Sunday December 04, 2016

Social media is damaging your career

Listen 10:09

Is it time for you to quit social media?

Cal Newport thinks it is. In fact, he says, "Your career may depend on it."

Cal is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University.

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Cal Newport

He recently wrote a piece for the New York Times, urging people to break up with their social media networks in order to succeed in their careers, which he admits "runs counter to our current understanding of social media's role in the professional sphere."

Cal's most recent book, Deep Work, argues that focus is the new I.Q. and  people who can concentrate without distraction will thrive.

Cal is a millennial and a computer scientist, yet he's never had a social media account. "As far I can tell, I'm the only one. The last of my generation," he says.

"I think people of my generation have been sold this story that social media is very important for your career. And I actually think that the harms of social media to your career are being underemphasized."

Cal says that you're deluding yourself if you think Twitter messages, posts and 'likes' are a productive use of your time. He argues that the distraction they cause is harmful, making us worse at focussing and being able to concentrate on difficult things.

He adds that if you're serious about making an impact in the world, forget social media and "roll up your sleeves and get to work."