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Is Using Social Media While Working Cheating My Employer?

About The HRIS World Millennials Series™ #thwGenY

We are going to summarize a video provided by Simon Sinek, who has said and shared a lot of things we have already discussed in our newsletters and blogs...

Born 1984 and after, Millennials are accused of being entitled, narcissistic, unfocused, lazy. They do, however, want to work with a purpose, they want to make an impact, they want free food and bean bags (not necessarily the last two, just seeing if you are paying attention!). Yet, give them everything they want, and they are still not happy (truthfully, has anyone really been happy about getting anything, never mind everything, when always easily gained?).

This unhappiness has roots in their upbringing, in their use of technology, their impatience, and our environment...

  • The failed parenting strategies in which they were raised provoked more long-term problems than resolved. Let's face it, the parenting styles used to raise this generation tried to circumvent several principles everyone knows is true, some of which are: You reap what you sew, you can't sharpen a knife on a sponge, facing the pain you are going through today will minimize an even greater pain later. Instead, the parenting styles that were chosen focused heavily on issues that mostly could have been resolved over time that would have provided lessons learned early on in life. Those early lessons would have provided opportunities to build character which would have prepared their children for life after school, for the real life. This costly mistake has resulted in a generation that has, as far as we know, the lowest self-esteem than any previous generation. This means there are a sufficient number of Millennials, who are now the largest portion of the workforce, are going to need direction and guidance in overcoming an inhibiting lifestyle from what has essentially not been their fault.
  • Next on the list of root causes of the Millennials unhappiness is the lack of balance in using technology. This imbalance has allowed Millennials to filter nearly everything around them. This filtering process has kept them from really conversing which would lead to developing meaningful relationships, has kept them from learning how to work in teams, and has kept them from learning how to develop trust. They do this filtering via technology as it feels good. A Harvard study, completed in 2012, has shown that dopamine is released anytime one talks about themselves through social media (if not familiar, dopamine is the same chemical released when we smoke, drink, or gamble and the release of dopamine forms an addiction when it is not tempered). As the use of social media can provide a high level of dopamine, it makes social media and cell phone usage highly addictive. Truthfully, it is comparable to being provided all the smokes, alcohol, and gambling they wanted at a very young age. Yet, we have restrictions on smoking, alcohol, and gambling and none on the smartphone and social media usage. As a result of what amounts to a full access to a quick fix during the childhood and adolescence, what has been permitted in their childhood and adolescence has created an entire addictive adulthood generation that is numbed by a chemical called dopamine. And they are addicted in their personal lives, their work lives, their social lives, every level of their lives. Like ANY addiction, this dependency has deprived them of learning how to form deep meaning relationships as well as how to cope with stress that comes into their lives. Like ANY addiction, they are not turning to a person but to a device. This has lead to a higher rate of depression in a young generation. These addiction traits, however, can be stopped when one sees the value of a life outside of their addiction -- only now there is a higher level of pain involved as a habit needs to be broken, and new disciplines formed to develop new habits. The good news is they will be all the better for it.
  • Millennials are an impatient lot. Any time they want to do something, it is almost always immediately available for their participation - watch a film, read a book, ask someone out on a date, even ordering something on Amazon. This results in the failure to learn the life skill of being patient. This has minimized the social coping mechanisms all previous generations had to learn. Everything is instant gratification... except for job (or career) satisfaction and strength of relationships. Millennials have not learned that social coping skills are slow, meandering, messy processes. They have also never been taught that the most treasured and valuable things in life are arduous, long, and difficult in gaining. All this amounts to never having learned how to build joy into their lives.
  • Lastly the traditional company environment of short-term gains and funneling employees into positions where they either sink or swim will, with Millennials, result in a labor shortage never seen before. As Millennials want to learn, want to perform, want to make an impact, the traditional environment is not only unnecessary but minimizes the honing and growth of these desires. And their willingness is half the corporate battle, as many who have the hard skills do not have the proper soft skills that are necessary to carry out the hard skills successfully and fully. Companies need to learn how to teach Millennials how they can build confidence, how they can learn the skills of co-operation, how they can learn to overcome the challenges of a digital world while also finding a sense of balance, how they can learn to overcome instant gratification. All this will provide everyone -- the older generation, the businesses, the Millennials, the joys, impacts, fulfillments, and trust that one gets from working on something for a long time. We can not correct the problem we have created with the Millennials by using the same thinking that created the problem in the first place -- we have to think differently, which means actions must be different as well.

