Due to their IPO last week, finding articles about Facebook is like shooting fish in the proverbial barrel. Most of the articles I’ve read deal with speculation about the IPO price, future share prices, the impact of going public on Facebook’s decision-making process and, of course, all the newly minted millionaires and billionaires this historic event has created. Sadly, I’m not one of them.
However, one article from the New York Time’s caught my attention. Written by Tara Parker-Pope it’s entitled “Does Facebook Turn People Into Narcissists?” I was initially drawn to it based on my suspicion that narcissism is exactly what the social media giant encourages, but much to my surprise that wasn’t the finding. Previous research has shown users exhibit a higher level of narcissistic tendencies, but the findings here point to behavior that’s more oriented toward networking and relationship management. Rather than wild self-promotion, Facebook was found to promote a greater level of transparency with a wider, but still close circle of people. In other words, the people haven’t changed that much because they use Facebook; it’s their definition of close that’s changed.
So this is all interesting dinner party fodder, right? Not exactly. This is the changing dynamic of our society, which drives the expectations and behavior of our workforce. Sharing, collaborating, instant information and gratification, knowing and understanding. These are the new requirements of an engaged employee. Are you ready?