How to Help Generation Z Get Their Social Media Usage Under Control

These tips and techniques will help Generation Z manage their social media usage at work.

How to Help Generation Z Get Their Social Media Usage Under Control

Generation Z, the generation entering the workforce behind Millennials, spends an average of 3 hours 38 minutes online on smartphones, almost 50 minutes longer than the average Internet user.

Having 24/7 access to the world's information via a supercomputer in the palm of their hand for most of their life has rewired how Generation Z problem-solves, networks, communicates, learns, buys, and ultimately how they will show up in the workplace. (Read this to learn why Generation Z is the key to workplace innovation.)

Since Generation Z is native to the digital world but new to the corporate world, they will likely need help with how to manage their technology and social media usage at work.

3 Exercises for Generation Z to Be More Productive with Social Media

1. Self-audit your social media usage at work

Use a free tool like RescueTime that tracks how a user spends their time online and provides tools to help him or her be more productive. 

To further audit one's social media usage, ask these questions:

  • How often do you use social media daily?
  • What are your productive habits on social media?
  • What are your counterproductive habits on social media?
  • What social networks interfere with your productivity?
  • When and where do you need to limit or quit social media?
  • What are two or three things you can do to be more productive in your social media use at work?

2. Adopt a productivity technique

Research has confirmed that the human brain needs routine breaks to remain functioning at a high level. Select one of the techniques below and implement it for one day. At the end of the day, take five minutes to review your productivity. Repeat this process for the other three techniques and consider adopting one that improves your productivity. Only check social media during the allotted break time.

  • Pomodoro method. Set a timer for twenty-five minutes, and when it goes off, take a short break for five minutes. After four of these sessions, take a longer break of thirty minutes.
  • Ninety-minute work blocks. Work in ninety-minute intervals with twenty-minute breaks between work sessions.
  • 52-17 method. Work for fifty-two minutes and then break for seventeen minutes before getting back to work.
  • Two fifteen-minute breaks per day. Block out two planned, fifteen-minute intermissions in your day--one in the midmorning and the other in the midafternoon. (Note: 3:00 p.m. is the least productive time of the day, so consider scheduling the break over that time.)

3. Replace social media with another rewarding activity.

In many ways, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat are the new smoke breaks at work. However, instead of consuming social media during your next work break, try one of these productivity-boosting activities:

  • Take a walk
  • Daydream
  • Read
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Doodle
  • Nap
  • Chat with colleagues
  • Meditate
  • Plan a trip or vacation
  • Call friends or family
  • Make a grocery list
  • Watch a talk


As a Millennial and Generation Z keynote speaker and trainer, I help companies lead, engage, and sell to the emerging generations. If you'd like help solving tough generational challenges inside your organization, click here.


Ryan Jenkins



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