By Lekshmy Sankar
Social media – what a beautiful concept. It helps you connect with people around the world and express your views and feelings. For all of its potentially positive impacts, have you ever thought about how it is affecting how you behave at work? By now, we have all heard of the cautionary tale of teenage bullying on social media, internet addiction, and social network-induced obesity. We all know how people and our environment influence our behavior. But how significant of a role is your time on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat playing in how you interact with your colleagues? Social media shapes our brand.
But sometimes, social media can have surprising impacts. I have always thought of myself as an open book. I didn’t feel like I had anything to hide but with social media, it takes it to another level. I had a vendor contact me one time, and I asked him about his product, which he answered. Then proceeded to tell me how his sister-in-law just visited Bloomington, Indiana (where I earned my Masters Degree) and how he loves Tennessee Williams’s “A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (a play I directed in undergrad). I think a reasonable person might have been creeped out, but truthfully I was impressed by his research. He made me feel like we already knew each other because he has done his homework.
It got me thinking more about how we can use social media to influence work relationships. These are my suggestions for how you can use social media to increase your brand at work:
The thing about social media is that it heightens your behavior and not necessarily changes your behavior. If you love meeting new people, your social media activity might be focused on precisely that. It’s a medium to strengthen your skills that you already have. One thing you might notice is that without meaning to, you might be segregating yourself in social media like how you would in real life – by age, education, industry, etc. As there is power in diversity, you may want to take steps to avoid this behavior.
How do you see social media affect morality or ethics or just culture at work? How does it influence your life and the people that work with you?
This post was originally posted on GovLoop.com by Lekshmy Sankar