Social media networks have become an integral part of our lives. Today, almost everyone has an account on Facebook or Instagram. People are so addicted to social media that checking a smartphone for notifications is the very first thing we usually do in the morning. This habit shows up everywhere, from home to the classroom or a workplace. No matter where we are, we sneak into our phones not to miss anything important.
Some statistics show that users spend on average 2 or more hours a day messaging on social media platforms. However, this data varies greatly from one country to another. For example, in the Philippines people spend about 4 hours a day on social media, while these numbers are even higher among Americans. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? In fact, we spend a great part of our lives surfing the web and texting with others instead of doing something really useful. Naturally, it ruins our productivity. Let’s consider how it happens in more detail.
How does social media harm productivity?
Multiple studies show that excessive use of social media reduces your attention span. Experiments demonstrate that heavy social media users find it much more difficult to focus on a task than those who use communication platforms moderately.
Apart from that, social media are proven to cause sleep deprivation. Blue screens make our sleep less deep and restorative. As a result, exhaustion triggers productivity deterioration in the daytime.
Additionally, social media promotes so-called “inside-the-box” thinking. Psychologists say that there is a link between the common “herd mentality” and the increasing use of social media. In other words, we become more likely to accept the most popular opinions as universal truth instead of developing our own view on a topic. Eventually, the lack of critical thinking leads to poor learning outcomes.
And last but not least, social media may induce mental health deterioration. Neuroscientists and doctors say that communication platforms seriously mess up your nervous system. Needless to say that it can interfere with focusing on your studies. So what to do in this case?
Help with student productivity
If you realize that your productivity levels are extremely low and you can’t do anything with it, maybe it’s time to ask for help. Luckily, students have a lot of options to choose from. First of all, you can ask your instructors to explain complex concepts to get a deeper understanding of the subject. When things become easier, they require less effort. When I was a student, I sometimes turned to essay writing services. I found a company that could help me with homework in Canada and asked it to complete my papers when I wasn’t able to do it on my own. Professional writers always did their work well, so I had a chance to submit my assignments on time.
How to spend less time on social media?
First of all, you should use the ‘mute’ mode on your smartphone, so frequent notifications won’t draw your attention. If you can’t do it because of the important calls you are awaiting, you can benefit from the ‘mute’ feature in most apps. For example, you can mute everyone on Instagram except for a few accounts that you really love. Hence, you’ll naturally spend less time on social media.
Secondly, stop checking your phone before 10 a.m. Of course, it may be difficult if you typically start scrolling through Facebook immediately after waking up in the morning. But you should realize that it’s a complete waste of your time and energy. Try to check your social media only after doing all the morning routine and setting an intention for the following day. Have a cup of coffee, write down things you are grateful for into your gratitude journal and only then take your smartphone.
Another rule that works for reducing time on social media is ‘no phones on the table’. It would be beneficial for you to create a phone-free space in your home by keeping your kitchen table absolutely tech-free. Also, when you are eating out with friends, try to persuade them to put their phones in the center of the table and not to check notifications.
As you see, social media platforms have a negative impact on productivity levels. Since they reduce attention span, cause sleep disturbance, disrupt mental health and prevent ‘out-of-the-box-thinking’, it’s better to avoid excessive use of technology. Hopefully, this article helped you better understand how to maintain high efficiency.
James Collins is a study coach and academic writer at one of the leading assignment writing services in the United States. His main goal is to help students increase their productivity and become more efficient learners. James believes that everybody can reach outstanding results at college with the right approach to their studies.