Facebook: It is so Rewarding

We work in large organisations that ban access to social media.

We have long-winded IT policies that forbid our employees from tweeting, liking, stumbling or commenting.

After all we are paying these people to work, not to surf the internet catching up with their friends.

But is our logic sound?  Should we isolate our employees from the world?

Tasmania (before Facebook)

If anywhere can claim to be cut off from the world Tasmania can.  Tasmania is a small and lonely place on the edge of nowhere.  It sits 130 miles south of Australia, the next stop, is the South Pole, 3,000 miles away.

When Europeans first discovered the island in 1642 they found 4,000 hunter-gatherers.  They were living a prehistoric lifestyle, they couldn’t light fire, they didn’t have stone tools, they couldn’t sew and they didn’t even know how to fish.

When the Tasmanians drifted apart from mainland Australia, all communication with their aboriginal cousins stopped, they became completely isolated, technology stopped developing, skills were forgotten and their society faltered.

Communication is a good thing

When we communicate ideas spread, connections happen, innovation occurs, our jobs become more specialised and the standard of living rises.

Is banning social media such a good idea?

Should we ban the telephone, for fear that people will talk on it rather than work?

If our biggest problem is that our staff are so bored that they would rather spend all their time on Facebook, then shouldn’t we give them something more challenging to do?

Does banning Twitter make work more fulfilling?

And if we can’t find them something challenging to do

Then we should at least give them access to LinkedIn.  Then they could find another job.

It is the only humane thing to do.

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Bored at Work

Read another opinion

Image by Dmitry Baranovskiy


  1. James Lawther says:

    Did I use the F word???

    The following email message was blocked by MailMarshal:

    From: james.lawther@squawkpoint.com
    To: ******@*****.com
    Subject: Facebook: It is so Rewarding
    Message: B51f1867a0000.000000000001.0001.mml

    Because it may contain unacceptable language, or inappropriate material.

    If you believe the message is business related, please send a message to IBM-Operations@***.com and request that the message be released, or remove any inappropriate language and send it again. If no contact is made within 5 days the message will be automatically deleted.

    MailMarshal Rule: Spam & Junk Mail : Block Pornographic Language

    Email Content Security

    • Wow. I guess that company not only doesn’t allow employees access to Facebook but doesn’t even allow them to get emails that mention the word. Crazy.

      Great point about isolation. So many people get their news via social media now instead of news outlets or sites.

      Totally agree with your point that social media is really just another communication channel. Time to do away with phones!


  2. Hi James,
    Interesting first comment…was that an email that you received from one of your subscribers?

    It’s also really interesting to me that we don’t monitor phone communications half as much as web and social media communications. Do organisations believe that people don’t ‘waste’ time on the phone?

    Or, is it just that social media is the new shiny thing that organisations have not quite got their heads round yet?


    • It is only that the suits don’t know of technology to order phone monitoring automatically by computer (to interrupt and say “hey you said the word facebook the time for this call has been removed from your timesheet, make sure you stay at your desk late today to make up for it” :-).

      While I think it would be a mistake, I can imagine if it is cheap they will attempt to control phone use too if they can get cheap technology solutions to control it in the way they can control text or urls (they did used to do stuff like block long distance calls – I can’t imagine and even semi-sensible company doing that any more as the cost is no longer an issue).

  3. This post resonates with one of my greatest frustrations.

    I understand companies fears – a phone call is a fleeting one to one conversation but anything on social media is publicly preserved in aspic for all eternity. The frustrated employee, the mischievous employee, the incompetent could leave the company permanently stained.

    But why on earth do they not lead, recruit well, and engage so that IT policies on social media are not required. Mischief and incompetence would be unthinkable. Social media is just the way we do work and communicate now – time for companies to transform!

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