I saw a rather interesting article that reported that teenagers of today text more than teenagers of last year. Who cares right? Of course more teens are texting with there being more teens and more phones. What I found interesting is the ramifications for now and a few years from now. The teens who are texting now are the next wave to hit the workforce. They are more tech savvy and have different opinions about data and legality. No I am not taking this into a generational soapbox of "When I was their age we had to use rotary phone…” But I am going to point out some topics I think one should be aware of regardless if your business is in information technology or not.
With greater social media out there, there is greater exposure of your media and information. You need to be aware of these as a business not only for marketing but also for vulnerability. You hear and read of more people each year losing jobs or getting into legal trouble for items on their social media sites. How will your company deal with these possibilities? Do your clients or competitors have access to these avenues of media? To teens, it seems that the use of the media is almost second nature and not threatening. I am not saying they are naïve or not concerned, but they are comfortable with it. The awareness that will be needed in a professional environment may not match up with their current awareness. Is having different data awareness wrong? No. Getting into the workforce at a professional level is exposure to a new sub culture of our society. Some may be prepared, others not so much. Having training available and an understanding of what is expected of them is invaluable. Have this in place and you can increase the success of new employees.
Data security is another issue. Once it is on the internet, it is out there forever. There is not do over for a data leak. It could be small, it could be news worthy large. Posting, texting, emailing, and tweeting can all lead to a data leak. Having the protocols and training in place for the staff members will reduce the risk.
Become savvy yourself. By being aware of the capabilities and limitations of the technology out there, you will strengthen you position and have a better idea of how to go forward. Just because it is out there doesn’t mean you should use it. But you should at least look into it to see if the technology would work for you. Three years ago if you told me that IM through MS Lync would be a major tool I use each day I would have laughed at you, "I don't IM at work, I am working". Well, I use it every day to speed up communications within the company and with select individuals outside of our company. There could be that work changing tool out there, and you know, the new hires might already know how to use it!!!
- by Andrew Neumann
I recently read a thread on my iPhone about Dr. Frank Ryan and his unfortunate demise - Death by ‘Tweet’. While this may sound like I am making light of a very real and very tragic circumstance, I assure you that I am not. . . well maybe I am.
Sure, I can hear you bad mouthing me already and I haven’t even gotten what I wanted to say spit out of my mouth. Perhaps you can give me a moment to finish my thoughts before you pass judgement. At the risk of sounding absurd, while Dr. Ryan’s death is certainly very tragic, it could have been, beyond the shadow of a doubt, prevented. For those who may not know, Dr. Ryan, while driving and tweeting, managed to miss a very important curve in the road and drove off a cliff in Malibu CA, plunging to his death.
We managed to master walking and chewing gum why can we not do the same with driving and tweeting? Let me hit you with some knowledge – they don’t go together. In this equation 1+1 does not equal 2! I am overwhelmed at the idea that our addiction to social media streams and the need to be ‘in the know’ may cost us our lives literally, figuratively and however else you want to look at it. Who would have thought that the grim reaper would trade in his cloke and sythe for a pair of coke bottle bottom glasses and a handheld device – what a nerd! C’mon folks, let’s get real. Is it really worth it? Can we not go more than a few minutes without getting the information at our fingertips at the speed of light, all news all the time, hit me up with a tweet or did you see the latest status update for your best friend on FB type of lifestyle even when death is parked just around the corner maybe not even parked anymore but zooming straight up your tailpipe. I suppose a few minute lull in texting or streaming would be a God send for some. I appreciate life far too much to risk death by tweet (yeah I will tell myself that while I write this article . . the next time I am on 76 though . . ) I have this discussion with my wife all of the time – that common sense, as much as we would like to believe it is a real thing, does not and cannot exist, especially after reading about the unfortunate and untimely demise of Dr. Ryan. Surely he had to think that what he was doing was not the ‘best’ possible combination – driving and tweeting – surely he had to think that. We will never know.
The next time you get behind the wheel you need to ask yourself or reaffirm the fact that life is worth living, that the information will still be available to you when you reach your destination, that you can tweet responsibly – when the time is write (sounds like a Cialis commercial) and the right time is not while you are speeding down the highway, or for that matter when you are stuck in traffic. I offer to you, if you want to tweet and drive, play the lottery – win a boat load of money – and hire a car service to tote your technologically superior lifestyle around. If your life is not worth it, I assure you mine is!
I did a quick Google search on ‘People who have died by tweeting and driving’ – I thought the results would come back with just 1 Result, Dr. Ryan. I was humbled to read 1 thread posted through Wiki that suggests over 100,000 souls lost their lives to this deadly combo. 1 life lost to this phenomenon is tragic but 100,000, c’mon what are we doing wrong? We may not be far off from car manufacturers needing to install an Interlock device in our automobiles that will force us to dock our handhelds before the engine can turn over. Not such a bad idea considering – don’t ya think?