I've been thinking about how technology has changed dating, weddings and even gossip ever since seeing 50 Cent and Justin Timberlake's "Ayo Technology" and reading a USA Today article that claims office gossip is spread faster these days because of instant messenger and e-mail. While office gossip isn't exactly fodder for official study, USA Today claims it has taken on new dimensions in this digital age — even becoming a "dynamic force that can build camaraderie but can also destroy work relationships or careers." Here's more:
The proliferation of instant messaging, Internet blogs and e-mail means rumors in the workplace spread faster and farther, and can do more lasting damage.
While this seems obvious to me, it's not a topic I had considered until the last couple of weeks, when a friend admitted she mistakenly imed the wrong co-worker and typed some unnecessarily catty details about another woman in the office. Sadly, my friend isn't alone. USA Today also notes:
Nearly two-thirds of employees say that people in their workplace gossip about company news, according to an August study by Steelcase, a Grand Rapids, Mich., provider of office furniture and equipment. Twenty-eight percent of employees who work in offices without a consistent method of communicating news (such as staff meetings) say gossip is their first source for information.
I try to re-read my e-mails before I send them and consider whether they are appropriate for all eyes. Like it or not, I don't think our e-mails are as protected and safe as we might like to hope. What do you think?