“We all need to stop and reflect on our impulsive smartphone habits because, in an age when our eyes and hearts are captured by the latest polished gadget, we need more self-criticism, not less.”
–Tony Reinke, 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), 23.
In 2017 I entered a new and much busier season of life, so it’s become harder to post as regularly as I would like and in the way that I’ve been doing since I began this blog. I still want to keep sharing what I come across in my reading, however; so, I’m going to do posts the way my pastor does them (he is a terrific reader). This means I’ll share only the quote with no commentary of my own, and I won’t include any photos. I’ll probably tinker with this new model as I go along, so bear with me. I trust that those of you who follow this blog will continue to enjoy and appreciate some, if not all, of what I share. Thanks for reading!
Companies that restrict or limit employees’ ability to use social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter during work hours are understandably trying to reduce distraction that results in waste and inefficiency. As studies have shown, however, such policies turn out to be counterproductive, because workers who surf the Internet or use social media for reasonable amounts of time while at work are generally more productive and effective.
Now let me be honest: This is a finding which I’ve enthusiastically pounced on as a way of justifying my social media habits while at work. The fact is that there are still many days when I would be more productive if I spent less time on these sites and more time in focused, extended stretches of work. But this is something I’m conscious of and getting better at, so with that admission aside, I’d like to share below how Matt Perman puts this in his excellent and wonderfully practical book What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done (Zondervan, 2014). I especially like what he says about how having and using online networks can help workers in today’s “knowledge economy.”
“For self-motivated people, time spent on Facebook is actually productive. It is productive for building networks and spreading truth. Both of these build people up, and thus increase productive capacity.
“Research bears this out by showing that employees with extensive online networks (such as through Facebook, LinkedIn, and so forth) are actually more productive than those without them.
“Facebook and other online networks and interaction help us refine, spread, and gain ideas. These are three core competencies in the era of knowledge work” (249-250).