Social Media: Outdated or is this only the starting point?
Undeniably, our society has always set a trend to moving forward. Within the past two decades, the era of technology has been rising faster than anything we have ever witnessed. Social media has lead the way of communication through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google plus, and Linked-in. These sites were very restrictive. They were used only by closed groups. Every member had to receive an invitation from previously engaged members, or became a member by belonging to an institution like a school or workplace. While these sites used to remain within our personal private lives at first, later on they appear to be making a stride in the workplace environment. Now the question remains: Do the benefits outweigh the risk?
The advocates for social media believe that we are able to reach out to more people. Thus we are influencing people with our point of view. It is true that using these sites; we are able to interact with far more people without borders. Another advantage of using social media is that companies can reach large parties without the expenses to reach out to people. It leads coworkers to connect more and work like a real team. Additionally, social media is also widely used for humanitarian, social causes, and as awareness tool. In this capacity, the community will become aware of the company’s involvement in their lives. Moreover, social media is widely used by businesses to advertise their services, and products to a targeted audience. This is making the work of public relations way easier and cheaper. The companies would be able to target the following demographics: gender, race, income, geographic location, crime and more.
In the workplace social media can also be challenging at times. Besides being used for the benefits of the corporation, social media also comes with some very negative impacts. Too many employees accessing those social media sites at once will surely jam the network. Further, jamming the network come with a total loss of productivity. While the employees are on the payroll, they end up not working as expected. This is one of the major issues accompanying social media in the work place: Distraction. Another major issue is some program associated with some social networks might be hacking. These forms of hacking may also cause breach of security. The easiest port of entry could be social media. The same way social media help the relationship in the workplace, it also has the potential to hurt coworkers’ relations as well. All in all, it may come down to managing the company reputation and image. A classic case is the release of confidential information by accident causing the loss of value of the shareholder’s stocks. It is the responsibility of everyone to be responsible. This is the reason why companies agreeing to the use of social media also have a social media policy to protect the image and reputation of their institutions.
With a newly found understanding of the negatives of social media in the workplace I can now look as to why I think it proves to be more beneficial to be connected on social servers at work. According to Andrew Keen from CNN, in a recent study at the University of Melbourne, it was proven that social media at work allows people to be more productive as it also opens up the intellectual capacity. It brings the possibility to group solve problems as a team and allows people to be more elaborate and “gives us an ESP-like sense of what other people are thinking”. (ESP is much like a sixth sense or being able to pick up what people around you wants). One of the articles mentioned below (More than One-Third of Fortune 500 Companies Have Blogs) has shed a light on the statistics of blogs and social media in the workplace, for example forty percent of the “Fortune 500 Companies” that use social media are in the top 200, seventy-seven percent of these 500 companies use twitter and seventy percent use Facebook. If you ask me it has become undoubtedly shown that social media has a key part in helping workers to expand beyond certain limits and connect with their peers in a more comfortable environment. With all new ideas exist small potential flaws but given time employees will learn the right way to take on this new task. This will allow us to continue moving into the digital age.
Guerin, Lisa. (n.d.). Fired for blogging: Learn whether employees can be fired for what they write in a blog, MySpace, or Facebook page. NOLO: Law for All. http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/fired-blogging-29762.html
Dodge, Amanda. (2013). More than one-third of Fortune 500 companies have blogs. CopyPressed.http://www.copypress.com/blog/more-than-one-third-of-fortune-500-companies-have-blogs/
Keen, Andrew. (2012). 5 reasons not to ban social media in the office. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/03/business/opinion-keen-social-media-office/