when I was much younger and got to the point where I could complete my work early in the day and comfortably browse Ebay or check Myspace (it was a long time ago) and plod along with day to day jobs. Was I looking for ways to increase a customer’s service and overall satisfaction for the good of my employer? Nope. I could’ve been doing any number of much more productive tasks. (Future potential employers: Be advised, this is no reflection of my current work ethic!).

 

There is obviously a lot to be said, as I’ve touched on, for the way social networks can be incorporated by companies and businesses. As I have recently learned, Google has certain policies allowing their employees free time to work on personal social networking or other extracurricular ventures.

 

When the modern workplace catches up with social networking, I believe it could make way for some extremely exciting and interactive possibilities, transforming the way we view our work. Finding a balance between social media used in the workplace and maximum worker efficiency still has some way to come.

Times they are a changing…. But I’m still for the ol’ school

Ok ok so there is currently a lot I’m reading about the positivity of ‘presence bleed’. One could describe it as the ability to multi-task, completing numerous jobs in less time, being time efficient and resourceful and so on. I will concede that I agree it’s important to be able to compete in todays workplace, that one needs a degree of this to compete, and also that it is a completely inevitable progression in this day and age………But, I would hate to see the days of face to face interviews, work socialising, client lunch meetings etc etc give way to half of the work force doing everything from home simply because it is more time efficient.

 

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I fear the robotic world we see in the movies. Where we become machines typing data just like everyone else and never leaving our homes to chat and have a coffee with workmates, build quality relationships, and be a genuine part of the everyday lives of each other. As much as I dread it, I accept it. So much of it is positive for our lives but I like to hope that there is a limit on such developments.

 

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Unfortunately what I see as the driving force behind it all is competition. It will inevitably be the companies that utilize these features of time-efficiency of the future and hire workers willing to be ‘everywhere always’, that are most successful. If you are not going accept that you need to be contactable or be able to contact 24 hours a day, soon there may be no work for you…

 

I just hope the ‘human’ side of work will remain and prosper, not completely giving way to the digitalization of the entire world. I think companies that have a positive combination of healthy social interactions as well as the efficiency of new media and evolving technology will have high staff retention, happier workers and, I think, better output overall.

 

What you got to hide???

 

If you have nothing to hide and are not involved in illegal activity, what are you worried about???

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It is interesting to think about because I’m sure most of us do not necessarily have anything to hide but the principle of having these liberties infringed hits a lot of us hard. Like we see with anti-terrorism laws, most people accept that the government’s movements are for the “greater good” of society; hence they will go un-challenged by the majority.

 

It does make me question my own stance on it though and I think subconsciously I have accepted that, through my various online accounts, a lot of my information is out there and probably owned and accessible by large corporations as well as the government. Yeah it sucks. But I, like many others, go with convenience of keeping these accounts, and tend to shut out the fact that my life is basically owned by someone else. It’s as if the corporations know that I’m lazy and will be quite willing to forfeit my cyber liberties in order to have my accounts linked, personal information available and credit card details saved for future use.

 

 

I mean I’m not a terrorist, so what have I got to hide, right? But why should they have the right to gather info on me and use it against me when I have done nothing wrong? Still torn on these issues…

Could this be a step towards fighting abusive online activity?…

A new website based in Pakistan is working towards exposing online users who post comments or jokes with hateful, homophobic, racist or misogynistic content. (http://nafrataggregator.org)  People are encouraged to post pictures or screen shots of users and their comments in order to compile them in different categories from hate and misogyny to homophobia and even rape jokes among others. Upon checking out the site, you could conclude that some of the comments featured are not necessarily hateful or ill intentioned, but overall it is very well intentioned and could prove to be effective in the long term. Especially coming from a country considered quite conservative with many laws targeting homosexuality, it is interesting that the concept is utilised in Pakistan and shows positive progression.

A similar, perhaps more sophisticated example of a similar model is the tumblr page “Public Shaming” ( http://publicshaming.tumblr.com ) where more high profile online users are exposed for their twitter comments or public outbursts. Semi-famous actor Kal Penn of the ‘Harold and Kumar’ movies is featured for his advocacy of the City of NY’s ‘Stop, Question, Frisk Policy’ via Twitter. Penn, also followed it up with a response to one of his followers who highlighted the racist nature of the policy, stating that Blacks and Latinos are the ones committing the crimes and the profiling is justified. Also featured on the Tumblr site are people’s offensive Facebook responses and comments often with their full names and photos.

Overall, while these examples and other similar sites show a drop in the ocean of the abusive and unaccounted for comments that flood the internet forums and comment sections every day, I think that they are working towards making users more accountable for their actions and could contribute to some actually stopping and thinking before they type.

This contributes to the discussion of how the internet can be regulated by its users rather than necessarily from government forces and restrictions. Is this an effective way of making people more accountable for their words? Is it at least a step in the right direction? What more could be done to stop online abusive behaviour?

http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/201308122027-0022972

“Boarders without borders”

A Canadian bloke I met in Mexico while on exchange at the start of this year has been making films and documentaries for some time. He became one of my best mates and I want to help him promote some of his projects plus he happens to be one of the most talented dudes I know. This is short doco about building a skateboard ramp in a small Columbian town while promoting the sport of skateboarding and providing an outlet for disadvantaged youths. This is one of many projects my mate Andrew has pumped out, most of which have and will contribute positively to the world in some way so big ups to my man!..