"We Know Less About Social Media Than We Think: Best Practices for Building a Remote Culture"

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Aug 26, 20233 min read

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"We Know Less About Social Media Than We Think: Best Practices for Building a Remote Culture"

In today's digital age, social media has become an integral part of our lives. It has connected people from all corners of the world, allowing for the exchange of ideas and the sharing of stories. However, despite its widespread use, there is a prevailing notion that we know less about social media than we think.

Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist, aptly describes the rise of social media as the story of the Tower of Babel. Just like the tower in the biblical tale, social media has inadvertently led to the fragmentation of beliefs, perceptions, and shared narratives that once held our diverse secular democracy together. With the influx of information and the ability to connect with like-minded individuals, we are living in an era of echo chambers and confirmation bias.

The truth is, when we approach a question or issue on social media, we often don't even know the extent of what we don't know. We are bombarded with a plethora of opinions and viewpoints, making it difficult to discern the truth from misinformation. This has led to the erosion of trust in institutions and the polarization of society.

But it's not just social media that poses challenges in our modern world. The rise of remote work has also brought about its own set of complexities. In a recent interview with Job van der Voort, a remote work expert, he emphasizes the importance of building a strong remote culture within organizations.

Van der Voort believes that it's crucial to get the hiring and onboarding process right when building a remote team. Providing new hires with the necessary tools, such as a laptop, stable internet connection, and a conducive remote work setup, is essential for their success. Additionally, creating concentrations of remote workers in specific locations can foster a sense of community and prevent feelings of isolation. When employees have the opportunity to interact with each other and share their experiences, it strengthens their connection to the organization.

Communication is another key aspect of building a successful remote culture. While traditional companies may rely on regular in-person meetings or All Hands sessions, remote companies need to prioritize documentation and written communication. Sharing important updates, announcements, and information through written formats ensures that everyone is on the same page, regardless of their time zone or location.

As a remote team grows, it becomes increasingly challenging to have everyone participate in lengthy meetings. Van der Voort suggests that when a team reaches around 25 people, it's no longer feasible to have everyone speak during a 30-minute meeting. Instead, finding alternative ways to foster collaboration and communication, such as smaller team meetings or asynchronous discussions, becomes essential.

In conclusion, both the rise of social media and remote work have reshaped the way we connect and communicate. However, it's important to recognize the limitations of our understanding in these areas. Social media has fragmented our beliefs and perceptions, while remote work requires intentional efforts to build a strong culture. To navigate these challenges, here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Approach social media with caution: Recognize the potential for echo chambers and misinformation. Seek out diverse perspectives and fact-check information before accepting it as truth.
  • 2. Prioritize onboarding and communication in remote teams: Invest time and resources into providing new hires with the necessary tools and fostering a sense of community. Emphasize written communication to ensure clarity and inclusivity.
  • 3. Adapt communication strategies as remote teams grow: As your team expands, find innovative ways to facilitate collaboration and prevent information overload. Consider smaller team meetings or asynchronous discussions to ensure everyone's voices are heard.

By acknowledging our limited understanding of social media and embracing best practices for building a remote culture, we can navigate these ever-evolving landscapes more effectively.

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