Teens spend hours each day planted in front of Facebook. College students get the shakes when they are asked to go a week without social media. Moms are hooked on playing FarmVille. The word “addiction” gets tossed around.
But there are few indications that, for most people, social media is a replacement for real-life interaction rather than a supplement. Nearly half of Twitter users surveyed in April by ExactTarget who had increased their use of Twitter said they were meeting their friends more in person than before; just 7% were doing so less often. Most said they spent the same amount of time calling friends on the phone as before, with 33% increasing phone calls and just 13% phoning less.
The situation with users who had increased their time on Facebook was similar. For the most part, in-person and phone interactions with friends had remained the same. Facebook usage was less likely to actually increase time spent with friends in real life, but that could be because the nature of Twitter makes it easy to plan get-togethers with people nearby.
A September poll by Harris Interactive also pointed to the supplementary nature of social media. The sites helped users feel fairly well connected with a variety of people—especially those who were also their close friends or immediate family.
But most users still preferred to interact with friends, family and acquaintances face-to-face. The preference for in-person interaction was weaker among the youngest users surveyed, but even among 18- to 34-year-olds, just 27% said they would rather see friends in person than communicate through social media.
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For renters today, finding a new apartment on craigslist is almost as easy as streaming a movie. (OK, not quite, but you get the point.) Homeowners don’t reside in this frictionless economy: They’re stuck in one place, unable to quickly downgrade to a cheaper residence when times are lean (or upgrade when times are flush). And it costs thousands of dollars in renovations to beat the depreciation curve.
I speak from experience. My wife and I bought and sold two condos during the latter stages of the real-estate boom, escaping both as break-even propositions (after transaction costs). When we moved into a rental apartment a couple of years ago, we realized that ownership had been a burden, a time sink, and a money pit. Now we ask the landlord to fix things when they break, and we don’t mind that the floor is not the one we would have chosen. We pay less each month than we would on a mortgage, and we bank money that once would have gone into installing central air.
We discovered that this emancipating, and remunerative, mindset applies to a lot of things that in the pre-Internet age you had to accumulate in order to enjoy. We sold our car and now use Zipcar or Avis when we need one — my somewhat technophobic wife refers to Zipcar as “Netflixing a car.”
Granted, I live in Manhattan, where you don’t need a car to get around every day. But no matter where you live, you’ve probably begun to embrace the Rentership Society without even realizing it. When was the last time you bought a DVD? Sales have plummeted because we all stream our video or get discs by mail. Amazon reportedly wants to get into the rental business, too, by creating a streaming service — their current (failed) model sells TV shows by the episode. I get my music from Microsoft’s Zune Pass service these days — $15 a month buys me flexibility, mobility, and freedom from having to upgrade when a new standard replaces MP3s (which it inevitably will).
I’m no freegan, mind you. I don’t dig through dumpsters for my dinner, and I believe in the virtues of property rights. The Rentership Society doesn’t have to mean the Tragedy of the Commons — the stuff I rent isn’t owned by the government or by everyone. It’s owned by someone — someone else. I just pay for use. Those of you with a profit instinct (and storage space) can even become landlords: Websites like SnapGoods and Zilok let people rent out their stuff — lawn mowers, vacuum cleaners, tools — to the tenant class (as discussed by Clive Thompson in issue 18.09).
For the rest of us, we’ll always own some things. There’s stuff we use all the time, like furniture and clothing, and objects with sentimental value (take your stinking paws off my Yoda figure with plastic snake). But the Internet is creating markets that enable us to own much less. The winner of the ebook sweepstakes will be the bookseller who becomes a bookrenter. I don’t want to own hundreds of books on a Kindle at $10 a pop. I want to Netflix them — pay for access to every book ever published. I’d rather be a renter in Borges’ library than the owner of my own.
Everything, everywhere, all the time. That’s the dream of the Rentership Society. And we’re almost there. If you want to be able to possess some things, in some places, some of the time, well, keep on buying. But I vote for infinite abundance, on demand. Doesn’t that sound like the new century’s American dream?
Chris Suellentrop (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a story editor at The New York Times Magazine.
Para obtener el mejor rendimiento de Gmail, te sugerimos que inhabilites Firebug para http://www.google.com.
Usuarios de Windows o Linux
Para inhabilitar Firebug:
- Para abrir el panel de Firebug en la pestaña de Gmail, haz clic en el icono de Firebug.
