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Generation of Distractions

This morning my mom recalled that during her college days, she had a routine for studying at home: taking a 2-hour nap after arriving from school and then doing schoolworks for hours, straight, until she’s finished. I complained that I cannot do or adopt what she used to do. There are a lot of distractions and following a routine religiously would somehow be impossible and would just cause frustration to me. Why? Televisions now have cable channels that I wish I could watch all at the same time. Gadgets are all around us including cellular phones, mp3 (outdated?) or other mp-whatever, i-pods, digicams, computers, and laptops. And of course, the most prominent of all, Internet.

Regardless of being a good distraction or not of the Internet, many individuals, groups, societies, and organizations have been using this for their own benefits. In fact, it is very good and encouraging to know that many international and multinational companies, especially the examples stated in the 9th Chapter of Wikinomics, have used the Internet to communicate better with their customers and employees. Blogs, wikis, social networking, and others are used and tapped by companies not just to get feedback from the public but to actually acquire information that may be useful for their business.

As I have noticed, different organizations have reached out to their audience by being open to the new social media, the interest of most potential customers. For instance, many brands of shoes, clothing, cars, accessories, chocolates, restaurants, and even schools and universities, have made their online accounts in Facebook and other social networks. An individual can receive updates, newsletters, and more about a product or service through Facebook while actually connecting, playing, and having fun with friends. In addition, a person becomes an advocate of a certain brand once he or she mentions good things for the product or suggests for the betterment of it. Moreover, the new social media can serve as a tool for bottom-up communication because employees, who are more often exposed to it than the executives, can observe the happenings and latest in the Internet and report it to the supervisors.

Fortunately, organizations in the Philippines are gradually starting to integrate the use of new social media in their management. For example, in the company where I had my internship, the use of Yahoo! Messenger and other social networks like Friendster and Facebook is allowed. Surfing the net during working hours is not viewed as a bad distraction. They are allowed to use the Internet even during working hours for them to communicate with co-employees, customers, and supervisors outside the head office and to get necessary information quickly while actually relaxing, and managing stress and boredom. I view this as a needed distraction, but a controlled one. Of course, the quality of their performance shall not suffer.

Moreover, from just hiring a person who is computer-literate, to MS Office-literate, to PhotoShop Adobe-literate, it would really not surprise me if several years from now, “abilitiy to use wiki” would be one of the qualifications for a job position. Many have already shifted from traditional to new social media.

Although one of the major roles or ideals of new social media, as discussed in the Wikinomics, is collaboration through a decentralized organization, I can say that this is still impossible for most of the companies here in the Philippines. It will surely take years before strict rules that hinder decentralization become loose. As of now, hierarchy is still evident even with the existence of new social media. Furthermore, certainly not everyone can contribute relevant information. Many will just be nuisances. Besides, too many cooks can spoil the broth.

What is good for one may not be good for the other. In the same way, the use of new social media and the shifting of organization from centralized to a decentralized one may be good for some organizations but may also be not apt for others. New social media, along with decentralization, may be a distraction for most companies bounded by rigid rules. It is up to the organization and its nature whether or not to cultivate and adapt the new social media as a new approach for the survival of the business.

  1. renism
    July 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    the internet as a distraction is right.hahaha.facebook is taking up most of my hours at night.^^

    i agree with you that ultimately,it’s up to the org on whether or not it feels the need to adapt to the changes.

  2. ace acosta
    July 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    surely the internet is a distraction!!hahaha!…but I think you are right that what is good for one may not be good for the other, and the new social media is not an exception to that..

    good post nikki!

  3. July 28, 2009 at 1:36 am

    i agree with you that most organizations today still have a very strict flow of communication. they definitely need to loosen up on the formalities and all. although, there are already some organizations in the Philippines that are already open to the idea. it’s, at least, a good improvement already.

  4. August 9, 2009 at 1:55 am

    We always need to consider the context. There is no universal rule for everything. Ugh, I hate customization! But it is a requirement. 😦

  5. barrycade
    August 9, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    nice to know that the company you had ojt in allowed you access to the Internet. but you see, providing access isn’t the same as leveraging new social media to engage employees.there’s a world of difference. still, providing free access to employees may be a good start, but the company has a lot more to do.

  6. jorron monroy
    August 10, 2009 at 1:23 am

    bropopee world, that’s what you should call this world full of distractions.

    “What is good for one may not be good for the other.” – i totally agree. Given two experiences of internships from two different fields (though they can be interrelated), it’s in the culture of the organization. What works for them, will work for them. We should be critical enough to asses if the organization is indeed ready for changes–even if it is what you think will work best. It is not always a matter of being adept with th trend, it’s about being efficient.

  1. July 26, 2009 at 7:50 pm

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