Eric D. Darr
Are Your Employees Addicted to Social Media?
In September, for the second year in a row, we instituted a temporary blackout of social media sites and instant messaging anywhere on the network at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. Last year's social media blackout lasted five days, and this year we went to seven days. Students could still access these sites through mobile networks or go down the street to a place with public Wi-Fi, but we encouraged them not to.
We didn't do it out of concern that social media is distracting or that students are wasting too much time; if we'd been worried about time-wasting, we'd have blocked YouTube and the latest AddictiveGames.com. We don't look at any technology as inherently good or bad, and my general belief is that social media adds to the productivity of the university.
Rather, we did it for educational purposes -- to get people to think about how best to use social media.
Is Social Media Addictive?
In September, we also had a social media summit, and one panel looked at the possibility of social media addiction. An addiction expert had the audience go through the five standard questions for determining addiction with technology, with a specific focus on social media:
- Have you tried to cut down on use of technology?
- Do you get angry if someone asks you if you are using technology too much?
- Do you ever feel guilty about how much time you spend plugged in?
- Do you use technology as an eye-opener upon waking up?
- Do you try to set boundaries around your technology use?
- A "Yes" answer to any two may indicate a problem with addiction.
After the most recent social media blackout and the summit, two students came to us and self-reported that they believed they had an addiction to social media. They said they check Facebook as many as 300 times a day.
Since it takes six weeks to make a meaningful behavior change, these two students decided to stop using social media completely for the remainder of the semester -- and to figure out what to do long-term after this period. They both seem happier now that they've disconnected.
Are Your Employees Addicted to Social Media?
If you believe your employees are spending too much time on social media or other technological distractions, don't try to solve the problem by heavy-handed means. Don't use technology to try to block social media sites. If you think about it from an employee's point of view, what message does that send? "My employer doesn't trust me. My employer is treating me like a child."
Instead, get the employees together and make it their problem. Say, "This is our business. When I walk through the cubicles, I see that 15 people at this 20-person company are surfing Facebook. What do you think about that?" Maybe they'll come up with their own self-limits, such as only using Facebook at break times. Let them set up and impose their own guidelines. Treat them like adults.
That's one of the great benefits of a small business: There can be a sense of ownership, a sense that we're all in this together. It's something a small-business owner can leverage that a large company can't. So rather than trying to solve the social media problem all on your own, get your employees involved.
- The Truth About E-readers
- Google Chrome: 3 Rare Features You'll Love
- How to Use Google+
- 4 Collaboration Tools to Transform Your Projects
- Facebook Business Strategies That Work
- Are Your Employees Addicted to Social Media?
- How to Be Successful: Think Like Larry Ellison
- The Ultimate Tech Wish List
- 4 Ways to Protect Your Kids Online
- 5 Smartphone Picks Made Simple
- HPC: Coming to an IT Shop Near You?
- Getting Physical with Virtual Servers
- Near Field Communication: Niche Tech or Next Big Thing?
- Getting to Know NoSQL
- Is Ruby on Rails a Crown Jewel?
- How to Prevent Insider Attacks
- Cyber Security as a Wicked Problem
- 5 Apps and Strategies for Mobile Security
- Mobile Hot Spot: How to Choose the Right One
- iCloud Seeks to Cement Loyalty of Apple Users
- The Role of Google+ in Business
- Number of Wireless Gadgets Now Outnumbers American Population
- Apple iPhone 4S Sales Enjoy Strong Start
- Android Smartphones Beat Sales of Apple iPhones
- Twitter Good Barometer of National Emotional State
- How to Manage Tech Support in Today's Chaotic Climate
- An Alternative Eulogy for Steve Jobs
- Top 11 Technologies on the Verge of Extinction
- The Top 5 Movie Phones
- Why You Need Double Protection Now: Hardware and Software
- The Long-term Commitment of Embedded Wireless
Copyright © 2011 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.