How can we, as leaders for the Millennials, do all this? Well, we ourselves have to relearn, and in some cases learn anew, the principles, laws of life, and the means that builds character. This is not something that should ba balked at -- there is a blessing to be had by us as people, businesses, as well as the Millennials as all will become stronger as a result, and that blessing will be in direct proportion to the effort put forth. This is a principle of relationships that transcends cultures, generations, genders, even IQ levels.

If you are interested in seeing the entire conversation by Simon Sinek, just click here.

Feel free to reach out to us if you wish to contribute some of your thoughts via a post by clicking the contact us button on the lower right of any page. Feedback, debates, discussion, collaboration and conversation are always encouraged in the comments section below... For more information about this series, use the blue contact us button on the lower right of your screen to contact us -- or if you are reading this by our newsletter, then hit the reply button to get back to us!

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This article is from guest blogger David Ching, a marketing strategist.

It’s a moral question that was never quite addressed by the likes of Socrates or St. Augustine, but that doesn’t mean it’s not relevant…

What constitutes
cheating your employer
in the age of social media?

It’s a loaded question precisely because there are so many different circumstances that might constitute cheating your employer, as well as circumstances in which the usage of social media at work is perfectly justified.If you’ve come to this article to find the answer to your own moral dilemma, don’t let us steer you wrong.  Let’s examine exactly what your situation is and what it might mean for your social media habits.

If you’ve come to this article to find the answer to your own moral dilemma, don’t let us steer you wrong. Let’s examine exactly what your situation is and what it might mean for your social media habits.

Let’s examine exactly what your situation is and what it might mean for your social media habits.

Situation #1: Social media has nothing to do with your work.

If Twitter and Facebook constitute slacking off rather than productive, work-related activities, then there’s a simple answer to the question posed in the title of this article: yes. Of course, that’s not to say that using social media is any better or worse than other ways of stealing time from your employer.

But there’s another interesting element here that can make your time on social media a little more justified: how you get paid. If you are paid…

  • solely for your time, for example, then maybe it is cheating
  • on commission, then you’re only stealing time from yourself
  • for your time but your job allows the use of social media to pass the time (say, parking lot attendant), then you’re getting paid simply for being there and your tweeting is not cheating

Situation #2: Social media has everything to do with your work.

Of course, none of these high-minded moral questions have any relevance to your life if you are paid to use social media; for example, let’s say that you’re in charge of your company’s Twitter account.

In this case, not only are you not stealing time, but you’re doing the opposite: exactly what you’re supposed to be doing.

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This can be the case even if your social media expertise didn’t land you your job.For example, if you are a salesman, adding a potential client on Facebook could be considered a legitimate use of office time.

For example, if you are a salesman, adding a potential client on Facebook could be considered a legitimate use of office time.

What the question of social media cheating in the office comes down to is context.Deep down, you know exactly what you’re getting paid for.

Deep down, you know exactly what you’re getting paid for.

If using social media allows you to continue to do your job, then keep at it.

If not? You may want to think about cutting back.

Replacements for Social Media

What happens if you don’t know how to slack off without social media, yet you want to give it up?

In a word:

S T O P !

Stop slacking off!

You can find healthier alternatives to pass the time at work.

If you’re a night watchman at an apartment complex, you can take up more time taking the stairs up and down while fulfilling the noble goal of getting in better shape.

Ultimately, your effectiveness at work comes down to your productivity. Is social media helping it, or hindering it?

Is social media helping it, or hindering it?


About Our Guest Blogger

David Ching, marketing strategist

David Ching is a marketing strategist for a Milpitas company that provides office furniture to both small companies and large corporations, both new and refurbished pieces, for every room in the office. If you’d like to guest post for The HRIS World, contact us for details about how YOU can share your tips with our audience.

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