27. April 2010 · 5 comments · Categories: Social Media · Tags:

A newsflash published by Slashdot mentions an article in the IBTimes where it is referring to the findings of a research done by researchers at the University of Maryland. The researchers “asked 200 students to give up all media for one full day (and) found that after 24 hours many showed signs of withdrawal, craving and anxiety along with an inability to function well without their media and social links”.

I have a clear and unambiguous opinion regarding the real penetration of serious social media in the workplace. Using Twitter and Facebook is by no mean a substitute for serious and main stream modes of communication. Having read the results of the above research I seriously wonder whether the results published by various Social-Media-Proponents reflect hype associated with a similar crowd associated with the above study.

In other words, the results obtained in previously published studies, are a mere reflection of the attitudes shown in the Maryland study, which suggests that they are a reflection of an addictive attitude towards the use of Social Media, rather than a serious consideration of the usefulness and appropriateness of using these tool-sets in the corporate environment!

Makes perfect sense to me!

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  5. Very interesting observation here Shim.

    It reminds me of how many people are “addicted” to multitasking because there is a certain reward mechanism involved when switching to things you find more interesting or pressing.

    It still results in unfinished work and lower productivity, but confirmation bias and subjective measures of experience can lead people to believe they are being more productive, when objective measures (not self-reported data) indicate the exact opposite.

    pmStudent e-Learning


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  8. Shim.

    Love it. thank you.

    I can count your blog to help me differentiate between hype and reality. And we both can agree there is sometimes more hype than reality about Social Meda.

    Thank you again.


  9. Hi Shim,

    There are two different thoughts coming out of this for me. Firstly, relating to the usefullness of social media it’s no different to any new ‘tool’ to which people are exposed. Some, perhaps few, will intuitively know what to do with a new tool but many will not. It’s no different to picking up MS Access or a router for the first time. You might to be able to work out the basic function and even complete some rudimentary tasks but the majority of us will need training to be able to use these for either their designed purpose or to their full potential. The second idea emerging from the article relates to the addictive nature of society today. My view is that the attention span of many people today is significantly shorter than in the past and our ability to maitnain a single stream of consciousness for any extended period is very limited. This leads to the need to pultitask to fill in all the little spaces that now consume our life and leaves people more prone to addictive style behaviours. Combining this with a new tool such as social media leaves many people unable to invest the time an effort to grasp the concept and potential of social media. They can therefore only ever operate at a superficial level.


    • Hey Ash, great comment which made me realise that there’s one point yet to be clarified.

      You’re certainly correct with your observation that Social Media is no different to any other new tool, meaning that there would be a fairly normal distribution of capabilities around its usefullness and proper use. Having followed quite a few of the comments made in the broader media about Social Media, I am concerned with the fact that some Social Media advocates have already adopted the proposition that Social Media is the next big thing, without realising (at you so correctly point out) that it is just one of many options, the contribution of which is yet to be substantiated.

      My view is that there is too much hype and no empirical evidence and I’m not expecting the ‘experts’ to let go of their golden egg any time soon (which means that I might need to refer back to this topic in the future – so keep watching :).

      Cheers, Shim.


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