Weekly Roundup – July 5, 2010

Social media in the workplace was in the news once again recently as Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtless used his twitter account to announce the impending execution by firing squad of convicted murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner. Tweeting once to announce the time of the execution drawing near, and following it up with a tweet indicating he had given the order to fire, Shurtless sparked controversy for his comments alluding to “justice being served”. Many questioned an elected official using such a public medium to provide his thoughts on the always-a-hot-topic death penalty. Others felt advertising a man’s death in such a public forum was disrespectful at best, an abuse of power at worse. This again brings up questions about public officials using social media, as well as the place of social media in the workplace. How much is too much when it comes to revealing your thoughts on work to the masses? See the tweets for yourself at www.twitter.com/markshurtleff

A recently released study by Paul Zak of Claremont Graduate University in California seems to suggest that friendly interaction on social media can produce the same feelgood hormones as old fashioned face-to-face interaction. Zak’s study consisted of testing blood hormone levels both before and after 10 minutes of twitter use. Results showed that during the period of twitter use, oxytocin levels were raised, while stress hormones decreased. Increased oxycontin levels are often associated with making people more kind and empathetic to their fellow human beings. This is excellent news for all you social media addicts. One, you can argue that your online friends are just as good as your “real life” friends, so go ahead and throw that in the face of anyone that calls you a loser. Two, this offers you a perfect excuse to spend more time on twitter or Facebook. Mom or the boss yelling at you for being on Facebook chat all the time instead of doing actual work, or going to the park? You’re not being anti-social, you’re “working on your interpersonal skills”. Win! Read the full story at:


In lighter news, there’s a new queen atop the Facebook throne, and her name is Lady Gaga. On Friday June 2nd, 2010, the always fun to look at pop singer surpassed US President Barack Obama as the most “liked” living person on the site, with over 10 million users clicking the thumbs up. To put it in perspective, only five pages of any type have more “likes”, while only one other individual (Michael Jackson) passes Gaga on the like scale. Gaga posted a video message on her page thanking her “little monsters” (as she calls her fans) for the support. So as America turns the ripe old age of 234 this weekend, her president is defeated in popularity by a frequently pants-less pop star. Ain’t that America.

Check out Gaga’s thank you video to her fans at www.facebook.com/ladygaga

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