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Social media combined with Internet usage is devastating workers' productivity and nuking students' studying time. That's the assessment from the folks over at learnstuff.com, who synthesized data from multiple sources into a sobering—albeit very colorful—summary of charts and graphs detailing that damage that Americans' collective surfing habits is doing these days.
For instance, six out of 10 employees visit social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter while they're on the clock. In addition, workers are interrupted, on average, once every 10.5 minutes by instant messages, Facebook messages and tweets.
How long does it take them to get back on task, you ask? A minute? Three minutes? Try 23 minutes—or $4,452 annually for every social media-using employee in the country. In round numbers, that works out to a whopping $650 billion-a-year hit to Americans' productivity, or seven times more than employees burn on smoke breaks (and more than the value of Chevron, Google and Chase Bank combined).
And that's just the average user. Amazingly, one out of 10 employees spends more time surfing the web each day than he or she does actually working.
As for students, well, Facebook isn't doing them any favors either. The average college student spends three hours a day checking social networking sites … compared to just two hours studying. Is it affecting their grades? Yup: The GPA of regular Facebook-using students is a full point lower than peers who don't use the site frequently.
All of which begs the obvious question: You're not reading this at work or while you should be studying, are you?
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Not this time.
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