Social Media increases employee life span by 25%

By Vinicius da Costa posted 11-08-2010 18:39


   It’s been said that people who are actively engaged in social networking will live in average 25% longer lives.  The main reasons identified in this study are:

  • People who speak more openly and freely about their issues through blogs, micro-blogs, tweets, etc, feel better and less stressed
  • The sense of having friends you can share stuff without being judged
  • Works as an on-line, free psychologist
  • Sense of community and belonging
  • Realizing our problems are common and generate sympathy

From a business perspective we’ve been trying to justify why a company should seriously invest in social solution, since for some business people “social” means the opposite of “work”.  There is this constant struggle to prove social media capabilities will generate business benefits.  But in fact, many are still facing the skepticism of business leaders to invest in such features.  For those, this study will be of great help, for it will give some additional information to support selling the idea of implementing social tools.  Some of the expected benefits are:

  • Health care costs are reduced in about 50%; employees active in the virtual social space go less to the doctor, since they can identify the cause of their problems by sharing them with other people
  • Employees create 80% less Power Point presentations, especially the useless ones
  • They will send 15% less e-mails and will copy less people because they will not have time to write them while they share all those music video clips from the 80s
  • They will no longer request salary increases or promotions and never call for a sick day, because we will know people playing all day long with social networking are not really working or sick
  • Employees will only provide intelligent ideas, which they will copy from the really smart people in their network
  • They will never be late for meetings.  As a matter of fact there will be much less of those endless meetings where nothing is decided, since they will want to get back and look how many people liked their “I can see a bird from my window” status
  • 98% of the projects are delivered on time, on budget and with high user satisfaction rates, company revenue will increase by 70% and all global economic issues will be resolved

As you probably realized by now this is not a serious study.  It’s not even a real study.  The fact that triggered this post was my recent research about good business reasons to justify a serious investment in the social media space for the enterprise, coupled with a humorous tweet (at least I hope so) stating people who blog live longer.


It’s unbelievable the claims you’ll find about the benefits of social media and how discussions about the topic have become exaggerated.   Perhaps, there is no time for real studies because if people spend the appropriate time they may be already behind the competition.  New technologies come and go so quickly companies can’t afford to wait and be a late adopter.  However, implementing just for the sake of keeping current with the latest technology is not the answer either.

Social media like any other technology won’t do magic.  By themselves, technologies hardly resolve any problem.  In my observations over the years, what really makes the difference is the focus on 2 basic foundational points:

  1. The quality of people you have – Selecting and retaining the right talents is really what will define the success of a business or any enterprise for that matter.  They will be able to navigate through the fast collaboration and social media transformation happening in the world and define the right set of capabilities for real business needs, which leads me to the second point…
  2. Identify the opportunity/problem you are trying to address – in a business setting where people fight for funds, you ought to have a very clear business opportunity or business problem you want to fix.  Just implementing something because other people say it’s important will not work

If you have those 2 components figured out, I have no question you will be able to successfully implement a solid collaboration and social media strategy and roadmap.  There are enough options today available in the marketplace for any size of company, but they will not resolve or work if your base is not in place.  Get the foundation done first and who knows, that alone may make you live 25% longer!

--- Vinicius da Costa is Associate Director, Collaboration and Social Media Solutions at Kraft Foods. This text represents his personal opinion and does not represent the views of Kraft Foods, Inc.

#socialmedia #lifespan #E20 #ROI #e2conf #quality #Collaboration #leadership #businesstransformation #business