- Haz clic en la flecha que hay al lado de la pestaña Red y selecciona Inhabilitar supervisión para mail.google.com.
- Repite el paso 2 en las pestañas Consola y Secuencia de comandos.
Si deseas mantener Firebug en funcionamiento, puedes mejorar el rendimiento de Gmail siguiendo estos pasos:
- Haz clic en el icono verde o rojo situado en la esquina inferior derecha de la ventana del navegador para abrir Firebug.
- Haz clic en la pestaña Consola.
- Selecciona Opciones.
- Desmarca Mostrar XMLHttpRequests.
- Haz clic en la pestaña Red.
- Selecciona Opciones.
- Marca Inhabilitar supervisión de red.
Usuarios de Mac
Para inhabilitar Firebug:
- Haz clic en el icono verde o rojo situado en la esquina inferior derecha de la ventana del navegador para abrir Firebug.
- Haz clic en el icono de error en la esquina superior izquierda de Firebug y selecciona «Inhabilitar Firebug para mail.google.com».
La inhabilitación de Firebug para Gmail no mejora los resultados de rendimiento; es posible que tengas que inhabilitar Firebug por completo.
The findings were consistent across all demographic groups in a sampling of 500 females between the ages of 18 to 35, which included women who were romantically involved with the caller but had requested some time apart to clear their heads, as well as women who had dated the caller briefly but assumed it was understood by both parties that the relationship had not worked out.
«No matter who they were, or what their perceived or actual relationship with the male caller was, women who failed to pick up the phone were statistically all but certain to be deep in the throes of coital passion with one or more virile lovers at the time of the call,» researcher Patrick Berger said. «In addition, a vast majority of the female participants we observed had seemingly forgotten all about the relationship they once had with the caller, and were, in fact, completely consumed by the vaginal gratification they were currently receiving.»
«A type of gratification they would hesitate to even call ‘sex,’ since it was so much more intense and transcendent than any kind of sex they had experienced before,» Berger added.
The study revealed that 80 percent of the time, women who declined to answer their phones were, at that very moment, being sexually pleasured by a man superior to the caller in terms of looks, genital endowment, and stamina. Researchers also found that a majority of women picked up the phone, examined the caller ID, and told their male lover «It’s nobody» before continuing with sexual intercourse.
In another 15 percent of cases, female research subjects had just journeyed to a land of pure sexual delight with another man and were, at the time the phone rang, smoking a cigarette while letting their fingertips graze over the unusually thick penis that had just brought them to, on average, four orgasms. The remaining 5 percent of non-answerers consisted of women who were stimulating their own genitals, either while talking on the phone to another man, instant-messaging another man, or simply imagining another man who had sexually turned them inside out on a recent occasion.
«It’s true that in a negligible number of cases, women did not answer because their cell battery had legitimately died,» Berger said. «But in each instance, they had either failed to charge their phone because they’d spent the night in someone else’s apartment, or had used up their battery’s power sending pictures of their naked body to another man.»
The study emphasized that while women who failed to answer the phone were almost unquestionably with someone else enjoying the most volcanic sensual escapade they’d ever had, there was also the possibility that they were busy gazing deeply into another man’s eyes, knowing and feeling a type of love they had never known or felt before.
«In many cases, during the time of the call, the woman was spending the afternoon with the man at that museum she’s always wanted to visit, afterward watching the sunset from the deck of the man’s boat,» said social psychologist Michael Corbin, a coauthor of the study. «In each case, the woman didn’t want a ringtone ruining a moment of true spiritual connection with the first man she had ever really, truly loved with all her heart.»
«Sex, however, always occurred subsequently,» Corbin added.
According to the researchers, the findings of this latest study are fully consistent with their previous behavioral investigations.
«Our prior research has already demonstrated that any communication between women and their old high school boyfriends will result in sexual relations and that a girls’ night out invariably leads to sexual contact with multiple men met in bars,» Corbin said. «We won’t be surprised if instances of women getting a drink after work with that cool, funny male coworker they’re always talking about yield similar results.»
The study also concluded that 99 percent of women who pick up the phone quickly and enthusiastically do so because they are expecting a call from another man.
There’s a lot of communication when you’re a manager. You have to communicate with each of your employees. You have to communicate “sideways” with your co-workers and customers. And you have to communicate upwards with your own manager or executive. You need some substance in the communication, of course — you need to have something worthy of being communicated. But substance isn’t enough — if you know what you’re doing and can’t properly communicate it to anyone else, then you’ll never be a good manager.
