Monday, 28 November 2011

Social Media

I have recently completed a full time Msc program and due to graduate in January 2012. After about 8 years of employment and studying I suddenly found myself sitting at home twiddling my fingers in search of something to do. My routine of setting alarms to be at the work place on time or make it to 9am lectures had been filled by a void. What I found however was that there still never seem to be enough time in the day to accomplish a day’s task. So why was this?

The reason I concluded is the evolution of social media. I remember the days in my last employment where facebook was limited to lunch time and at one point there were threats of disciplinary action for employees going on social networking sites during working hours. There was also a lot of media frenzy about facebook at the time. From facebook came linkedin aimed primarily at the professional community and even using company time to update linkedin contacts and profiles was an issue. With time, the use of social media in the work place begun to fade away. As no one wanted to be made the scape goat, it was best to stay clear of all social networking sites even during lunch time. But after a hard day’s work when all you want to do is relax (on the nights you can afford the luxury of not taking work home), starring at a computer screen is the last thing you want to do.

This scenario repeated itself whiles I was on my masters program. With the pressure of assignment deadlines, preparing for exams and catching up on lectures, time spent on social networking sites is a luxury one cannot afford. Throughout this time however, I did have accounts set up on facebook, linkedin and twitter and I think a few of the fading away sites like my space. My space is pretty much dormant now, linkedin and facebook I occasionally made time for and twitter was inactive. I must confess twitter was the one site I never quite seemed to get the hang of at the time.

With the introduction of the smart phones meant you no longer needed to be behind a pc to access the internet nor social networking sites.  But then again the use of personal mobiles is an abomination in the work place and in the lecture halls. Half the time the buildings have no signal anyway. And if you are like me where you drive as supposed to use public transport (not environmentally friendly, I know but needs must) you miss out on the mobile browsing time during train and bus rides. It is no surprise then that my exposure to social media was limited.

Why then do I have all this free time on my hands and still feel there’s never enough time in the day. Well it is because I now have all the time for social media. My linkedin is up and running, I am back into facebook, I cannot get enough of twitter, I am discovering goggle+ and I even have time to publish blogs. If I am off my pc, I am tweeting on my phone and the cycle seems never ending. Since I had time on my hands for this however, I am more updated with current affairs and other issues of interest now more than ever especially through twitter. I feel I am constantly improving my general knowledge and abreast with useful events. The social media experience has proven invaluable and should not be taken lightly.

It was no surprise then, when during my job applications I came across a variety of employers advertising positions for social media officers/assistants/developers. There was even a recent job advertisement in the guardian for a blogger relationship executive. The scope is endless.  From experience, I can say any role involving social media can definitely be a full time position. The use of social media is now a vital role every company / organisation has to embrace. Gone are the days when the use of social media in the work place was banned. Yes some employers still insist on this due to lack of productivity from some employees but you will find that all large companies / organisations now have an active facebook, twitter, linkedin and now goggle+ page. I will not be taken aback if I hear of universities offering courses on social media as I am sure this already forms a core of some modules in courses such as IT.

The technology revolution spirals on and you do not want to be left out in the cold. Get on board and discover the world as never seen before. Social media is here to stay. 

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