How Social Media Is Ruling Your Life

Posted on September 23, 2010 by .

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Does social media enhance or stifle your ability to be productive?

Does social media enhance or stifle your ability to be productive?

Being constantly connected to social media can cause users a whole host of problems, a new study has revealed.

Increased stress, strain on personal relationships, and even loss of sleep, are but a few of the shortcomings caused by social media. A United States university took a week-long break from Facebook, Twitter, Instant Messaging (IM) and other social media, and found that the pervasive technology had hidden pitfalls.

Students at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in central Pennsylvania have realized that social media, particularly Facebook and IM, can take over their lives. College Provost Eric Darr called for the ban to see how the technology affects students and the various faculties.

Most students complied with the week-long experiment and found how easy it is for technology to rule their lives. One student checked Facebook 21 hours a day and blocked posts between 2 and 5 in the morning just to get some rest. Students or faculty staff who felt forced to feed their social media addiction did so via smartphones, but most complied, and some were quite surprised by their finds.

The majority of students behaved much like smokers who sneak cigarettes after class, says Darr. He says many would sneak off to check their updates on smart phones. Darr reveals that many students found more time to do constructive things and discovered that they were less stressed because they were not able to constantly check their status updates.

The week-long ban also encouraged face-to-face meetings instead of communicating exclusively via social media. Student Amanda Zuck says she isn’t a heavy user of Facebook but was “a little irritated” by not being able to use the site.

Zuck wrote in an email that she didn’t see much advantage in the project for herself but she added that it had probably helped her facebook addict friend catch up on college work. The project allowed all members of the college community to reflect on how social media tools affect their lives.

Many workers are also getting fired for either abusing social networks during work time, or posting harmful comments about their employers online.

Does social media enhance or stifle your ability to be productive? Share your thoughts by posting a comment below.

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