Sep 08

So, I had a cup of coffee this morning before hopping on the 6:44am and, oh, I bumped into O.P. on the platform…

I'm in the process of 'de-friending' and 'de-linking' from those contacts on Facebook and LinkedIn  NARCISSIST who continually spam me with useless personal information or event invitation. Who needs either?

The most egregious are the Facebook addicts who feel compelled to share such scintillating personal news as:

– “Went para-sailing before work today. What a rush! And what a great way to start my day.”
– “Summer's over and the kids are back in school. Oh well. It can't last forever.”
– “Cousin Shlomo, it was great seeing you and the entire McWorthington Clan over Labor Day.”

Two new studies show that frequent Facebook users are either narcissists or individuals who suffer from low self-esteem. That makes sense. Their daily non-news items are either saying, “Am I wonderful, or what?” Or “God, please pay attention to me.”

One of the surveys, conducted by researchers at San Diego State University, focused on 18-25 year-old Facebook users and found that 60 percent use the social media tool for “self promotion” and “attention getting.” The second report, issued by Toronto's York University, confirmed the SDSU findings and said continually posting new photographs and updating one's profiles indicate either a narcissistic personality or low self-esteem.

I'll be the first to admit that I like having my kids post photos on my Facebook page of my most recent mountain, rock and ice climbing sojourns. But, you'll never catch me posting something like, “Watched Jersey Shore with Catharine last night. How naive is Sammie?” Or “Pool water is still warm. Snuck in one last swim last night.”

I'm go further out on a limb here and guess that people aren't interested in knowing that I'm wearing green slacks and a black-and-white striped golf shirt today. Or, that I'm toying with the idea of wearing a suit to tomorrow's 8am client meeting. Who cares? Hell, I don't even care.

So, do the world a favor and save those inane, meaningless and narcissistic wall posts like, “Cannot wait for this Saturday when the girls will be over to discuss The Art of Racing in the Rain. I'll bet Lucy hated it!” No one cares about your life, but you.

Two other quick points:

– LinkedIn updates are equally banal. Who cares if Beckwith in accounting has updated his photo? He obviously does. But the rest of us sure don't.
– In the interests of full transparency, I've already outed myself as a narcissistic boss (see my 'Crazy Bosses' blog). But, those traits don't bleed over to the virtual world.

Facebook and LinkedIn serve a few, useful purposes. But, keep telling me your mundane, daily rituals and you'll a) undermine your image and b) find yourself de-friended by more than one disinterested party.

Mar 12

Hold the phone! Millennials aren’t into the warm and fuzzy stuff after all

March 12 - millennials_logo I wish I had a dollar for every research report I’ve read telling me that Millennials (born between 1982 and 1999) want to work for companies that contribute to the greater good and hold jobs that help make the world a better place to live. Not so, says a just-released survey of work attitudes from San Diego State University.

SDSU’s Jean Twenge says her SDSU team analyzed the findings of a periodic study of 16,500 high school seniors that has been conducted periodically since 1978. Her analysis shows that Millennials were ‘….no more likely to want to help others and society through their work than other generations. The assumption that (Millennials) care about volunteerism and social issues has spurred many companies to let workers volunteer on company time as a way to attract this generation.’ And, that’s a mistake, she says.

But, wait, it gets even worse for Millennials. Not only don’t they care about societal ills as much as we were led to believe, they’re also a lot more high maintenance than either Boomers (born between 1946 and ’64)  or Gen X workers (1965-’81). According to Twenge, Millennials want more free time, higher salaries and greater status than their older peers. So, says Twenge, the average Millennial ‘…seems to want to have their cake and eat it too. That is, they want high pay and status but aren’t interested in burning the midnight oil.’

Now, before my own employees lynch me, I want to go on record by saying that I’ve met and worked with hundreds of highly motivated, hard-working Millennials who are passionate about their work, burn the midnight oil and do care about the greater society.

That said, the SDSU research is a real eye opener and, if valid, should be passed around the offices of Fortune, The Reputation Institute, Working Woman and other media properties that measure and list America’s ‘most admired’ corporations. If what Twenge says is true, then organizations are wasting untold time and money providing perks that simply don’t matter to the majority of Millennials. And, that’s a game changer if I’ve ever heard one.

Now I’m going to grab my hard hat and flak jacket. Let the postings barrage begin.

Thanks to Greg Schmalz for the idea behind this post.