How social media has become a health risk to workers

eNitiate | Bra Willy Seyama | Kinsta| Social Media | Health Risk to Employees | South Africa Ranking on LinkedIn | 24-dec-2020-Banner

Today, as I publish this eNsight, is the 24th of December, and the time is 2:30pm CAT.

But seriously though?

How many of you who will be reading this eNsight during “the December holidays ” have truly taken time off? I mean, switched off from work… completely?  

Why I ask? Read on if you dare.

Table of Contents

The inspiration for this eNsight

December has (strangely) become one of my most productive months since I became an entrepreneur.

Today, on the eve of Christmas 2020, I am working!

And the connection with the inspiration for this eNsight?

I visited LinkedIn earlier today to promote my latest eNsight on influencer marketing

When I was done, I decided to check my time line, and I came across these posts by two of my most favourite entrepreneurs:

Judging by the respective number of interactions, I suspect that some of the responses must have taken place today. 

In the case of Kgaugelo Mphai, he has been receiving LinkedIn notifications about responses to his post up to five days since he announced that he is going on recess – and some from workers who are already on leave themselves.

Do you think Kgaugelo is ignoring the notifications about reactions to his post from this “professional” social network? 

Unsurprisingly, a question popped in my head:

How many workers are truly on leave right now? That is, far away from anyone that reminds them of and anything that resembles work? Away from business Whatsapp groups, etc?


Why working from home can add to employee stress

You may have guessed the answer already, but let me share three interesting stats to make the point, with specific reference to South African workers.

1. Did you know many South African workers use social media for work?

Yes indeed they are, according to We Are Social.

eNitiate | Bra Willy Seyama | Social Media |Health Risk to Employees | Kgaugelo Maphai | 24-dec-2020-2
Graph 1 | Global Digital 2020 Report

Note that “social media” includes Whatsapp; and this puts it into perspective, does it not?

Graph 1 shows that globally, 4 in 10 people use social media for work.

Note that the number is higher at 6 in 10 South African workers who use social media for work (third ranking on the chart).


It’s not surprising that WhatsApp is bigger than Facebook in South Africa

Do the work colleagues know that they should not send work-related messages during leave?

2. Did you know South Africa ranks very high for the number of people on Linkedin in the world?

Yes, again. 

eNitiate | Bra Willy Seyama | Social Media |Health Risk to Employees | South Africa Ranking on LinkedIn | 24-dec-2020-2
Graph 2 | Global Digital Statshot October 2020

Graph 2 shows that South Africa has the 19th highest number of LinkedIn users in the world.

Let me repeat… IN THE WORLD.

This is the only social network where Mzansi is in the top 20 rankings. 

Note that this is the only country on the African continent that is in the top 20 for LinkedIn.


4 stats that show how South Africa’s digital adoption rates are growing ahead of global trends

So what do we use LinkedIn for, again? Do we, by any chance, log off our accounts when we go on leave, such as during this festive season? Or do we switch off only the notifications?

3. Did you know a fair number of South African workers would prefer to work from home?

And the answer again is…

Bra Willy Seyama | eNitiate | We Are Social | Global Web Index | Working From Home | COVID-19 | South Africa | 10 Aug 2020
Graph 3 | Global Digital Statshot July 2020

Graph 3 shows that 4 in 10 South African workers with Internet access are happier working from home. The global average is almost 3 in 10.

From home? Do they know when to switch off from work while at home? 

The dismal local tourism stats show that many of the workers will not be taking Sho’t Left this December – they will be home. Who will they be connecting with on social media, and what will they be talking about, during their home-bound holidays?

Let me connect the 3 stats (dots) in my summary

Here goes:

  • South African workers use social media for professional purposes.
  • There are many South African workers on LinkedIn.
  • A number of South Africans want to work from home. 

Indications are that the separation between work and pleasure is becoming blurry here

Do you agree? 


  • Where is the line drawn, especially during this festive holiday, between work and time away from it?
  • Has COVID-19 exacerbated anxiety about work?
  • Does this have any health implications?

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