Is Social Media Helping or Harming our Productivity

By: Summa Aholo

On average, we check our phones 46 times a day according to a Deloitte study. Algorithms designed for social media sends notifications to our screens that we like to read breaking our attentions with the flashing of our phone screens.  Approximately 500 million tweets are sent every day, that is roughly about 3500 per minute according to internet live stats. Thousands of tweets sent a minute, are any of these tweets productive, does it help us develop as human beings? We have reinvented meanings to words, to explain unproductivity on social media “trolling” according to urban dictionary is: “the deliberate act of making random unsolicited and/or controversial comments on various internet forums with the intent to provoke an emotional knee jerk reaction form unsuspecting readers to engage in a fight or argument”. When we have an overwhelming of people that are trolling I do not find that particularly productive.

Take Donald Trump for example he is constantly on twitter, he claims it’s to take the information directly to the people and bypass the media. However, when he is tweeting at three in the morning, or going on twitter rants or trolling journalists of the media, he is not spending his time productively. He could be going to briefings instead of incorrectly citing Fox News on international news.

There are many instances where individuals and companies have strategically used Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites to improve their productivity as well as their favorability. Individuals starting grassroots campaigns for example can utilize social media to not only improve their productivity but kick start their campaign. The primary goal of a grassroots campaign is “to spur movement within a specific target market” ( The #icebucketchallenge that raised awareness on ASL was started on social media in 2014.

How productivity on social media can kick start a grassroots campaign

  • Small marketing budget. Traditionally, grassroots efforts have been used when there’s a very small marketing budget. The reason is that grassroots campaigns thrive on word of mouth and natural placements, as opposed to paid media.
  • Very targeted audience. Another common reason for pursuing grassroots efforts is that the audience you’re attempting to reach is very targeted. For example, let’s say you’re trying to engage Mexican-Americans between the ages of 18-24 who live in Tennessee and watch professional basketball. It’s difficult to justify paid advertising when you have such a small audience. Grassroots efforts, on the other hand, give you more control over your reach.
  • Audience craves interaction. The third situation where grassroots efforts are preferred is when the audience you’re targeting craves personal attention and interaction. In other words, it’s a better way to interact with people, as opposed to consuming content through paid marketing efforts and strategically placed advertisements.

According to a pew research study in 2016, 68% of Americans use Facebook 21% uses Twitter, and 28% uses Instagram social media is here to stay, I personally find social media considerably lowers my productivity throughout the day, however I am trying to improve that. Like many other things in life it can be used for good or it can be used for evil, it all depends on the user.

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism