Social media: the career killer? Episode 126

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Too much social media kills the golden goose? That’s our topic this week as we discuss a recent article in the New York Times. Our intrepid Geek Whisperers discussed this article from Cal Newport, Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend On It.

A couple of points that we make:

  1. Yes, you can overdo it.
  2. Yes, it is not an end in itself – just being on social and, well, socializing is enjoyable but may not do that much for your career.
  3. You should practice long-form reading and writing. I don’t think we talked about it, but there was a lot of wit and brainpower that went into blog posts back in the day that now goes to Twitter and washes away in the stream.
  4. Making something interesting is a career-builder, but people still have to find out about it.
  5. Cal, the author, seems like a pretty privileged dude. One of his points is that if you do good work, people will find it. This has not been the case historically for people of color, women, and people from Eureka, IL and other places that aren’t from large urban centers like New York, LA, and SF. Social is a great leveler.
  6. We don’t disagree that being good at your work is actually a key thing. Please, make an effort to be good at your work. The passion comes from being good at something.
  7. Cal also doesn’t use social media which doesn’t give him much authority to judge how people use it, it seems to us.
  8. The biggest refutation is fact-based: collectively, we’ve seen dozens and dozens of people take their careers to the next level — just be better at their jobs, get new jobs, even take radical career changes — by utilizing social media and networking professionally.
  9. In fact, the Geek Whisperers lives are all better because of social media, and this podcast wouldn’t exist if we hadn’t met via our professional-social network.

So boo-yah, Cal. Good luck with the new book. I do think training your attention span is likely to be a good thing.The micro-rush of endorphins from pulling on the Twitter stream can be indulged in too much.  I suspect if we all had a daily meditation practice there would be less stress and less idiocy in the world.  I recommend everybody put down their phone and spend some time in nature… but don’t be too hasty; listen to the podcast first.

Photo by Flickr user Rojer.


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