CCT 300W Social Media Use and Interpersonal Skills: Informational Email Report
Due Date: September 30, 2013, by 4 p.m.
Jeffrey Zaslow, in a November 5, 2009, article called “The Greatest Generation of Networkers” in the The Wall Street Journal, examined attitudes about Millennials in the workplace. Consider a few of the comments:
Because so many people in their teens and early 20s are in this constant whir of socializing—accessible to each other every minute of the day via cell phone, instant messaging and social-networking website—there are a host of new questions that need to be addressed in schools, in the workplace, and at home. Chief among them: How much work can “hyper-socializing” students or employees really accomplish if they are holding multiple conversations with friends via text messaging or are obsessively checking Facebook?
Some argue they can accomplish a great deal: This generation has a gift for multitasking, and because they’ve integrated technology into their lives, their ability to remain connected to each other will serve them and their employers well. Others contend that these hyper-socializers are serial time-wasters, that the bonds between them are shallow, and that their face-to-face interpersonal skills are poor.
Does text messaging prepare one to interact in the workplace? “The unspoken attitude is, “I don’t need you. I have the Internet,” says P.M. Johnson, the 58-year-old director of the Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins University, which studies politeness and manners. “The Net provides an opportunity to play hide-and-seek, to say and not say, to be truthful and to pretend. There is a lot of communication going on that is futile and trivial.”
That’s far too harsh an assessment, says Ben Bosley, 32, a technology analyst at Creative Strategies, a consulting firm in Campbell, California. He argues that because young people are so adept at multimedia socializing, their social skills are actually strengthened. They’re good at “managing conversations” and getting to the pithy essence of an issue, he says, which will help them in the workplace.
While their older colleagues waste time holding meetings or engaging in long phone conversations, young people have an ability to sum things up in one-sentence text messages, Bosley says. “They know how to optimize and prioritize. They will call or set up a meeting if it’s needed. If not, they text. “And given their vast network of online acquaintances, they discover who can become true friends or valued business colleagues—people they wouldn’t have been able to find in the pre-Internet era.
Your Challenge: Write an informational email report to your boss, Dr. Faridah Awang at Faridah.awang@eku.edu., by answering the following questions related to the above passage from Zaslow:
A. In what ways do communication tools enhance the effective development of interpersonal skills needed in the workplace?
B. In what ways do communication tools hamper the effective development of interpersonal skills needed in the workplace?
C. What are some of the most valuable communication skills that Millennials bring to the workplace?
D. What are communication skills that you think Millennials most need to develop?
E. It’s safe to assume that some non-Millenial workers hold a viewpoint similar to that of
P.M. Johnson in the passage above. What does this imply for you as you enter the workplace?
Guidelines:
1. Choose the Communication Strategy
Deductive Inductive Inductive
2. Report Organization: Informational Report handout – Category method
3. Components of Effective Emails
1. Descriptive subject line
2. Greeting
3. Message (headings and numbered/bulleted formats leads to rapid processing of information)
4. Closing
5. Complete, professional signature line
6. Disclaimer
4. Apply the Critical Thinking State-Elaborate-Example-Illustrate Approach in Content/Message


A.)	Online communication tools allow people to constantly multitask and stay connected with updates. This is effective for a fast passé business. This is especially important for the e-business. Online communication is gaining customer success, and the e business is increasing its value. Sites such as ebay and amazon allow customers to buy goods without traveling. As such, customers can shop when they want without store hour limitations. 
B.)	 In businesses where online communications isn’t often used, multimedia can cause distractions, forcing employee’s face-to-face interpersonal skills to be poor. If people are texting about their personal lives while on the job than they may not be able to perform their assigned business tasks. These issues can have a negative impact on a business. Such slacking can include: not being able to deliver required service to customers, not answering phone calls, not having a relationship with customers. According to W.G. Mangold, ‘’Even though social media is magnifying the
Impact consumer-to-consumer conversations have in the marketplace, methods for shaping those conversations have not yet been articulated.’’  
C.)	Sites such as Facebook, youtube, yahoo answers, have allowed this generation to be able to sum up important information in dense detail. Such sites allow companies to advertise their products. Some customers are willing to give their money to a business that uses a Facebook. Social media like Facebook also allows like-minded people to communicate. Some customers feel obligated to post feedback, and some business websites encourages it. 
D.)	Millennials need to develop better oral skills. While the internet is a 24/7 learning tool, it does not prepare people in face to face conversations. The question we should ask ourselves is, what ways can people use social media, and how can it be centered on effective oral skills? 
E.)	Despite my written communication skills, social sites do not help me communicate orally; nor does it help with presentation skills.  I can hide behind a computer, sounding as impressive as I want, but when it comes to face to face oral skills, it doesn’t help me. Giving a presentation online isn’t an issue for me. However, if I come to the point where I have to do it face to face there will be a good chance that I could struggle.