2. Listening Skills
This is a part of communication, but I want to single it out because it’s so important. Some managers get so impressed with themselves that they spend much more of their time telling people things than they spend listening. But no matter how high you go in the management hierarchy, you need to be able to listen. It’s the only way you’re really going to find out what’s going on in your organization, and it’s the only way that you’ll ever learn to be a better manager.
3. A Commitment to the Truth
You’ll find that the higher you are in the management hierarchy, the less likely you are to be in touch with reality. Managers get a lot of brown-nosing, and people tend to sugar-coat the news and tell managers what they want to hear. The only way you’ll get the truth is if you insist on it. Listen to what people tell you, and ask questions to probe for the truth. Develop information sources outside of the chain of command and regularly listen to those sources as well. Make sure you know the truth — even if it’s not good news.
This is the softer side of listening and truth. You should be able to understand how people feel, why they feel that way, and what you can do to make them feel differently. Empathy is especially important when you’re dealing with your customers. And whether you think so or not, you’ll always have customers. Customers are the people who derive benefit from the work you do. If no one derives benefit from your work, then what’s the point of keeping your organization around?
Put all four of the preceding skills together, because you’ll need them when you try to persuade someone to do something you want done. You could describe this as “selling” but it’s more general. Whether you’re trying to convince your employees to give you a better effort, your boss to give you a bigger budget, or your customers to agree to something you want to do for them, your persuasion skills will be strained to their limits.
Leadership is a specialized form of persuasion focused on getting other people to follow you in the direction you want to go. It’s assumed that the leader will march into battle at the head of the army, so be prepared to make the same sacrifices you’re asking your employees to make.
The key to successful leadership is focus. You can’t lead in a hundred different directions at once, so setting an effective leadership direction depends on your decision not to lead in the other directions. Focusing light rays means concentrating the light energy on one spot. Focusing effort means picking the most important thing to do and then concentrating your team’s effort on doing it.
8. Division of Work
This is the ability to break down large tasks into sub-tasks that can be assigned to individual employees. It’s a tricky skill — maybe more an art than a science, almost like cutting a diamond. Ideally you want to figure out how to accomplish a large objective by dividing the work up into manageable chunks. The people working on each chunk should be as autonomous as possible so that the tasks don’t get bogged down in endless discussion and debate. You have to pay careful attention to the interdependencies among the chunks. And you have to carefully assess each employee’s strengths, weaknesses and interests so that you can assign the best set of sub-tasks to each employee.
9. Obstacle Removal
Inevitably, problems will occur. Your ability to solve them is critical to the ongoing success of your organization. Part of your job is to remove the obstacles that are preventing your employees from doing their best.
10. Heat Absorption
Not all problems can be solved. When upper management complains about certain things that can’t be avoided (e.g., an unavoidable delay in a project deliverable), it’s your job to take the heat. But what’s more important, it’s your job to absorb the heat to keep it from reaching your employees. It’s the manager’s responsibility to meet objectives. If the objectives aren’t being met, then it’s the manager’s responsibility to:
- Make sure that upper management knows about the problem as early as possible.
- Take all possible steps to solve the problem with the resources you’ve been given.
- Suggest alternatives to management that will either solve the problem or minimize it. These other alternatives may propose the use of additional resources beyond the current budget, or they may propose a change in the objective that’s more achievable.
- Keep the problem from affecting the performance or morale of your employees.
11. Uncertainty Removal
When higher management can’t give you consistent direction in a certain area, it’s up to you to shield your employees from the confusion, remove the apparent uncertainty, and lead your employees in a consistent direction until there’s a good reason to change that direction.
12. Project Management
This is a more advanced skill that formalizes some of attributes 7 – 11. Although both “Management” and “Project Management” contain the word “management,” they aren’t the same thing. Management implies a focus on people, while Project Management implies a focus on the project objective. You can be a Manager and a Project Manager, or you can be a Manager without being a Project Manager. You can also be a Project Manager without being a Manager (in which case you don’t have people reporting to you — you just deal with overseeing the project-specific tasks).
