The Impact of Social Media on Productivity
Nowadays, the focus on work is unconsciously disturbed by constantly distracting processes. Social media has the greatest impact with continuous notifications, because people want to be socially active and informed. Thus, the continuous use of social networks also hinders the maintenance of attention and productivity at work.
Pew Research Center states that “77% of workers reported using social media at work.” Using these statistics, it can be assumed that social media reduces workplace productivity because it is related to focus.
How can you become more productive at work without excluding the use of social networks? Should I stop using them anyway?
How big is the impact of social networks
The use of social networks has grown rapidly over the last 10 years, so its impact has covered all human life areas, including work. According to Global Digital Overview 2020 data, “there were 3.80 billion social media users worldwide in January 2020, and that number has grown by more than 9% since 2019, with 321 million new users joining.”
The use of the media permeates our society. How many people use social networks? For example, Facebook, the world’s most popular social networking site, currently has 1.5 billion regular users, or about one in five people use Facebook.
Why is it so hard to stop checking our social accounts? Social media provides a platform where modern humans try to meet basic social needs by entering an addictive environment. This behavior is mainly based on three areas: social cognition, self-referential cognition, and the processing of social benefits. Neural systems support these social cognitive processes.
For example, before and after a social media user transmits information, a person thinks about how their audience will react. Also, looking at other transmitted information and feedback, the user considers the other user’s possible motivation to post this information.
Research on the neural imaging of offline social behavior has shown that when thinking about others’ thoughts, feelings, and intentions, a network of brain regions is safely recruited.
Impact on focus and productivity
Phone notifications and focusing can be compared to a situation where you observe a calm body of water, but there from time to time in the water that falls and causes the water to agitate at one point, then again at another point. Attention is diverted to a specific point in the water, then to the next, without even noticing the beautiful natural landscape around.
When new messages appear continuously on the phone at work, there is a desire to look immediately, or thoughts are distracted by the new message. Shifting attention requires effort from the brain, so to maintain a clear focus on thoughts, it is necessary to reduce distractions such as communication and social networks.
Changing the focus of attention is comparable to changing the context, or in reality, the brain quickly switches between different tasks instead of performing them simultaneously. A study in the book Brain Rules found that “the error rate increases by 50% and the focus shift takes twice as long to complete a given task.”
Constantly checking and viewing email or social networks often involves:
- Increased stress levels and nervousness;
- Avoidance of important works, laziness;
- Habit strength, addiction;
- Unfilled free time;
- Lack of concentration and focus.
How to reduce social network checking
In the beginning, it is important to perform the analysis yourself by reviewing the application usage time on the phone. Afterward, being aware of which social networks spend the most time can also “delete” unnecessary and time-consuming activities. For example, most of the time is spent on Facebook. Most of the time is spent reviewing pictures, jokes, news. Replace this time spent reading the news on a separate news portal in the morning, reviewing only pictures and messages from friends in the Facebook app in the evening, increasing productivity during the working day.
Turn off unnecessary notifications
Most of the application and social network marketing activities are focused on keeping track of news and announcements in your profile. Take the time to completely turn off all unnecessary notifications that appear on the home screen. For example, leave notifications only from e-mail or other applications needed for work, because in your free time, you will Turn off unnecessary notifications
Most of the application and social network marketing activities are focused on keeping track of news and announcements in your profile. Take the time to completely turn off all unnecessary notifications that appear on the home screen. For example, leave notifications only from e-mail or other applications needed for work, because in your free time, you will be able to dedicate time to other applications. The benefit is a more productive day without distractions with unnecessary announcements.
Arrange the selected preferences
Using e-mail for work purposes, you can be distracted by e-mails about big sales or other news. To not interfere with the necessary work communication, the receipt of news and tracking of stores or specific websites is canceled. In the e-mail and on social networks, announcements come from pages or people that follow – evaluate and track pages that are no longer relevant.
Use silent mode or night mode
When you do not need to communicate on the phone during business hours, you can try to set a distracting mode that disables notifications and incoming calls – night mode. You can just as easily turn off the vibration and sound in your phone so that the sound doesn’t distract you. Be able to dedicate time to other applications. The benefit is a more productive day without distractions with unnecessary announcements.
Maintaining focus → a productive day
Involvement in social networks takes up a large part of the day, so it is important to refrain from using social networks outside of work as much as possible when assessing priorities. By reducing distractions, you will be able to improve productivity at work and spend less time on social media!