I’ve been wondering about the art of corporate play (Plork = play + work), the need for fun at work, the ability to be human in an environment that has the tendency to be intense and humorless at times. Where has the sense of community gone? I’m glad I have it, but wish it permeated further.
Perhaps for some, the desire for a “secondlife” has arisen from the need for freedom “just to hang out” and have some space to simply be, no strings, no expectations. Have other online social networking platforms like Facebook and Myspace refreshed the desire for freedom of expression once found in some work cultures? Or are they creating cultures finding social norm in digital form? Is it a little inside out? Do we just need to expose a few neurons before we feel free to express ourselves these days?
Have our digital identities become more pervasive as a corporate community building platform than traditional social banter? In Virtual Worlds, friends give gifts of clothing and accessories and offer to teleport friends to a new event. Friends chew the fat, chatting amongst the planets listening to ambient beats. The chillout zone of the dot com era is replaced by a virtual chill out sim. Facebook friends share gifts and grow fish.
Anything labeled fun these days is frowned upon and treated with skepticism. Secondlife, blogging, anything with nice graphics or a social element is seen as a waste of time. Then they wonder why people are leaving the company. A healthy dose of pragmatism is great, but it would be nice to see more people play and happy at work.
Mr Wonderwebby begins each day at work with his team, laughing at newspaper quiz questions and answers. It gets the team spirit fired up and seems to work nicely for them. It just happened and makes for a nice social medicine. Verbal communication and real gifts should not be forgotten in an age of text and email birthday greetings. The form of communication we choose can make a real difference.
However, as far as banter goes – do you think that fun “over the partition” conversation been replaced with tweets for an extended global audience? If social media is fun, is it really that bad for you? If laughter is the best medicine, is social media good for you? ;)