• OPINION: Social media, the impact to productive work

Yosia Baluku

image022Interacting with friends and family across long distances has been a concern of humans for centuries. As social animals, people have always relied on communication to strengthen their relationships. When face-to-face discussions are impossible or inconvenient, Just to recall imagine the letters we wrote and were sent from one person to another till the intended receiver across. Later two other innovations came into picture in the last decade of 1800s; the radio in 1891 and telephone in 1890. These are still in use to date. Humans have dreamed up plenty of creative solutions. 

Technology began to change very rapidly in the 20th Century. After the first super computers were created in the 1940s, scientists and engineers began to develop ways to create networks between those computers, and this would later lead to the birth of the Internet.

It is believed that the first recognizable social media site, Six Degrees, was created in 1997. It enabled users to upload a profile and make friends with other users. In 1999, the first blogging sites became popular, creating a social media sensation that’s still popular today.

After the invention of blogging, social media began to explode in popularity. Sites like MySpace and LinkedIn gained prominence in the early 2000s, and sites like Photobucket and Flickr facilitated online photo sharing. YouTube came out in 2005, creating an entirely new way for people to communicate and share with each other across great distances.

By 2006, Facebook and Twitter both became available to users throughout the world. These sites remain some of the most popular social networks on the Internet. Other sites like Tumblr, Spotify, Foursquare and Pinterest began popping up to fill specific social networking niches.

Today, there is a tremendous variety of social networking sites, and many of them can be linked to allow cross-posting. This creates an environment where users can reach the maximum number of people without sacrificing the intimacy of person-to-person communication. We can only speculate about what the future of social networking may look in the next decade or even 100 years from now, but it seems clear that it will exist in some form for as long as humans are alive. And now the current whatsapp bandwagon oh my;

But all that said my concern here is to look at the impact of all this evolution on productive work be it in office, on the farm and everywhere else that work takes place.

The so many pop ups with several sounds on the phone keep abstracting their concentration and at the end of the day nearly 2 thirds of the time is spent checking out those videos, funny pictures, animations and the entire hoax involved.

According to TeamLease World of Work Report, an average of 2.35 hours is spent accessing social media at work every day and 13 per cent of the total productivity is lost owing to the social media indulgence alone.

According to the same report, Facebook is the most visited social media platform. Out of the 62 per cent employees who accessed social media during working hours, nearly 83 per cent of them spend significant time browsing Facebook.

I also think that currently whatsapp may have taken over these statistics.

On the other side however social media has been and still a great weapon of information dissemination, most organizations currently have changed their way of communication KRC inclusive. Much as others may think it’s time wasting to the contrary it’s a very powerful tool. Within a tweak of an eye information is everywhere all over the world.

By the way most employers have also relied on social media as a means of recruitment process to reduce recruitment costs.

Many more good things have happened on social media including relationships though it’s not a better option for this in my opinion and I would not recommend that.

Conclusively social media stimulates collaboration and knowledge sharing between individuals which can lead to increased or decreased productivity. However it (social media) should be channeled in an effective way to get maximum results from employees as there could be pitfalls employees could succumb to if left unattended.

The writer is the Information Technology Officer KRC Uganda.

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Kabarole Research & Resource Centre

Plot 28 Mugurusi Rd., Fort-Portal.
P.O.Box 782
Kampala Uganda
Telephone: +256-039-274-438
Email: krcuganda@krcug.org