13. Administrative and Financial Skills
Most managers have a budget, and you’ll have to be able to set the budget and then manage to it. You’ll also have to deal with hiring, firing, rewarding good employee performance, dealing with unacceptable performance from some employees, and generally making sure that your employees have the environment and tools they need to do their work. It’s ironic that this is skill number 13 (an unlucky number in some cultures), because a lot of managers hate this part of the job the most. But if you’re good at budgeting, you’ll find it much easier to do the things you want to do. And hiring and dealing with employees on a day-to-day basis is one of the key skills to give you the best, happiest and most productive employees.
This article explains some of the things you’ll need to learn before you become a successful manager. You can probably become a manager without having all of these skills, but you’ll need all of them to be really successful and to get promoted to higher levels of management.
For every one of these skills, there are various levels of performance. No one expects a new manager to be superior at every one of these skills, but you should be aware of all of them, and you should do everything you can to learn more about each skill. Some of that learning will come through education (like reading the articles on this web site — you might want to subscribe). But much of the learning will come through experience — trial and error.
Just learn as much as you can about each skill, take nothing for granted, and focus on doing the very best that you can do. Learn from your mistakes and try not to repeat them. And ask for feedback — in many cases you won’t know what you could do better unless someone tells you.
Related Posts and Articles
- Why Do You Want to Be a Manager?
- The 7 Biggest Challenges of a Manager
- First-Time Manager Stories of Failure and Success
- Advice for New Managers on How to Avoid Harwell’s Laws
- Why Middle Managers are Important
- How to Become a CIO
- How to Fail as a CIO
- Get Off the Train, and Join the Fleet (about motivating employees)
- 10 Rules for IT Job Success
- 8 Attributes of an Ideal Boss
- 18 Things I Believe about Business — a Manifesto
- What Managers Need to Know about IT (information about my book, Boiling the IT Frog, including an excerpt)
«No por mucho twittear, seremos más retwitteados» podría ser la versión adaptada a Twitter de uno de los populares refranes españoles. De hecho, un estudio demuestra que el 71% de los tweets no produce ninguna reacción en forma de replies o retweets por los seguidores. No obstante, esto no significa que no sean leídos o no se haga clic en los enlaces que contienen para obtener más información. Aún así, sólo el 6% de las publicaciones en Twitter tienen una contestación y/o retweet.
Un estudio de Sysomos del que se hace eco Mashable revela la repercusión de los tweets que se publican en el microblogging más de moda del momento. El informe ha estudiado el comportamiento de 1.200 millones de tweets durante 2 meses para llegar a algunas conclusiones interesantes. No obstante, como todos los estudios hay que coger los datos con cautela.
El 71% de los tweets analizados no provocan ninguna reacción, teniendo en cuenta que por reacción el estudio entiende tweets y replies. De hecho, sólo el 6% consigue que sean retwitteados por los seguidores mientras que el 23% obtiene una respuesta por parte de los followers. Sin embargo, debemos tener en cuenta que los tweets se ven, crean imagen de marca o persona y permiten acceder a información adicional sobre el tema.
Whether it’s the $14 beers or the way the bartender has to duck whenever a dancer spins around the pole, there’s just something about strip clubs.
Clooney charged steaks, liquor and lap dances to rack up a bill big enough to buy a 3-bedroom house in Kansas. According to the club, he’s since made some small payments, but nothing big enough to put a dent in his debt. So, they’ve filed a lawsuit against him, seeking $46,698.18.
This got us thinking: surely James Clooney isn’t the first guy who’s gotten a little heavy-handed with the free champagne and ended up slinking away from a massive strip club tab. Turns out, we were right. A lot of people want to party like rock stars, then wake up the next day, covered in credit card receipts and shame.
Keep reading for the biggest strip club debts to date.
In 2004, Mitchell Blaser filed a lawsuit against a Manhattan Scores for overcharging him — to the tune of $28,021. He says they ripped him off. They say: You can’t buy five magnums of champagne and hundreds of lap dances and not expect to pay a pretty penny. Not helping Blaser’s case is the fact that he signed receipts for every purchase.
4. $29, 512
James Hackett of Andover, Massachusetts, filed a dispute against a $29,512 charge to his AmEx made at Club Paradise in Las Vegas while he was in town for a convention. His defense? Somebody took his wallet and then returned it to him while he was sitting in his hotel bar. He doesn’t know what happened after that because he drank so many martinis while watching a Red Sox game that he blacked out in the lobby. Riiight. Because nobody ever gets blackout drunk and goes to a strip club.
