the problem with social media is that social media is not the problem

Social media is not a problem: it’s a symptom, a foreshadowing. The world of work has changed substantially; we just don’t know it yet. The future-now of work is looking less hierarchical, more democratic, more collaborative. Social media is both an enabler and a product of this change. Earlier this week, Doug Shaw made the brilliant observation: A social media policy in part seeks to support the very hierarchy that social media is dissolving.

The pyramid of control is dying off, replaced by the swirling, shifting ecosystem of influence. The cosmic joke is the more we try to control, the narrower our scope of influence.

We are struggling to find ways to make the future-now make sense in the past-now world of work. Social media is a great example of this. The rules, norms, and etiquette from the days of memos and carbon paper do not mesh well with the easy-all access of the internet. It’s like trying to make the past rules of horses and buggies apply to a new world of automobiles.

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