Review of Back to Human

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Today’s social communications technologies and apps drive people apart. Isolation, loneliness and depression are on the rise, especially among youth who are addicted to social media and texting. Impersonal communications erode trust, camaraderie and collaboration. This leaves the majority of your workforce disengaged. Dan Schawbel, a Facebook and app-loving millennial, urges you to “put down your phone, turn off your notifications and get offline.” He offers the radical suggestion that you get up and go see people in person. His advice for young leaders can be repetitive, but Schawbel hits the mark: Lead by example, spend time with your team members, he says, get to know them, invest in their development, listen, coach and show that you care. New entrants to the workforce, and especially new leaders, will benefit from Schawbel’s counterintuitive guidance – especially given the slim chance that he convinces you to balance screen time with face time. 

About the Author

Dan Schawbel leads research for Future Workplace and speaks at events and conferences globally about the generations, personal branding and careers.


The Lonely Generation: Addressing Isolation

Dan Schawbel recognizes today’s underlying reality: that technology, particularly computers, smartphones and social media apps, enables unprecedented but superficial connectivity. They contribute to isolation and loneliness, especially for those among whom addiction is most pronounced: young people. People feel cut off at work and elsewhere; they collaborate, but mostly through devices. Many individuals crave real, in-person time with other people but, instead, suffer isolation, even in big firms or major cities.  

Isolation, Schawbel details, causes stress, anxiety and, eventually, grave mental conditions. At work, isolation erodes trust, engagement and performance. Participation in social media doesn’t offer a remedy; it hampers interpersonal skills and harms well-being. 

More on this topic

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The Gig Is Up
Leaders in Lockdown
Subtle Acts of Exclusion
Office Optional

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