SOCIAL MEDIA / MAR. 03, 2014
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Are We Spending Too Much Time On Social Media?

Something that is hard to avoid today if you are online is Social Media. Even if you are not online, it is constantly on the news, because many of these websites have become multi-billion dollar businesses. One issue that has become apparent though is the addictive nature of social media and the amount of time people are spending on it. But an issue which is not often tackled is whether or not using social media is having an effect on your work. So here I ask the question: are you using social media at work and if so is it affecting your productivity? If indeed this is the case, then perhaps you need to cut back on your usage. In the accompanying video, Coca-Cola offers an interesting way of limiting usage of social media. But to be honest, I reckon it would actually be surprisingly effective, if not somewhat embarrassing.

How Much We Use Social Media

When you examine the statistics, the amount of time that we spend on social media is actually quite scary. According to research carried out by the Ipsos Open Thinking Exchange (OTX), people on average are spending over 3 hours a day on social media. When they examined social media users from 24 countries, the average time spent on social media sites was 3.6 hours per day.

  • People who owned their own businesses were spending 50% more time on social media than people who did not own their own businesses. (4.4 vs. 3 hours per day).
  • Employees in senior positions spent 40% more time on social media than other employees (4.2 vs. 3 hours per day)
  • Unemployed people were spending 3.5 hours vs. 3 hours for those employed per day on social media.

How is it Effecting Our Productivity?

The statistics are absolutely astonishing. Although most businesses now require a presence on social media, many of them have a person who is assigned to this task. Even though junior employees are spending less time than senior employees on social media, it is still a huge amount of time. It would be hard to imagine how this is not having an effect on peoples productivity at work. Constantly checking Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest updates, may seem like it takes only a minute, but add all that time together and  you can see it really takes its toll.

So how often do you check your social media accounts during the day? Is any of it actually productive? If you add up all the time do you think that you waste valuable time that you could spend working? If you own your own business, there is a good chance that you are checking updates for absolutely no ROI. If you are spending the amount of time suggested in the statistics above on social media, maybe it is time to take a step back from it. If this proves to be a problem, then perhaps you need some help, who knows maybe the social media guard is your last hope.

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