Conformism and social conventions online: focus on the essentials


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The fact that we feel so often under pressure at work is also due to the fact that in many cases we want to meet implicit social expectations - although we may disagree ourselves. This can be seen not least in the use of social media at work.

Conformism and social conventions online: focus on the essentials

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Institute's job pictures Yourweb.

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"Social media is a mindset"

Social media is omnipresent - and that's exactly why many feel increasingly annoyed and overwhelmed by it. On Best of HR – Berufebilder.de® we have dealt with the topic again and again: In a contribution to the question of whether the Internet makes inefficient, I reported, for example, how quickly you can get from stick to stick on the Internet and lose track of the endless options. And even die-hard PR experts see social media and especially Facebook increasingly critical, even call it “the end of modesty”.

For me this is a sign that after every hype there is an increasingly critical approach to the topic - not only with regard to the capacities of companies, but also with regard to personal resources. Because if in addition to Facebook and Twitter, more and more new networks are added, Pinterest or Instagram, then it is no longer possible for the individual to keep track of things.

Specialization is required

Because different target groups cavort in different networks, this is not at all advisable. But this is exactly where the social conventions mentioned at the beginning come into play: There is a certain basic attitude about which social networks one should use. In my social media lectures I notice again and again that most people associate social media with a certain network that their target group mainly uses, but do not think much about the communicative attitude behind it. A well-known social media expert wrote some time ago:

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“Social media is not a technical thing. Facebook is not social media. Social media is a mindset. It's about people. To employees. To needs. To conversations. To questions and answers. To criticism. I see far too little of that. But there are newsrooms that cost 60.000 euros. And social media agencies whose managing directors say with a laugh: 'I don't have time for Twitter. That's why we employ interns. '”

The cross with the social conventions

His utterance was heavily discussed on the net. But the subject is no less topical today. One social media manager wrote about why, increasingly annoyed by the blue giant, she wrote Facebook turned my back. That made waves. Your post was not only seen a few hundred times on Facebook spreads, which suggests that it hit a nerve, but also heavily criticized - especially from some colleagues from the industry.

Some doubt that a social media manager could afford to connect with Facebook to lose; others said goodbye to Facebook even strange. Still others admired her courage and basically agreed with her.

The Article and above all the reactions to it are a good example of how much people make themselves dependent on conventions in their everyday work. And how much social media influence your motivation, your work organization and your time management. Because not only in social media, but also in many other areas, there are implicit social expectations of what kind of services one has to provide in a certain position. For example, following the pattern: "How, are you an expert in the field and you don't know?"

Can do anything? This can only go wrong

The social media manager wrote a second post in response to the reactions. In it she makes it clear that a single social media manager cannot cover all areas and inevitably has to specialize. This has resulted in an exciting discussion about social media management in small and medium-sized companies, target group specification and time management, which shows that this topic is in tune with the times and that many others feel the same way. Another freshly trained social media manager writes:

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“I also have exactly this fear that I should now learn and master all the channels in detail at the same time - hardly possible. And if I have a lot of “bad luck”, I also acquire a customer who then expects me to master all the depths in all platforms and to be able to serve them on a daily basis. That can only go wrong then .. "

It doesn't work without focus

So if you want to master the balancing act between social conventions and productive work, you have to think carefully about which channels you are using - and that also means leaving out channels.

But it won't work without focus: Nobody can do everything at the same time. Rather, specialization is the order of the day - because there is no time to cover all networks. Not even as a social media advisor, expert or agent.


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