Posted by Bradley Moseley-Williams on March 24th, 2009 Leave a Comment
I enjoy newspapers and still read—or at least scan—a few each day. The content is as interesting to me as the advertisements can be. Savvy readers today will note that there are fewer advertisements for high-end jewelery items and that car prices have dropped. Precipitously.
The Globe and Mail for Monday March 23rd (Globe Life Section; page L1) published an article outlining the pitfalls of social media tools used injudiciously. Net-net: Share judiciously. One citizen of the Twitterscene slagged a client (not a good idea) and another insulted a city that happens to be home to his client and their head office; also a bad idea.
Careeristinas with a past will recall—perhaps fondly—a time when office deportment was more strictly outlined. There were definite expectations for “professional” and “personal” spheres of life. It was not uncommon to know little about the private lives of colleagues; one woman I worked with some years ago kept her engagement and subsequent marriage so carefully under wraps that knowledge of both escaped notice until she arrived at the office on Monday sporting a wedding ring.
Social Media tools have changed how we communicate and how we expect to communicate with one another. Immediate communication tools, strategies and needs trump the now charming, decorous professional demeanour of yesteryear. There are no secrets on the Internet and exposing your life—in all its normal glory—is now commonplace.
The concept of the much-dreaded “personal phone call” at work is obsolete. Never mind a call from your physician, sibling or family lawyer: wide-open work spaces and team-based cubicles mean that co-workers often share intimate details merely by having ears. (Personal phone calls, fyi, are obsolete because cellular phones take up the slack.)
Social Media tools—from MSN as an inter-office yakker to the Biggies like Twitter and Facebook—enable people to indulge in sharing, posting, commenting and more from the relative comfort of their keyboard and an ergonomic chair.
Social Media tools are, however, forever. Each tweet, update and notification is a public announcement.
The ability to instantly communicate is wonderful. It is also powerful in more than one sense of the word and it includes the ability to have your thoughts spread like wildfire across a digital network of untold numbers of people. Publish for sure, but don’t publish and perish because you hit “send” before reflecting on your post.