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Sogeti : Social media behaviour analyzed and exposed in new report from Sogeti trend lab VINT

May 2013 by Sogeti - VINT

Social media is currently a big part of our lives. The easy access through smart phones and other touch screen devices causes a disproportionate call on people’s time and eats away our productivity, as several studies have shown.

Sogeti trend lab VINT’s report “The Dark Side of Social Media” dives into the subject how social media is affecting our lives. The report presents a three-stage rocket. It starts with a record of all sorts of alarm bells that went off throughout the years with increasing loudness. The subsequent part is an analysis dealing with ten jet-black consequences for 21st century Homo Digitalis Mobilis. And finally it presents a way out.

“When we were working on the VINT books Me the Media (2008) and The App Effect (2012), it became increasingly apparent that the dark sides of social and mobile media definitely called for a chapter of their own. Not to gloat over them, but to expose the related developments and concerns, and to think about a way out,” commented VINT trend analyst Jaap Bloem, co-authoring the report together with VINT colleague Sander Duivestein.

Alarm bells and negative consequences

The social media alarm bells described in the report are numerous including e.g. information addiction, constant distraction and counter-productivity as we try to multitask. As the report moves into the analysis phase it deals with ten jet-black consequences that have been uncovered in several studies over the past few years:

1. Social media makes us stupid
2. Social media are making us anti-social
3. Ego-tripping, cooconing, tunnel vision
4. Social media are making us (mentally) ill
5. Social media corrode our memories
6. Social media are extremely manipulative
7. Social media fuel Big Brother situations
8. Social media encourage terror
9. Social media fuel our desire for sensation
10.Social media put an end to privacy and creativity

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The way out

The report also focuses on finding how to address the alarm bells and negative consequences of social media with the starting point that social is the new capital.

Social business is growing, being focused on people-first, commitment and transparency. In addition, the age of context is coming. Uncontrolled real time should make way for controlled right time. Being “always on” will diminish as new technology that calls for attention at the right moment without constantly distracting will occur.

The VINT researchers also believe that SlowTech should become the norm with reciprocal relationships being expressed in connections between apps, analytics, (big) data, media, mobile and social. We will have to become more responsible for our social behaviour and toughen up, offering resistance to temptations, particularly those of social media including games and the screen devices on which they operate.

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