The Advantages and Drawbacks of Engaging Personally Online

The Advantages and Drawbacks of Engaging Personally Online

Social Media has changed the way in which we communicate both on a personal and professional level. The language used, length of conversations and public opinions expressed have radically changed too, so it’s essential that you understand this and adapt to the times.

70% of CEOs don’t have an online presence – Don’t let it be you

We live in a world where it has become entirely possible to have complete conversations without uttering a single word. This is because the modern world and our lives have become digitalized. The way we speak, and consequently the way we relate to one another, is different to what it was just a short decade ago. People are more concise and to the point in their social utterances. Politeness and social conventions are navigated differently because of rapid exchanges of thinly worded ideas and opinions.

If you do not have an online presence yourself, you may be out of the loop when it comes to being fashionable. But, more significantly, you are essentially speaking a different language than those around you who do have an online presence. As a business executive, this means there is a discontent between you and who you are trying to provide services to. Because it has become the rule rather than the exception to have an online presence, you might want to consider jumping on the bandwagon and beginning the process sooner rather than later.

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People tend to be more open online

What one says online does have very rapid consequences – comments made on the internet are often responded to immediately. But, these consequences are not on a sensual level as with real-life socializing. Because one cannot hear, smell, touch or be touched by the people with whom one is interacting with online, consequences to one’s social utterances are less visceral – in a sense less real – and therefor much less intimidating or high risk than real-life socializing.

For this reason most people are more honest and open online than they would be in real life. Shy and introverted people tend to become more talkative while the extroverted tend to become more honest.

If you are in a position of leadership, interacting with employees or peers online can be very useful to you. You will be awarded an opportunity to curtail overly polite or insincere feedback on matters of interest. Setting up a blog, or creating a virtual community on a social networking site can allow you and your co-workers or employees to get to the heart of matters quicker and more concisely.

On the flipsides – online comments can be derogatory and offensive. One needs to have a moderator in place when the internet is used in the workplace.

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Those with an online presence relate to people who have an online presence of their own

On a social networking site people enter a world which is fully formed with parameters and conventions of its own. It is entirely normal for a vast amount of people to be fully immersed in this world – or to return to it at short intervals – for the whole day.

If you do not have an online presence, you will not have access to the diction people use in the online world. You will miss key events in this world. You will be a foreigner to the people of this world. If your position in your workplace holds value for you, you cannot afford to be a foreigner to your co-workers or employees. Creating an online presence and being active with it will enable you to show those around you that you are relatable. You can laugh at the same things that they do and talk on the same level. Having an online presence means having direct access to the ideas, convictions and language of the people with whom you work and socialize.

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About the author

Jamie McDermott

Involved in Business Development and Technologies at Career Intelligence. Based in the Fleet Street, London office since the start of 2014.

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