Tag Archives: professional journals

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Social Media Distractions in the Workplace



This article was written by Heather Wilson. She is a senior at Chico State majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Nutrition. After graduating in the fall 2012, she hopes to pursue her career in New York City or London as a publicist. While at Chico State Heather has been an active member of the Nutrition and Food Sciences Association and volunteers as the Head Coach for Butte County’s non-profit organization Girls on the Run. Last summer, she was an intern at McEntyre Public Relations in New York City and fell in love with every aspect of life as a public relations practitioner. When she is not writing, or focusing on schoolwork, Heather enjoys running and training for marathons. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Social media act as both a source of entertainment and a source of communication. In most recent years, social media have taken on the role of not only the communicator which link people around the globe, but also the entrepreneur which have the ability to contribute to either the success or failure of a business.
As social media continues to grow in popularity, increasing their number of users from 350 million to 500 million in just seven months, risks also continue to increase which gives rise to a question: are there more pros than cons to the use of social media in a business? Or are social media the planks of an old, barely-hanging-on bridge that companies should be wary of crossing? By researching professional journals and conducting a focus group, we will, to the best of our abilities, conclude whether social media are more beneficial than risky to businesses.
“The average person is distracted at work between six and 11 times each hour. Unfortunately, it can take upwards of 25 minutes to regain total focus on the job, according to experts. In 50 percent of cases, people don’t return to the task at all,” said Cheng.
According to Distracted, the article explains not only how distracting social media can be to the workplace, but also compares meetings to social media, explaining that meetings can be just as big of a distraction to employees; breaking their concentration and making it hard to return to their work in reasonable, efficient amount of time, similarly to social media’s distractions. This article describes social media as an addictive competitor for time in the workplace. It says that people will become less distracted by or addicted to social media once they “admit that the devices that masquerade as business tools can be addictive, a crutch and need to be used with caution”.

“Productivity tools” have been created to disable social media notifications while at work, and to decrease the amount of stress that employees face when social media notifications distract them.
It questions the use of social media and productivity in the workplace, and focuses on the company’s ability to communicate effectively either through the use of traditional communication such as face-to-face or phone conversations compared to new media communication.
It is believed that employees who utilize social media during work time are taking away from the productivity of the tasks they perform in their everyday job. Employees are given the privilege to utilize the company’s computers; however, this is a privilege to carry out work tasks only. According to Peacock (2008), businesses are beginning to worry that their employees are wasting time during the day by visiting websites that do not relate to their job.