Social media distractions could make you more creative

I often talk to clients who are concerned at their staffs use of Facebook during the working day.  They say that their staff are distracted, and can’t focus on their jobs correctly.  They cite this as the main reason the ban social media from the workplace.

Facebook seems to be the social media darling at the moment, everyone seems to spend hours per day logged on to Facebook, and as over 50% of the UK population (about 57% actually) now have a Facebook account, there’s a good chance that lots of us will access Facebook from the workplace.

But does this make us less productive?  Is the ability to have contact with our connections stifling our ability to concentrate at work?  Or does the fact that we can have regular contact make our lives less stressful, and more open to new thoughts and ideas.  I mentioned this the other day.  Whilst this could be detrimental to some organisations – like the Army, it could be a Very Good Idea for other types of businesses where creativity in business is considered a good thing.

The Wall Street Journal have reported on a study carried out at two US based Universities seems to suggest that people who are easily distracted tend to be more creative.  The scientists reported that this extra stimuli creates and environment that delivers a mixture of thoughts and ideas.

So dabbling in Facebook or Twitter, getting some dead brain time, can often spark new ideas for you all on your own.  No need for brainstorming – this is “crowdstorming”  Getting input from your social media feeds can take you away from your chosen task or problem and perhaps towards a new solution.

I think it’s a good idea.

Generation Y use this type of ‘distraction based multitasking’ constantly in their social and work lives with little loss of productivity. 

Perhaps we need to allow ourselves to be taken off down a different path and see where things lead.  You never know what might turn up…





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2 thoughts on “Social media distractions could make you more creative

  1. allisterf

    Yes, agree, as long as social media is consumed (like good red wine!) in moderation. I find it much easier to have creative, unexpected ideas when I’m surrounded by fresh, thought-provoking stimulii, and there’s no better source for that than the social web. Thanks for the post 🙂

    1. eileenb Post author

      As someone who has my best ideas when I’m doing something totally different, I’m with you here. I’m also convinced that a blanket ban on the ability to connect with loved ones, and connections whilst at work will lead to more distraction, anxiety and loss of productivity as the worker slopes off to find somewhere to communicate in private. Allowing these distractions brings a much richer knowledge set into the organisation – and potentially a new set of fresh ideas from your connections in different companies. Although a good glass of red wine can be distraction enough 🙂

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