At Club 10 gentleman’s parlor in Okaloosa, Florida, a young Tommy Slater decided to celebrate his college graduation. He told employees he had about $600 to spend, but his bill came out to $53,000. Whoops. Later the club agreed to drop $39,000 of the charges, because they were made illegally after hours, leaving the total amount owed at $14,000. If he didn’t have post-college debt to pay off before, he does now.
A Bangladeshi diplomat’s husband landed himself in hot water and lost his wife her job, when he managed to spend nearly $130,000 in just seven hours at Scores in New York. The bill was spread out over four credit cards, with no expenses itemized. Tauhidul Chaudhury disputed the charges, saying he was intoxicated (ya think?), and that Scores kept plying him with alcohol. Scores responded by saying that Chaudhury «partied like a potentate» — which we personally think is kind of a weird thing for a strip club representative to say.
The granddaddy of all enormously out-of-control, unpaid strip club bills? The $241,000 tab that Robert McCormack, an executive from Missouri, managed to rack up at Scores. McCormack refused to pay, admitting only that he had probably spent only $20,000, which is still quite a few clams to throw down on lap dances and cocktails. A lawsuit involving McCormack, his (former) employer Savvis Communications Corp., Scores and American Express was eventually settled confidentially out of court. A hat’s off and slow clap to you, sir.
Looking back, we guess if there’s one thing to be learned from all of these tales, it’s to operate on a strict cash-only basis at strip clubs. And also, never, ever go to Scores, because that place is crazy expensive.
Great comment and analysis of what is happening and what will happen with phone calls. Check it out, find out more at: Wired.com
My phone bills are shrinking. Not, unfortunately, in cost. I mean they’re getting shorter. I recently found an old bill from a decade ago; it was fully 15 pages long, because back then I was making a ton of calls—about 20 long-distance ones a day. Today my bills are a meager two or three pages, at most.
Odds are this has happened to you, too. According to Nielsen, the average number of mobile phone calls we make is dropping every year, after hitting a peak in 2007. And our calls are getting shorter: In 2005 they averaged three minutes in length; now they’re almost half that.
We’re moving, in other words, toward a fascinating cultural transition: the death of the telephone call. This shift is particularly stark among the young. Some college students I know go days without talking into their smartphones at all. I was recently hanging out with a twentysomething entrepreneur who fumbled around for 30 seconds trying to find the option that actually let him dial someone.
This generation doesn’t make phone calls, because everyone is in constant, lightweight contact in so many other ways: texting, chatting, and social-network messaging. And we don’t just have more options than we used to. We have better ones: These new forms of communication have exposed the fact that the voice call is badly designed. It deserves to die.
Consider: If I suddenly decide I want to dial you up, I have no way of knowing whether you’re busy, and you have no idea why I’m calling. We have to open Schrödinger’s box every time, having a conversation to figure out whether it’s OK to have a conversation. Plus, voice calls are emotionally high-bandwidth, which is why it’s so weirdly exhausting to be interrupted by one. (We apparently find voicemail even more excruciating: Studies show that more than a fifth of all voice messages are never listened to.)
The telephone, in other words, doesn’t provide any information about status, so we are constantly interrupting one another. The other tools at our disposal are more polite. Instant messaging lets us detect whether our friends are busy without our bugging them, and texting lets us ping one another asynchronously. (Plus, we can spend more time thinking about what we want to say.) For all the hue and cry about becoming an “always on” society, we’re actually moving away from the demand that everyone be available immediately.
In fact, the newfangled media that’s currently supplanting the phone call might be the only thing that helps preserve it. Most people I know coordinate important calls in advance using email, text messaging, or chat (r u busy?). An unscheduled call that rings on my phone fails the conversational Turing test: It’s almost certainly junk, so I ignore it. (Unless it’s you, Mom!)
Indeed, I predict that as this sort of hybrid coordination evolves, it will produce a steep power law in the way we use voice calls. We’ll still make fewer, as most of our former phone time will migrate to other media. But the calls we do make will be longer, reserved for the sort of deep discussion that the medium does best.
Our handsets could also use a serious redesign. If they showed our status—are you free to talk?—it would vastly streamline the act of calling. And as video-chatting becomes more common, enabled by the new iPhone and other devices, we might see the growth of persistent telepresence, leaving video-chat open all day so we can speak to a spouse or colleague spontaneously. (Some Skype users already do this.)
Or, to put it another way, we’ll call less but talk more.