Social Networking on the Job – Goofing Off or Something Else?

Author Howard Rheingold shared an intriguing definition of “social capital” in a video he posted recently. (I don’t know if it’s new or original, but I had not heard it previously.)

the ease with which people can get things done without going through institutions

Among the things that increasingly fall into that category – substantial chunks of our jobs. In some bureaucratic organizations, workers find themselves subverting management simply to do what they’re being paid to do as effectively as they can.

Have you:

  • searched the Internet instead of the stagnant corporate library,
  • Tweeted a colleague you trust for coaching on a task rather than asking for direction from a manager you don’t trust,
  • used a software tool installed on your phone because the one on your desktop computer was less effective,
  • Googled your company and found customer feedback that dispelled the assumptions held by your leaders – and suggested that your organization consider a new tactic or ditch an old one?

An observation: None of these uses of social media tools constitutes goofing off. So, why are they treated as such?

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