Is Social Media Creating Unhealthy Work Environments?


When most of us think of an unhealthy work environment we think “sick building syndrome”, difficult co-workers or the classic “boss from hell”. Recently, after attending a conference, which was populated by a number of staffing agency directors, I received an insight into the latest unhealthy work issue that is getting the attention of a lot of organizations. OFBTM – Obsessive Facebook and Text Messaging while on the clock.

It is becoming such a concern to some employees, that more and more companies are having their computer networks re-tooled to block Facebook from being accessible from the office computers.

How much of a problem is it that a significant number of those raised on electronic communication and networking cannot stop checking their Facebook and text messaging while they are being paid to do the job tasks required of them.

That employees are noticing and concerned about this trend affecting their productivity and even their bottom line, says something important about immediate communication impulse and what is being called “the narcissistic tendency” we are developing as a culture.

The focus and integrity to attend to the job we are expected to perform as well as the ability or willingness not to pay attention to ourselves when we are getting paid to be working, seems to be lacking today more than ever before.

Cell phones, e-mails, text messages, social networking, Facebook and other electronic forms of communication have begun to hold our attention prisoner, even when we are on the job. Not only is this unfair to the individual or organization paying our salary, but it also sends up a red flag about how we are growing more and more self absorbed as a culture.

Can someone be healthy when they are overly concerned about the moment to moment activities of their lives? There are (most commonly in humor columns) reported Facebook posts by individuals who literally record every minor thought and event of their day, posting them publicly for all their friends and fans to read.

Is it true that we are becoming a narcissistic society, unable to pull ourselves away from the details of our lives and that we no longer put in “an honest day’s work”?

Health is made up of many things according to our accredited health program. Being productive, making a contribution, working hard and enjoying what you do is all part of a healthy lifestyle. If social networking and electronic communication is pulling you further away from a balanced and healthy work-life, it may be time to unplug and unlink.

Finding fulfillment and feeling commitment about what we do in our work, as well as how we do the work, is an important part of being a productive, contributory, healthy, happy individual.

Excessive electronic communication can not only be self-centering but can also distract us from other essential aspects that are part of a balanced life. Something to consider ~

With all good wishes,


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