For two years (and even long before that) I've always been curious as to how I would incorporate social media into my life. Now that I am soon to graduate with a Masters in Psychology, I need to now reflect on how to incorporate this wealth of information into my life.
I went to grad school to further study the phenomena of what we call social media. Below is the link to the paper that summarizes my studies and the possible future for Millennials and social media addiction. The current research shows negative effects associated with frequent social media use, but maybe some information can turn these around...
I often get overwhelmed with thinking about social media. In the sense that I feel this constant feeling of not only FOMO, but also what the hell I'm actually supposed to be doing with it.
And often I get entangled with too much theory as postulated by the Shallowing Hypothesis in psychology that "fast" pace communication styles (aka social media) are crippling our ability to utilize "slow" thinking methods. But instead of viewing it as a negative thing, why not take a glass full or glass empty approach and realize that both air and water exist. And that's pretty cool.
Where have the simple "please", "thank you", and "you're welcome" gone? Did you say them when you passed around the dishes this past Thanksgiving?
Everything is potentially a click away online and we all realize that our phones has made an impact on the way we communicate with others. There is next day delivery. There are faster internet speeds and stronger WIFI signals. People on the road seem to be driving quicker. Horns are louder. Phones are always on with faces buried in them.
And the gestures of honking horns, flipping the finger, and ignoring the presence of another with your face buried in your phone, has become not only more common, but part of our culture it seems. Is a text with an emoji sufficient with a "thumbs up" like in acknowledging something someone has done for you? I don't know the answer, but I get this feeling that our manners are disappearing collectively.
Despite NADCAP being a requirement for companies that provide services for the aerospace industry, what I took away from last week's training surprised me.
Today in a capitalistic and individualistic mentality culture, competition is expected. Increasing profits, minimizing mistakes, and cheaper prices with higher quality over your competitors. However, at the NADCAP conference last week in Pittsburgh, PA, one of the instructors stated that even though companies like Boeing, Bell, Lockheed Martin, and so on are in competition with one another, they all agree over one thing and will actually fly in all over the world to discuss it.
Last week's meeting was about the guidelines to practice the most efficient ways to produce quality service and product. It almost seems appropriate that quality would be something we could all agree on, because don't we all want a better quality of life?
Every step counts in running a race or even running a business.
Marathon running has always created a space for me to let my mind and body run free. But free to the extent that the race course has specific turns to take and that the race has certain rules to follow. Similar to when I compare my running to that of helping run a business, that space to "run" free must be created. That even though it feels like many rules are needed to be followed, I still try to find that "zone" to work in.
Organizations want stability and change, but realize that it takes creativity to innovate solutions to problems that deter stability and change.
However, creativity often is associated with taking risks towards solutions of problems. Individuals must find a way to be creative in every aspect of their workday. Even it if it technically isn't "given".
When I know I'm wrong is a specific feeling. It isn't when I realize that I didn't get enough "likes" on my social media or when I can mask my mistake with a biased selfie or insecure post of something positive.
I know I'm wrong when there is consequential feedback. Feedback not from social media, but rather feedback that isn't easy to always swallow when I make a mistake. It is feedback that makes me sink for a moment to reflect on the mistake that was made, feeling almost to the point that I did something wrong and know it is bad. This is when I know and feel that I'm wrong.
What is tough, is that there aren't many places to make mistakes and learn in a capitalistic society. That my mistakes and associated feelings have no place at an organization's bottom line. And yet, in a way that feels wrong.
Levi (2015) suggests there are misperceptions when it comes to conflict in that it is "bad and should be avoided", causes misunderstandings, or everyone's concerns will be addressed.
And yet Levi (2015) further goes on to suggest that conflict is normal in the development of team based processes. That teams avoiding conflict are actually doing a disservice to the members and possibly the organization as a whole. Levi (2015) recommends we need to all increase our emotional intelligence that involves self-awareness, empathy towards others, management of one's own emotions, and management of relations with others.
It's not easy, but I always remind myself of the words Frederick Douglas (abolitionist during the Civil War) gave to a young man when asked what to do with his life, "agitate".
Levi, D. (2015) Group dynamics for teams Thousand Oasks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.
There are many posts being posted explaining the many benefits of "socializing" on social media platforms. And yet there is a contradiction of this sort of claim in terms of engagement in communication with that of psychological research studies.
In the work of Pentland (2012) three aspects were identified as being important to communication. The first being the energy that a person or persons exchange, then the level of engagement, and finally the concept of exploration as it relates to communication beyond the immediate parties involved. Pentland (2012) also suggests that it is the manner in "how" we communicate and not necessarily "what" we communicate that makes the difference of productivity. That face-to-face communication is most valuable in terms of energy levels than use of texting/emailing.
We need to recognize that social media is a tool, despite the emojis and hashtag energy we incorporate and that it is not a replacement for how human beings communicate effectively with one another. If you're not convinced, physically go out "socializing" and see how many people are on their phones in public...
Pentland, A. (2012). The new science of building great teams. Harvard Business Review, 90(4), 60-69.