Is your productivity being crippled by Social Media?
Social media websites have taken the online world by storm. In August, Pew Research Center stated that their survey showed that 50% of all Americans are using at least one social media website. These sites are used to connect with former classmates or co-workers, to keep in touch with family members who live miles away and as a platform to express oneself. These websites have also become an important way for people to promote themselves or their business. Websites like LinkIn are commonly used by people to help further their career, and Facebook and Twitter are often used as an advertising platform.
Today’s World of Technology
Like it or not, social media websites are part of the online world today, and it looks as if they will be here for a long time. Facebook alone boasts over 800 million active users, and Tweeter members are posting over 200 million tweets per day. In order to stay in touch with the world around you, it is necessary to have some form of activity on these social media websites. The question is how to know when you are spending too much time socializing on these websites. Could you be wasting so much time that you are actually crippling your productivity?
How Much Time is Spent on Social Media Websites
In March of 2011, harmon.ie conducted a survey of hundreds of IT workers to learn more about their interaction with social media websites. The survey showed that over 50% of the workers claimed to waste at least one hour per workday on various types of distractions, including social media sites. If people are willing to waste one hour of work time, they are likely to squander even more of their own personal time. Nielsen release data from their study, which reveals that when the average person is online, almost 20% of that time is spent on social media websites. Is this much time devoted to social media really the best use of your time?
With so much time being spent on social media websites, it is easy to see how this could affect a person’s productivity. The problem is that many people have become obsessed with their interaction with these websites. Some people check these sites for updates as often as every 15 to 30 minutes, even if they are in the middle of another task. This obviously causes a huge distraction and will increase the amount of time it takes to complete a task. The more time that a person wastes, the less productive they will be. In turn, this decrease in productivity is likely to translate into less success in a person’s work and personal life.
People are spending so much time on social media websites and emails that this is quickly becoming the main source of communication between people. Instead of using the phone or scheduling a meeting, people are using technology to correspond back and forth. This lack of personal communication translates into poor interpersonal skills, which hinders their ability to have face-to-face meetings. A lack of social interaction can also limit a person’s ability to focus at meetings or conferences and can cripple their interviewing skills.
As to whether social media websites are crippling your productivity comes down to how you choose to spend your time. One of the biggest problems with social media is that you can spend a lot of time on these sites without realizing it. If you find yourself constantly checking these websites throughout the day, either at work or at home, it may be time to reevaluate your time-management plan. To ensure that you use your time wisely, it is best to set time aside specifically to use social media websites. This will help you limit your time on these sites and allow you to focus on the present task.
There is a smart and a reckless way to use social media websites. Although, social media does have some important benefits, you cannot spend so much time on these sites that your other personal tasks are not getting done. It may seem like you are only checking your various sites quickly just to see if there are any new updates. The truth is that even short times add up if you are using the websites often. Once you are aware of the potential problem, you should easily be able to track your online time and make adjustments as necessary.