Today, almost everybody is on social media. From snapchat, to twitter, to instagram, and everything in between social media is taking over parts of our lives. I personally spend countless hours a week on various social media sites, and frankly I feel my life would be a lot better without them. How deeply does social media effect our lives, and how much of it is in a negative way?
One negative effect of social media is a raging addiction to the sites. A study run by the University of Maryland dug deep into the social media addiction that is sweeping across the country, and killing productivity in the process. According to the survey eighteen percent of people can’t go more than a “few hours” without checking Facebook, this number raises to sixty-one percent of people who can’t go through a twenty four hour day without checking the site. I for one am one that has trouble staying off social media for hours at a time, and it impedes my focus and productivity significantly. Twenty eight percent of people reportedly can’t even get their head off the pillow in the morning before their thumb is scrolling down their twitter feed. A big problem with social media is that a lot of time people go on it just to “kill time”, in fact anywhere between sixty to eighty percent of Americans confess that their main purpose of going online to social media sites is to do just that, kill time (INC). The addiction is most prevalent in millennials, one in every five millennials spends at least six hours a day on social media (Link). Think of that, one fourth of your day is spent on social media, at least another half of your day usually would comprise of sleeping. In that scenario, how much are you really getting done in a twenty four hour period? The time you spend each day on social media, is time you could be spending doing something productive. This is a problem many businesses are finding is a lack of productivity in the work place due to social media.
For businesses, even the slightest bit of time an employee uses on social media could be tons of money lost. A certain statistic I found really jumped out at me. Social media sites collectively cost employers 650 Billion dollars a year (Huffington). According to an approximate U.S census there are approximately 321 million adults in the U.S (Census). That is over $2,000 per adult in social media caused lost money. The time spent in the work place, and the classroom should be spent entirely focused on the task at hand. Companies and employers everywhere are looking for solutions to squander the problem, and get productivity up again in the work place. This however, is a problem that has spiraled out of control and needs answers quickly.
Another negative effect behind social media use is the sometimes twisted psychology behind it. A lot of times people will make a big deal about how many likes their tweet got or how many likes their Instagram picture got. There are many examples of why this is a bad way of thinking psychologically. In some cases even, it is more important than people lives in reality. In a survey of 1,600 participants 58 percent responded than the attempt to take the “perfect picture” to post on social media took away from the actual experience of the event or situation they were in (Entrepreneur). This is the sad reality with what social media is becoming. It is more important to garner people’s approval in many people’s minds rather than enjoying your life. Social media is turning the world into a more materialistic place by the day.
The best solution to decrease the negative effects of social media sites is to simply stop using them. This will get productivity up both in the work place, and your life overall.