Is social media really fostering robust discussion and debate?
According to a new report from the Pew Research Center called “Social Media and the ‘Spiral of Silence,” the answer is no. In fact, it may be doing the opposite. Pew polled 1,801 Americans, asking them about their “opinions about the Snowden leaks, their willingness to talk about the revelations in various in-person and online settings, and their perceptions of the views of those around them in a variety of online and off-line contexts.”
Pew chose the Snowden story in part because polls have showed Americans are relatively evenly divided on it. Despite the still-prevailing idealistic vision of social media as a platform for engaged citizenry and robust debate, the report notes that “people were less likely to discuss these issues on social media than they were in person.” Moreover, “if people thought their social media friends and followers disagreed with them, they were less likely to want to discuss the issues at all.”
“As it stands, the current industry use of gamification, game elements, and behavioral theory are subpar, illustrating a proliferation of apps available for download following no set industry standard that is currently available.” In other words, a fun, gamified app is not automatically a gamified app that will actually keep the calories off.
This is sort of novel. It just goes to show you the many aspects of our lives that are now captured, measured, and made observable to others.
Question: Can consultants, at the beck and call of clients’ demands, ever have anything approaching a work-life balance?
For a year [Prof. Perlow, HBS] studied his team at Boston Consulting Group and came back with the verdict that the biggest problem was a lack of predictability. “People could never make a plan because of client demands,” recalls Mr Freeland. So they came up with a scheme called “predictable time off”, or PTO. It gave employees an evening or a day between Mondays and Thursdays when they would not be contacted and could switch off the phone and email.
“Most efforts fail if we aim for work-life balance as it’s superficial unless you change how work is done”, says Mr Freeland, senior partner, today responsible for BCG’s people and organisation practice. It was a tricky sell, he reflects. “Some thought long hours were a rite of passage; others didn’t think we needed PTO.”
A simple and current reminder that language is a living thing.
“In many cases, the original meanings are based on Japanese culture, as that is where emoji were first popularized. But people have since adopted entirely new uses and meanings for certain emoji.From cultural crossovers to niche communities, some of these reinterpretations have become so mainstream, that it might surprise you to find out what the following emoji actually represent.”
This week in Asia, I share a brief update on MNCs under investigation in China before moving on to a blog series from Econsultancy on how and why western brands are experimenting in WeChat.
For the full episode of For Immediate Release, please check out Shel and Neville’s episode #768.
A fascinating use of data and visualization to tell a story about western culture. Enjoy!
At least for the short term: Happiness is the management of expectations. In a study published earlier this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of British neuroscientists created an equation that they say accurately predicted the short-term happiness of more than 18,000 people by comparing their expectations of an event to its real-life outcomes.
Perhaps youth care about privacy much more than we routinely give them credit for. In a nice piece published by Wharton (an SMU research partner institution), we hear dana boyd share her observations.
Young people, Boyd said, choose to privatize certain material either because they think it is embarrassing or will change the dynamics of their relationships. At the same time, they expect their audience to pay attention to the context in which they are operating — for example, the young woman who expected her mother to understand it was not appropriate to read her daughter’s posts. “I see quotes over and over again from young people saying, ‘Why are [adults on my social media site]? They don’t belong here. Don’t they understand?’ Or, ‘I wouldn’t look at their content; why are they looking at mine?’”
Privacy is about much more than just solving technical issues of access control, Boyd stated. “That is not how people live and experience privacy. Privacy is in many ways about controlling the social situation.”