Essay on Social Media Addiction in the Workplace: Impacts on Productivity, Relationships, and Solutions

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1181 Words
Date:  2024-01-09


Social media addiction has become a common problem in workplaces. Since the introduction of changing technologies, including social media, workplace communication has consistently evolved. Worldwide, about 1.32 billion people use Facebook monthly (Carlson, Zivnuska, Harris, Harris & Carlson, 2016). Approximately, 86% of job seekers internationally engage in social networking while one in six job-seekers find jobs through online social networks (Carlson et al., 2016). On average, Americans aged 18-24 years spend about two and a half hours online every day (Carlson et al., 2016). The use of social media platforms in workplaces is not questionable. However, experts estimate that social networks shave about 1.5% of workplace productivity (Carlson et al., 2016). Although social media usage has numerous benefits, it negatively influences the relationships among employees.

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Research Aim

The research aims to find the relationship between personality and technology. Particularly, it focuses on how social media usage affects workplace relationships and productivity since it influences employee behavior (Carlson et al., 2016). In this era of technology, the use of social media networks is not questionable and employers must understand how it influences employee performance. Therefore, the research paper unfolds the effects of social media addiction in the workplace and recommends a strategy to manage negative effects.


The research adopts a literature review as a research method. The method is preferred since it provides detailed knowledge about the topic. Based on studies, it is vital to identify gaps to avoid duplication (Stokes, 2017). The existing body of knowledge provides the basis for conducting the study. However, the reliability of the study results depends on the accuracy of existing data and information.


The personality of individuals in workplaces influences the attitude and performance of employees. The development and changes in technology influence communication and the relationships among employees. Channel expansion theory argues that individual experience plays a significant role in influencing development and perception toward the use of certain media tools. It incorporates experiential factors to explain social media perceptions regarding particular media channels (Carlson et al., 2016). As individuals gain more experience by using specific media channels, they richly perceive it. In this context, social media platforms are the common forms of communication among young employees, while elderly people are used to formal ways of sharing information. Consequently, there is a communication breakdown among different age groups because of the different perceptions of the media.

Besides being used as a marketing tool, social media enhances communication in the workplace. One of the psychological needs of employees is to connect and interact with one another. Positively using social media can help to fulfill the need. However, excessive use of social media in the workplace creates new problems, leading to decreased productivity (Cilliers, 2013). For example, the desire to use mobile phones among young people is high since they want to log in to their accounts and see what their peers have posted. Consequently, it causes disruption; thus affecting concentration levels. Additionally, social media addiction causes anxiety among users, affecting the productivity of employees. Since users spend a considerable amount of time on the platforms, they waste time that could be used to improve their productivity. Therefore, excessive use of social media negatively affects workplace productivity.

Although social media usage in the workplace has negative effects on organizational productivity, it has significant benefits for the employees and the employer. According to Pew Research, 34% of employees in the United States use social media to take a mental break while 27% use the networks to connect with their families and friends while at work (Olmstead, Lampe & Ellison, 2016). 24% make professional connections while 20% of the respondents argued that they get the vital information they require to solve problems (Olmstead et al., 2016). 12% use the platforms to ask work-related questions, and 17% strengthen personal relationships and learn about their coworkers respectively (Olmstead et al., 2016). Notably, social media usage in the workplace offers significant benefits to employees and employers despite its negatives.


The recommended solution is hiring the right-intensity users. Every employer should determine the type of employees to hire and develop a policy to assist in the recruitment process. For example, the policy to hire high-intensity employees means that an organization should focus on university graduates while low-intensity users mean hiring elderly employees (Carlson et al., 2016). Having the right employees in the workplace prevents communication breakdown. However, the strategy is not appropriate in circumstances since it is not possible to have employees within a specific age bracket. The most important thing is to develop an organizational policy regarding the use of social media to avoid potential communication breakdown.

Evaluation of the Article

The weakness of Carlson et al. (2016) is that the authors collected data at a specific time. Consequently, it is difficult to make causal conclusions because the authors collected data from a limited period (Carlson et al., 2016). The scholarly article concludes that employers should develop a workplace policy to hire the right-intensity users of social media. However, the policy is not effective and applicable in all circumstances because of workplace diversity. Importantly, employers should develop flexible policies to accommodate the needs of all people to maintain their psychological needs.


The development of social media has contributed to changes in workplace communication. Diversity in workplaces influences perceptions and understanding of different communication tools. For example, university graduates are high-intensity users; hence the workplace policy should accommodate their psychological needs to avoid work-related stress. Among the benefits of social media in workplaces include online interactions, asking work-related questions, taking a mental break from stressing work, and connecting with professionals in the field to develop their own experiences. However, excessive use of social media is not without challenges (Olmstead et al., 2016). First, it leads to anxiety, affecting employees’ concentration in their work. For example, they spend their time online when they are supposed to work. Secondly, it affects communication because of workplace diversity. Different age groups prefer different communication and socialization channels. Therefore, the findings of the report indicate that employers should have flexible policies to accommodate the psychological needs of all employees.


Social media affects different aspects of work life. The question of using social networks in the workplace is not questionable. Since it influences communication and employee-employee relationships, employers should develop the best human resource practices, such as formulating a diversity policy for the psychological needs of all people. In the UK for example, companies lose approximately $2.2 billion annually due to social networks in workplaces. Addiction to social media, especially to young is a common problem psychologists should work to solve. Based on the above statistics, excessive media usage is a problem that requires urgent solutions to maximize employee productivity. Therefore, managers should develop flexible workplace policies and ensure all employees understand to avoid potential conflicts.


Carlson, J., Zivnuska, S., Harris, R., Harris, K., & Carlson, D. (2016). Social Media Use in the Workplace: A Study of Dual Effects. Journal of Organization and End User Computing, 28(1), 1-18.

Cilliers, F. Q. (2013). The role and effect of social media in the workplace. Northern Kentucky Law Review, 40(3), 1-27.

Olmstead, K., Lampe, C., & Ellison, N. (2016). Social media and the workplace. Washington: Pew Research Center.

Stokes, P. (2017). Research methods. Palgave.

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Essay on Social Media Addiction in the Workplace: Impacts on Productivity, Relationships, and Solutions. (2024, Jan 09). Retrieved from

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