Social Media: websites and applications that allow users to create and share content as a part of social networking.
We all have to admit that social networking has changed the world since the first site hit the mean streets of the internet in May of 1997. The first site was “Six Degrees”, created by Andrew Weinreich. At the time the internet was just taking off, and with its limited access to users the site fell through. Six Degrees was sold just a few years later. Weinreich was ahead of the game.
Several others came about over the years before the almighty Facebook. A few predecessors were Ryze, Friendster, LinkedIn, hi5, MySpace, and Orkut.
Finally, Facebook came to be in February of 2004. As we all know the man behind that famous blue “F” is none other than, Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook tops the charts as the most used social media site with 2,936 million active users.
While social media does have its good sides, like simply keeping in touch with distant friends and family, it has taken over much of our lives. According to a study by Hootsuite there are 4.7 billion social media users; on average those users spend 2.5 hours a day scrolling a social network.
But the reason we are discussing social media today is its impact in the workplace. Often social media can be a “productivity killer.” Rather than focusing on the task at hand or working ahead, workers will stop and scroll, wasting away the day.
Legal issues can also occur when coworkers “friend” each other on social media. Sometimes interactions can lead to harassment or inappropriate behavior. Remember to be careful and on guard, the internet is not private. (If you are harassed on social media by a coworker, take the appropriate steps and speak with your supervisor.)
Many organizations have established a “no cellphone in the workplace policy” to combat any social media disturbances. Make sure you know your workplace’s rules. Alternatively, others have lax rules, but that does not mean to take advantage of them. Be smart, be proactive, and be professional at all times.
Simply put, social media is a part of our culture. The more we understand about it and the best way to use it, the less stressful social media becomes.
So the next time you watch a cute puppy video, share it so we can all have a laugh!