Social Media and Learning

The internet would definitely contest for a top finish if inventions by Man were to be graded. An offshoot of the internet wonder is social media which enables people living poles apart to socially interact. The fast growing number of platforms and applications available testify to the level of interactions that go on on the internet. Needless to say that there is a massive piece of information available on the internet.

While I admit that these information are directed at different end users, I am curious on the actual amount which constitute learning. If the amount of blogs, monologues and other writings that are churned out daily are anything to go by, we should have productive employees and flourishing businesses. The reality on ground is not commensurate to the number of business writings available in links and posts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social sites. If this is so, it becomes imperative to begin to look on how much learning takes place on Social Media.

For learning to have taken place, there has to be a shift in processes which will lead to improved outputs. If however results are dwindling or a business is rooted in the same position even after learning interventions, it then calls for concern. As interests in learning on social media is gathering momentum, it is pertinent to sound a note of caution. Some of the materials available on social media for learning are not practicable. In academia, social media contents do not make it onto peer-reviewed journals. I think the business community should also be wary of what they use from social media.

I agree that there are lots of experts to learn from on social media but I think some posts and writings are generic. Even within an industry, no two organisations are the same; each with specific needs. Contrarily, individual and organisational learning resources on social media are not company-specific. Yes, it is a source of general information and knowledge but not a solution to your business learning needs.

Consequently, companies investing in social media learning and neglecting the traditional on-the-job and closed space learning need to have a rethink. I’ll suggest more of the investment on learning should be directed towards the traditional approaches and social media majorly be used for business promotion and service delivery. If however there are businesses that have harnessed the potentials of social media learning, how were they able to achieve that?

Please drop your comments below.

Bashir Mudi Baba can be reached on Twitter @El_De_Bash

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