We are the inheritors and beneficiaries of one of the great technological revolutions of human history – the digital age – which rivals any previous innovation in workplace life in its fundamental power to shift how we do work and work together. The new shifts that are afforded us by the digital age provide us, potentially, a platform on which to collaborate as never before.

State of Social

In other words, as far as I’m concerned, the “state of social” in 2015 is as follows; We are still going about our lives, interacting with one another a variety of levels, from the purely transactional to the deep and profound.

A lot of our social interaction is coloured by a materialistic world view which allows us to reduce each other to a few behaviours when empathy feels too hard. We form friendships and joyful working partnerships when we invest ourselves in them. We get stuff done, sometimes quicker because we have a digital something-or-other that saves time and labour, sometimes not quicker despite these labour-saving devices.

We are afforded the ability to collaborate and interact and co-create with each other across time zones (while at the same time, forces of destruction are also able to do likewise). We are friendly and convivial and helpful with each other and we are also insulting, offensive and threatening to those we can’t understand or agree with.

We encounter each other with the same asymmetric insight that everyone else labours under. I’m not saying that nothing has changed as a result of the internet and digital social tools, far from it. The thing I keep coming back to though is that all the Slack, Yammer, Facebook Messenger and Whatsapp will not make us more collaborative if we are still being dicks to each other.

And arguing about which one is the best tool to increase collaboration is often a red herring.

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John Wenger
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