Are Social Media Networks A Distraction?
Today while surfing through my favorite blog Mashable, I found this post discussing about Social Media’s effect on a company’s productivity and how social media networks are distracting users from their daily tasks whether they are professionals, students, employees etc. The post also shows an infographic created by LearnStuff which provides approximate data on how social media destroys productivity.
While going through the whole infographic, I suddenly realized even I am wasting too much of a time on Facebook, Twitter and IMs such as Gtalk and Skype. Being a blogger my primary job is to post new content on my blog and help promote it but I spent almost of 4-5 hours a day on social networks and IMs unnecessarily. If I can utilize those 4-5 hours a day and concentrate on writing new articles for my blog I may definitely add some extra value to my blog. I am not against social media in fact I think social media is one of the finest source to communicate, engage, research and promote oneself or your products but with that I can’t ignore the infographic from LearnStuff.
Now let us understand this topic more clearly. The research shows that 2 out of 3 internet users have a social media account. This means facebook, twitter, linkedin, pinterest etc. have become an integral part of our daily lives, among which facebook and twitter are the most popular ones. Our day doesn’t start without logging into Facebook and checking our news feed for once or check new notifications, messages or any new friend requests. Besides that we also wish “Good Morning” to our Twitter friends/followers no matter if we forget to wish the same to our parents at home, real life friends or colleagues at office. It seems like social media networks are creating a whole new virtual world on the internet. This can be proved with the user base of facebook (955,000,000 users) which is almost 13% of the total world population and 3 times the US population. To add more flavor to it, almost 42% of Americans have an active account on Facebook. The overall data researched by LearnStuff team focuses on US more so the impact of social media Globally would be much more.
Lets figure out the impact by categorizing social media network users.
A recent survey shows that workers are interrupted once every 10.5 minutes by IMs, tweets and messages via facebook. And it takes almost 23 minutes for each of these social media users to get back to their work. And the result is low productivity for the company because of the social media distraction. Only in the US it costs around 650,000,000,000 dollars per year disturbing the national economy which actually makes $ 4452 per year for each social media user.
This is the group that uses social media networks for everything they do in their daily life. If they click a photo, they post it on Facebook, tweet about it on Twitter, pin it to Pinterest etc. If they eat out at some place they check into Foursquare as well as tweet and share it on Twitter and Facebook respectively. These are the people who stay on the internet for more time as well. The research shows that 92% of college students are active on Facebook and more to the fact they spend 3 hours daily to check social networking sites and only 2 hours are spared for studies. To make this even worse, a recently study also claims that the GPA of college students that regularly use Facebook is a full point lower compared to those who don’t use Facebook much. They even often mistake social networks as the best destination to find the love of their lives and almost ruin their real world social life. I am not saying everyone who uses social network falls into it but most do.
The infographic has nothing to show regarding bloggers community who I think are also distracted by social media influence in their day to day lives. We, bloggers, use social media networks to promote ourselves as pro blogger as well as promoting our blog and hence increasing traffic and our social media influence. I have been listening or reading posts on Facebook and Twitter where Bloggers do complain about getting distracted by these social networks that they don’t get much time to write content for their blogs which is true for me as well. Writing content for your blog needs a lot of research and concentration. Any kind of distraction or interruption whether offline or online has a lot of impact on your post. So yes, social media becomes a distraction sometimes with unwanted friend request, unwanted addition to groups, unwanted invites to events, unwanted requests to like pages and many other spams. Then I think if I am getting distracted when I am just a newbie in the blogging industry what would be happening to the top notch bloggers in the industry. But in reality they don’t get distracted, instead they ignore such interruption using privacy settings and controlling their urges as well which is biggest difference between a newbie blogger and a top notch blogger.
Social Media can be a useful tool if used wisely and if you make it as your slave than being the other way round.
In my next post, I will share my views on how one can use social media much to their advantage than being enslaved to it or getting distracted by it.