Social media becoming a workplace menace

BY SOLOMON MWIJE

It is not a surprise that every ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’ holds a smartphone. The smartphones are trendy and come with high-tech applications that catalyze easy communication,  often rendering the user addicted.

The 2016 Global Media Research Report by Statista, says there are about 2.34 billion users of social media worldwide and these numbers are expected to rise tremendously to about 2.95 billion because of the current global social network penetration of 31 percent.

As of 2016, over 1.71 billion people are actively using Facebook, 1 billion use WhatsApp, 900 million use Facebook Messenger, 400 million use Instagram, and over 300 million use Twitter. I have ignored other categories of phone and computer applications especially those that are not common in developing countries.

Engagements with social media are becoming addictive and most people are becoming regular dependents. For some, social media is a channel for conducting business and education while to others it’s for social engagement, sharing day-to-day news, and gossiping. There is also another group of people that uses social media for illegal arrangements such as sexual or psychological gender based violence and theft.

But most people, especially in developing countries, are misusing social media. Well, the misuse has got its own direct or multiplier effects on work performance. It is even a bigger problem among the young generation.

Oblivious to the unfinished reports needed by the supervisor or clients, many come to the office and the first thing they do is get connected to a social media network. Meanwhile, their WhatsApp applications are open on phones or computers because they feel they are missing out ‘a lot’ especially with group chats. They will read and reply to all the group conversations before starting to work.

A client will come to their desk and they cannot even afford to blink the eye because they are chatting. But if you get addicted to social media for wrong purposes, your work performance and job are at stake in the  long-run. By the way, do you know that a significant number of people have been involved in motor accidents while on social media?

It’s on that basis of the misuse of social media that many institutions in the developed countries do not allow cellphones and other gadgets at  the workplace. So note that your social behaviour and competence matter, if you want to become a champion of your career.

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