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Slack is bad, actually | HuffPost Life

"I hit you" can still be a confusing phrase to some – but not too long if Slack has anything to say about it. The fast-growing company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange last week with the ambition that its corporate chat platform will enter even more offices and lexicons.

The jury is aware of whether Slack allegedly spends 10 million plus people, is a good thing for productivity and communication. With its instant messaging convenience, Slack is designed to keep your attention within its limits, which sometimes comes at the expense of actually getting some work done. You can share a Google Doc in it, sync your calendars and connect emails through it. But when Slack becomes the primary form of workplace communication, Slack output can become metric of congestion and diligence.

"The greatest strength: great ease of use is also its weakness: it makes it all too easy for anyone to default to using Slack for communication," wrote software programmer Andrea Liu in a criticism of Slack on Medium. She added: "Big or small, everything comes in through Slack shares the same compact shape and worse, the same level of urgency."

"It is clear from my years to spend lax work is that it is first and foremost a tool for corporate oversight."

When I hear Slack Ping announcing a new message, I feel a Pavlovian who pulls to read it, just as immediately. There is a red circle that notes the number of new messages that kill me to lose what I do and click. It's safe in design. Tristan Harris, a former Google employee, became an industry critic and notes that red is a known trigger color.

These psychological traits are not good for my productivity and peace of mind, but for me it is not the worst at Slack. What has become clear from my years of use of Slack in the workplace is that it is primarily a tool for corporate surveillance. Slack stands for "Searchable Log of All Communication and Knowledge", after all. Its positive use depends on how much you trust your employer not to read your messages, for yes, they have complete access.

And in offices where the assumption of positive intent has been eroded, and colleagues whispering furtively in the halls, it certainly does not extend very far. It is bad for morals and bad for the basic need for basic mutual respect and trust between employees and employers for any good cooperation.

When you send GIFs to your colleagues in a direct message, it can feel like a private chat room to gossip and get rid of, but Slack ultimately belongs to your boss. The app is an extension of your boss's technology. If you used your boss's laptop all day, would you trust them, not look at what you say about them? It's their computer.

How to tell who can read your private DMs.

To find out who can read your instant messages, go to yourteamname.slack.com/account/team. Then you can switch to "Retention & Exports" to see your company's data storage plan. If you switch to "Admins & Owners", you can see the list of employees with designated access.

Both admins and owners can easily download public messages, delete logs, archived public channels, and links to files included in a public channel through what is called a standard export Only workplace owners can, however, seek to view private channels and direct messages "after needs and allowed by law "through a corporate export. They must first apply to use this export tool, but once approved by Slack, they can schedule the export to see all private messages.

According to Slack, applications can be made in connection with investigations at the workplace, compliance with archival requirements, lawsuits require publication and more.

It's too easy to see each other on Slack.

The publicly available knowledge Slack offers can also turn us all into snoops, as employees can easily monitor each other. I was once in a turbulent office where colleagues disappeared from one day to the next; they were fired or dismissed without a formal notice. In the vacuum of official information, Slack became the final source of who was abandoned or fired.

There, as the burial canon in "The Hunger Games" that announced the identity of the fallen each night, we could tell who was fired by seeing if their Slack account was disabled. App & # 39; s an ugly but satisfying answer to our continuing questions about whether it was in holiday or actually gone well.

At that time, my colleagues' deactivated status felt like an act of sousveillance, a way of turning the camera back and grasping some feelings of control in a mass of layoffs. But looking back, the ease with which I was able to look at my colleagues' private job information through a public Slack detail contributed to my unease in the office. Turning the lens back to my colleagues reminded me how fast it could be my trip. I always felt that someone was watching and reporting on me, probably because they could easily.

On Slack you can also see who strikes the most on your team by seeing who is the most active user. Click the arrow at the name of your Slack organization, then go to "Analytics". Then you can click on "Members" and sort the notified messages to see which of them beats the most.

  You don't have to keep the bad messages forever.
You don't have to keep these Slack messages forever.

One way to personally limit the public data on other Slack users can be to plan your DMs to be deleted. To do this, click the gear icon in a direct message conversation and then click "Edit message retention". Then you can set Slack to delete messages and revisions after a certain number of days.

But it's only a small answer to the bigger question about how much you should share yourself on Slack. I use Slack regularly because my colleagues use it to communicate and I do not want to deviate from the norm. And I laugh at the GIFs. I love the following entertaining threads that don't directly include me. Like many workers who sometimes work from home or in remote places, I am a social animal that needs an immediate way to connect with colleagues so I feel less at work alone.

But I won't be sad when a new technology that allows an employee's privacy over their boss's ability to monitor them comes together and I can leave Slack for good.

Meanwhile, my advice is still that when discussing sensitive information with a colleague, don't Slack it – say, "let's take it offline."

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