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Societal pressure gets social


We all want to eat healthful food and be a paragon of nutritional virtue. But, more so, we really, really, really want that candy bar. (Admit it, this photo is making you hungry, isn’t it?)

At a company in the UK, the vending machine is wired to tweet every time someone gets a snack. “James in HR just bought a candy bar” is tweeted to everyone at the company. And, as you can imagine, people aren’t all the happy with this technological innovation, citing it as an invasion of privacy.

But, on the flip side, could this social shaming be used for the public good? Maybe a health care company wants to apply a little social pressure to help their employees eat less junk food. Maybe a company tweets out how many miles you just ran on the treadmill in the corporate gym. Maybe a tweet goes out every time a sales person lands a new client.

Imagine the possibilities – the exact same social norms and mores we experience every day could be extrapolated into social media posts that could shape, and even change, employee behavior. For the better, hopefully.