Workplace Collaborations

Working with others is probably the only thing that follows us from kindergarten all the way to actual careers. No matter what field a person ends up in, nine times out of ten they are going to have to learn how to play well with others in order to get their job done to the greatest of their capabilities. While all students seem to know this, it doesn’t stop us from hating it. Group work is usually a synonym for one person slacking while another takes on too much work. According to a 2015 study, 57% of students did not like group work and did not see how it will correlate to their life outside of school. (Vittrup, 2015). So, collaborating in the workplace is going to become increasingly more difficult when a whole generation that is sick of dealing with working together are the ones who must do so.

Work place collaboration is obviously very different than working on a singular project with s group of people for class. In the workplace it is constant, and there are no final projects or end of classes. AS soon as one project is finished another begins. It is for this reason that people in the work place choose their collaborators wisely, and why experience in same cases means more than a degree or GPA. “A college degree is helpful for understanding business theories, but the practical realities of working in a specific profession need to be learned on the job.” (Ashe-Edmunds, 2015) Today’s collaborations in the workplace rely heavily on what students learn from experience, but what they do not realize is that school work is a part of this experience. At least it should be. While it teaches students to work together, most in class  collaborations forget that the team building skills are probably more important than the actual assignment.

New technology is also being implemented into may different career options, meaning students must understand these things and take technology classes while in classes. Advances like Google drive and Skype allow collaborations to happen miles away, which would not have been possible even ten years ago. While this is a good thing it means work place communications are now more costly. What used to be done in a business meeting is now done over services which companies must pay to use premium features on. (Marlin Marketing, 2015). This means that students must apply what they have learned in school, but must do it in a professional setting that forces them to pay in order to work together. This may sound futuristic or like a negative, but it really ensures that the one thing any graduate does at their first job out of college is communicate well.

Collaboration is essentially communication with a goal in mind. It is a technique that everyone must do in their lifetime, but not all do well. How one collaborates in the workplace can make or break any project or career. Let’s just hope that the group presentation you have to give in your geology class prepared you for it.

References

Ashe-Edmunds, S. (2015) Education vs. job experience in the workplace. Demand Media. Retrieved from http://work.chron.com/education-vs-job-experience-workplace-18733.html

Marlin Marketing (2015) Do office technology advancements create workplace distractions? Retrieved from http://mediaroom.marlinfinance.com/office-technology-equipment/do-office-technology-investments-create-workplace-distractions/

Vittrup, B. (2015) How to improve group work: Perspectives from students. Faculty Focus. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/how-to-improve-group-work-perspectives-from-students

SM Aftermath

Since taking CAP 105 my view on social media has changed in a negative way. I used to think that it was primarily about normal people making connections and keeping in contact with those who may not be near anymore. However, I have come to realize that social media has expanded far beyond just personal communications and is now more about orchestrating a presence online in order to improve one’s brand or self-image. In fact most companies have even implemented tactics that aid users to make their platforms into integral points of their business plans. Twitter, for instance, made sure that advertisements are among the first to appear when someone searches anything when using their search engine. (Bernoff, 2010) Because of these additions Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have become prime sources of advertising right underneath people’s noses. It has made something personal into a business.

Social media is not the personal communication sources that people like it believe. It is almost all pre-orchestrated, pre-planned, and analyzed in order to create shares, likes, and retweets. Almost nothing is truly genuine on social media. It is all analyzed on a scale and made into data in order to make the next post better and more efficient. This in itself is a problem because there is no definite way to measure if a post is successful or not. There are simply too many metrics and factors to consider (Baer, 2014).  These metrics are what our social media lives are based on whether we realize it or not. It is not creativity or passion that determines what is in our social media feeds. It is numbers.

The other major impact that social media has many had is the way in which it has changed how people get news. They do not check a newspaper, television, or websites anymore; they look at what is trending on Twitter. They don’t look in a magazine for articles, they share them on Facebook. Not only this, but it has changed who is writing the news and how stories are told, “Regardless of the outlet, the rise of technology in our society has allowed for voices of regular people to be heard by millions of people within seconds.” (Rong Lim, 2015). Because of this, news stories now have more human faces, and actual dialogue from those who experience them. But, it also means that stories are sometimes told before all the facts are in, leading to chaos.

