Things such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Linkedin have made it possible to connect to anyone at anyplace at any time, however the topic of social media being a help or hindrance was discussed at length at Northeastern Illinois University’s (NEIU) Empowerment through Technology (N.E.T.T.) Day.
NEIU welcomed Amy Korin, Google+ Local Regional Community Manager Lead and Ashley Lepczyk, Google Adwords Account Executive. Korin explained some the features of Google+ and its convenience to users, and Lepczyk addressed Google Adwords’ relationship to Youtube. Through a question and answer session between the speakers and the audience, a question was raised on whether social media dumbs down an individual because of its accessibility and convenience. Korin said that it depended on the individual and whether they knew how to find and utilize the answer that a social media like Google would give.
The prominent role of social media in society was also discussed during a student panel about Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant’s book, “Humanize: How People –Centric Organizations Succeed in a Social World”. During the panel, students with various majors such as accounting and management were able to express their views on “Humanize” and ask Notter and Grant questions that related to the book. Since “Humanize” discusses the relationship between social media and business, the students’ questions dealt with the role of social media inside of our society and how it will affect future organizations.
Mike Shedroff, an accounting major, began the panel with the book’s “four qualities that would make organizations more humanized”. Those four qualities are being “open”, “trustworthy”, “generative” and “courageous”. When addressing how courage plays a role in business, Shedroff said “because all humans deal with fear, they need to learn to deal with it in a positive manner”. Anna Juarez, a management major, also addressed the role of courage in business. Juarez discussed how one should not be afraid to admit to making mistakes. “Mistakes do not control our performance”, Juarez said. Juarez added that when businesses admit to their mistakes, they have the opportunity to learn and move on. Juarez went on to discuss the issue of how our society is lacking when it comes to communication. She explained her view about how communication lacks feedback due to today’s media functions. In a face to face conversation with employees, one can offer feedback and opinions in order to fix or improve issues. “In conversation, we should expect learning as an outcome” Juarez said.
Notter also brought up the topic of emails and how he hates them. He then explained that he didn’t actually hate them, but he hates how difficult and exhausting is it to streamline media. To further his point, Notter described emails in the workplace as a non confrontational crutch that lacks personality. When responding to the question about communication, Notter hinted that our society is facing a downfall, “We’re losing our discipline to solve things efficiently” he said. This poses the question of whether media helps or hurts society in the long run.