16 April 2018

jd wetherspoons tweet announcing social media exitIt’s a simple question: would you quit social media? Perhaps the question should be could you quit social media?

Think about it, how much time do you spend on it a day? I bet it runs into the hours rather than minutes. It’s scary to think about, really. Consider this: on average, adults in the UK spend 173 mins (2hr 53min) on social media every day. That’s almost more than 20 hours a week and not far from 1,050 hours a year – 43 days!!

We spend 43 days a year on social media. Imagine what you could achieve in 43 days if you used your time more effectively. When you hone in on the 15-34 years age range, the average time spent per day jumps to 3 hours 38 mins. That’s 58 days a year.

Social media is incredibly valuable and fantastic at connecting the world, but it has its downsides. It is a huge distraction, particularly in business.

Social media detox

It’s interesting to see in the news today that Tim Martin, the chairman of pub chain JD Wetherspoons, has removed the brand from all social media channels. Every pub account, even the main brand account.

The chain has always been a business focussed on cutting distractions. I remember reading about the reason that none of the pubs play music. Apparently, Martin read a statement by George Orwell in which he said that the best pubs would be those without the distraction of music. Wetherspoons pubs are about getting the basics right. But is exiting from the biggest communications channels going back to basics?

Is that the right thing to do? Time will tell. When asked whether this would start a trend of businesses leaving the platforms, Martin told the BBC: “Currently we’ve got a massive commercial advantage because everyone else is wasting hours of their time.”

It’s a brave move and certainly one that makes perfect sense for a business like JD Wetherspoons. Interestingly, it comes just a week or so after Tesla boss Elon Musk publicly announced that he was to remove his brand Facebook accounts in light of the Cambridge Analytica debacle.

So what will you do? If you don’t come off social media completely, could you be more mindful of how much time you spend on the platforms?

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