Many people are spending so much time on social media that it has drawn criticism from several quarters. An article by news. com. au technology reporter, Claire Connelly titled “ Edward De Bono says Social Media makes us lazy and stupid” criticizes the overuse of social media stating that it robs people of time and causes them to be stupid. De Bono is a philosopher and the inventor of the “ six hats method”. Another article by Dean Obeidallah titled Are social media creating the laziest generation? Affirms the allegations by De Bono that social media are taking over the lives of their users and cause them to be lazy. Dean Obeidallah is an American comedian of Italian-Palestinian origin. He is also the editor and founder of Dean’s Report a blog which addresses everyday problems. Justin Meier and Mitchell Crocker wrote an article titled Generation Y in the Workforce: Managerial Challenges in the Journal of Human Resource and Adult learning noted that young professionals unnecessarily spend many working hours on social networking sites. Mitchell Crocker is an associate professor of Management at the Stephen F. Austin University while Justin Meier is a graduate student in the same institution.
Is Social media causing laziness?
There has been a generational change that has resulted in more passivity from people. According to Obeidallah (2011) we are a “ reality-show” generation. We do less and watch more. We have become accustomed to watching people dance, sing, lose weight and pick mates among other things. This voyeuristic trend has spilled into everyday life fueled by social media where everybody wants to become a star in the reality shows of life. People now spend so much time waiting and watching out for something to happen so that they make comments on social media such as facebook and twitter among others. Obeidallah (2011) laments that people on social media spend useful time anxiously waiting for scandals to erupt so that they can comment or make opinions and jibe about.
Connelly (2011) quotes De Bono as disapproving of the idea of people just sitting back and waiting for information from social media. According to Connelly (2011) De Bono’s bone of contention with social media is that people get “ bullied by information”. De Bono argues that reliance on social media to get information entrenches among people the notion that they don’t have to think and that information gathered from social media can make decisions for them. In other words people become lazy and reliant on information from the social media and the internet instead of being actively engaged in searching for original information. He says this notion rules out human creativity of using information differently. Obeidallah (2011) concurs with Connelly by stating that social media is becoming the opiate of the masses. He says that it is reducing human beings into slacktivists who believe that they can actually affect their world using cyber comments.
The three articles compare the generational changes between this generation and the preceding one. Obeidallah (2011) states of how people in the preceding generation used to recount when historic events happened such as the Kennedy assassination or the space shuttle explosion among others. In comparison, Obeidallah (2011) wonders whether this generation will only recall what they, posted, tweeted or read from social media about such events. He questions whether this generation will ever leave a legacy or “ just millions of tweets? Meier and Crocker examine the changes in managerial challenges from the generations of the yesteryears to the current generation. According to Meier and Crocker (2010), “ generation Y” is overly reliant on social media even in management something that is different from the previous generations. Establishing presence on social media is a good marketing gimmick but it should not be relied upon as a communication tool to manage an organization (Meier & Crocker, 2010). To do so would be to show laziness and it would be to the detriment of an organization.
Reliance on social media will ultimately breed a retrogressive society. According to Obeidallah (2011) the preceding generation was filled with doers while this generation is filled with watchers. He mentions the 1940s and 50s as the “ Greatest Generation” ever. The 1960s and 70s generations fought for civil rights and caused America to change its foreign and domestic policies for the betterment of all. Obeidallah (2011) says that that those generations were dedicated, exercised work ethics and sacrificed itself to build the USA into the superpower it is today. The current generation engages in slacktivism by clicking “ like” on facebook and digitally signing for an online competition among other seemingly passive activities. He questions the activism being exuded by in building the nation. Meier and Crocker (2010) also assert that the greatest companies in America and elsewhere in the world were built by individuals who were actively involved in management and the generation of ideas. Though the current generation is using social media to market organizations and enhance communication, a lot of time is wasted by people on social media chatting and engaging in activities that are not productive to organizations and to nation-building. Connelly (2011) also asserts that this generation needs to keep offline and stay in school in order to cultivate creative thinking among young people and thereby increase employment.
Social networking sites have increased rapidly and so have the positives and negatives associated with them. Recent articles have been written in regard to social media causing laziness among their users. Social media has been blamed for increased passivity from people where they become lesser of doers and more of watchers where they sit back and just wait for something to happen so that they make comments. This has caused people to “ get bullied” by information as they allow information gathered from social media to make decisions on their behalf. Consequently, the current generation has had comparatively low input in nation development compared to previous generation of the 1940s-1970s who are described as dedicated and as exercising work ethics to build the country. The overreliance on social media has also permeated organizational management with potentially dangerous results. Social media is inevitable but it is advisable for people to engage in them with discipline and restraint.
Connelly, Claire. Edward De Bono says social media makes us lazy and stupid Retrieved March 17, 2013 from: http://www. news. com. au/technology/i-dont-want-to-be-bullied-by-information-edward-de-bono-says-social-media-makes-us-stupid/story-e6frfro0-1226157280438#ixzz2Nl980zNw
Meier, Justin, and Mitchell Crocker. Generation Y in the Workforce: Managerial Challenges. The Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning Retrieved March 17, 2003 from: http://www. hraljournal. com/Page/8%20Justin%20Meier. pdf
Obeidallah, Dean Are social media creating the laziest generation? July 18, 2011 Retrieved March 17, 2013 from: http://articles. cnn. com/2011-07-18/opinion/obeidallah. laziest. generation_1_social-media-greatest-generation-facebook-walls? _s= PM: OPINION