Too chummy with your co-workers?
First, a general comment: as I mentioned in my introduction, I've been extensively involved with the internet for years now, but I've always been better at the observer role. I rarely comment on blogs I read; I rarely write on Facebook walls and my own blog - though this hasn't always been the case - is updated every month or so. (Twitter is the exception - something about the snappy entries and the single-person nature of it makes updating easier for me.) What I've always liked best about the web is that a passive role is OK, and generally accepted. I can respond if, and when, I feel like it. It's strange to have what I've considered a leisure activity bumping against school and work. While I generally like the internet's role in business and other formal communication, I'll be interested to see how I shift gears.
A thought about the texts: In Connect!, the authors mention that web communication allows "team members to get to know each other on a human level" (Zelenka 56). This is advantageous - especially for those members working cross-country or transcontinental - but I see downfalls. With Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., the internet rapidly exposes more detailed information than one might hear around the water-cooler. In five minutes, I could discover my colleague's birth date, marital status, weekend plans, kids' names and even religion and sexual preference. I'll have a pre-determined idea of them before we even begin a project. Instead of meeting a blank-slate co-worker, I've already painted them. Another disadvantage is that the line between co-worker and pal becomes a little blurry - while, often, co-workers become friends, there often needs to be a level of professionalism present to get the work done. I think the internet makes this professionalism more difficult. What do you think?
I've really enjoyed reading everyone's thoughtful entries. I look forward to next week - it's fun to see how everything's coming together.
Zelenka, Ann Truitt. Connect!: Web Worker Daily’s Guide to a New Way of Working. Wiley, 2008. Pg. 141-171.