Overall, social media has become something in which professionals have used to make themselves seem more personal to clients and people use to make themselves feel more important. It is systems in which people throw their genuine selves out the window and make a better version appear on the screen. It is something our generation originated, but older ones have adapted, making us seem superficial while they are business savvy for using the same technique.

References

Baer, J. (2014) The truth about social media metrics .Convince&convert Retrieved from http://www.convinceandconvert.com/podcasts/episodes/the-real-truth-about-social-media-metrics/

Bernoff, J. (2010).Why you should embrace advertising on Twitter. Advertising Age, 81(16), 9. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.gvsu.edu/docview/193313206?accountid=39473

Rong, L. (2015) Everyone is a journalist: The truth about social media. The Wellesley News. Retrieved from http://thewellesleynews.com/2015/11/18/everyone-is-a-journalist-the-truth-of-social-media/

Infographic

Infographics are pictures used to inform, map out instructions, or compare easily. They are often used to teach new skills.This project was created using http://piktochart.com/ The content is shared via my this blog post, but could be placed onto any social media platform such as Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. Outlets are posting it to the internet,emails, prints, or newsletters. The following is an example.Untitled Infographic

Social Media…What’s the Deal?

The hardest thing about talking about social media is defining what it means, and how it changes the meaning of what it associates with.  Does the work “like” actually mean that someone enjoys something, or is it now just a verb used when talking on Facebook? When people say retweet aloud in everyday conversation to something they agree with, does that count as being a part of the Twitter community? People my age have taken social media to the next level, incorporating it in “real life.” While most affiliate social media with the millennial age exposing themselves willingly online, networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, have all expanded their reach and made the networks a viable part of modern day business, and it’s sinking into everyday life. To really define what the term social media means, the ways in which people use the platforms along with if they are successful or not is critical.

I personally use social media to make keep in contact with friends and family. Being two states away from my hometown, it’s the easiest way to stay in the know.The occasional post or Tweet makes users feel as though they are keeping others update on their lives. However, it has been shown that those who check and use social media sites on a regular basis tend to feel more down about themselves, saying that they are underachieving much more than those who claim to not be active on social media. This is claimed to be because social media makes people see others success, with favorites and likes, highlighting their own failures, and making themselves attempt to appear more successful on social media. (Fowler, 2015). This means that while many people only intend to use social media to keep in touch with one another, the statistics show that people actually use it in order to make themselves look better online than they are in person.

However, social media is now evolving into even more than fake personas, “catfishing”, and being completely about people. Marketing on popular media sites is now a common part of any marketing plan. Whether it be through promoted posts or a verified account for a brand talking about themselves, companies are taking advantage of the social media revolution and making it into money. But, this is not an easy task. While saying something on Twitter or Facebook can be good because of the immediate views and feedback, when the feedback is negative it can be hard to control. For example, On October, 18 2015 IHOP tweeted an offensive comment about women’s breasts that received negative attention and became a national news story. (Valinsky, 2015). This controversy shows that while promotion on social media is very important, it is still something that is an entirely new process that changes every time a site or service changes its own features. However, it is the way in which the services get revenue and many “Instagram Famous” or verifies Twitter accounts have learned how to make having a presence on social media into a full blown career.

There have been attempts to fully define what social media means with no luck at one true definition. The Web Analytics Association attempted to compile responses on what social media was in order to find what it meant. They ended up with four definitions. (Web Analytics Association, 2010). Social media is something that changes so much that it is hard to define. Because everyone uses it for different reasons, and with corresponding different success rates, it meaning changes based on the user. I personally think that it is at its core, the 21st century way of staying in contact with one another and expressing ourselves. It’s handwritten letters, public service announcements, news, and community all rolled into several different feeds. Social media is basically a digitized (and fantasized) version of life.

Image by Jason Howie
Image by Jason Howie

References

Fowler, Ryan, (2015) Tech city news: Social media use leaves millennials feeling like ‘generation #fail’ Chatham: Newstex. Retrieved on Novenmber 10, 2015, from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.gvsu.edu/docview/1702635048?accountid=39473

Web Analytics Association offers social media definitions for comment. (2010). Direct : Magazine of Direct Marketing, Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.gvsu.edu/docview/233659911?accountid=39473

Valinsky, Jordan, (2015, Oct. 19) IHOP’s suggestive tweet about women’s breasts falls flat. Digiday. Retrieved November 11, 2015 from http://digiday.com/brands/ihops-suggestive-tweet-womens-breasts-falls-flat/