Side-effects of WhatsApp & other Social Media tools

With over a billion users each, WhatsApp, Facebook & Twitter are by far the most prominent leaders in the messaging app category.  I personally use WhatsApp as my primary messaging app, be it for business, personal or social purposes. It’s the most cost-effective solution to messaging. You’re only paying for the data usage & these days data plans are available by the GB (I can easily say by the kilo, like you’re buying ration).  What was it like before any of these messaging applications were even born?  Do you even remember?  I clearly remember that I either used to SMS which was a costly affair at the time, emails or the conventional way to communicate via calls. 

What has changed with the introduction of WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter?

Well WhatsApp & Facebook have brought the world a lot more closer today, especially with added functionality of image/video sharing, calling and a range of other features.  For me, WhatsApp is the paramount of all the messaging apps available! However, along with it, it has also invited the lure of sleaze, mischief & anti-social grunge.  Imagine you’re out with your girlfriend, somebody captures your picture & floats it via WhatsApp / Facebook / Twitter & it co-incidentally reached your wife before you even reached home.  Now that’s what I would call ‘having a bad hair day’ with an added bonus of having to kip outside your home!!

I have just told you briefly about the social effects of WhatsApp, but what about the effects it has on productivity.  Well, with constant pinging from your friends / groups & with no help from your socially-enthusiastic mind, you are bound to focus away from your desk and peep into your phone just to check.  It all begins here. You are socially obliged to reply to the message(s) & this is where you kick off a chat which may throw you off a couple of minutes of valuable work time.  Take it from me personally, at one point my professional life was being shared with my social life, which is where things started to take a little turn & performance graphs tipped down.  In today’s competitive world, a non-performer is like a sitting duck just waiting to be gotten rid off.

How to overcome the allurement of WhatsApp & other Social Media at work?

It’s not an easy solution to not steal a peek at your phone but not an impossible one either although I may have checked my WhatsApp more than 9 times whilst writing this.  One of the best solutions to keep your focus from getting strayed away is to enable the ‘disable data when screen off’ option on your smartphone.  This way you shall not only receive whatsapp & other notifications when you just tap on the screen or unlock your phone but also save your battery consumption.  There are plenty of apps like wireless minder, data on-off available through iOS & Playstore which help you to schedule and control your data connectivity & in totality increase your productivity.  You can also make it a habit by checking your personal messages, facebook & twitter accounts at regular intervals with a time limit, or on breaks, or while travelling.  It’s as simple as this!


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