GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES OF WORK-RELATED IMPACTS TO DIGITAL WELL-BEING BY SOCIAL MEDIA PROFESSIONALS - A PILOT STUDY
Keywords:Social Media, Digital Well-being, Digital Labour, Post-Fordism, Boundary Management
The pervasiveness of social media has resulted in the establishment of a new career sector to manage the digital marketing, communications, public relations and advertising activities for businesses, nonprofits and high-profile individuals (McCosker, 2017). Consequently, the lines between work and personal lives have blurred, when constant connection and working across time-zones can be job requirements for workers providing social media support. Studies investigating digital labour, boundary management and Post-Fordism have explored technology’s impact on working conditions, but few have specifically examined the perspectives of social media professionals within the context of 'digital well-being', defined as "...the ability to look after personal health, safety, relationships and work-life balance in digital settings". This pilot study provides an insight into the perceptions of 15 social media professionals from six continents, to examine if current working conditions have impacted their health and well-being. Results indicated that most participants perceived the responsibility for digital well-being to be equally shared between employer and employee. However, the majority of the sample reported experiencing the inability to disconnect from work during their personal time, feelings of stress when managing live events/campaigns, including live-streaming, and being exposed to negative comments and messages when managing online communities. Only three out of the 15 social media professionals interviewed identified measures implemented at their workplaces to promote digital well-being, suggesting employers may perceive their duty-of-care ends when social media professionals leave work for the day even though their responsibilities can follow them home.