Facebook – a A$5 billion waste of time

Here we go again!
The media has previously inflamed panic about internet surfing, blogging and Googling – all related to time wasting at work… and now, fasten your seat belts… here comes the social networking scare mongering!

According to this article in the Sydney Morning Herald Facebook may be costing Australian businesses A$5 billion a year !

"THE next time you see an employee hunched intently over the computer, don’t imagine he or she is slaving over the office accounts or a report for the next shareholders meeting.

Employees are more likely to be whiling away the hours on the social networking site Facebook, a report says.

Richard Cullen of SurfControl, an internet filtering company, estimates the site may be costing Australian businesses $5 billion a year. "Our analysis shows that Facebook is the new, and costly, time-waster," he said.

The report calculates that if an employee spends an hour each day on Facebook, it costs the company more than $6200 a year. There are about 800,000 workplaces in Australia.

One anonymous enthusiast, quoted in the SurfControl study, said: "Of course everyone checks Facebook at work, duh! I don’t have neither internet nor a TV at home because I like doing more useful things with my time when I’m off work."

Another user was even more candid. "I work full time as a tax accountant," she said. "For the past two weeks I’d say I have averaged about 15 minutes of work per day."

The site has even replaced internal messaging systems and emails, themselves legendary guzzlers of work time, for communicating within offices."

Of course, there’s no questioning the intentions of the company who authored the report – an internet filtering company – is there??!!
This is a perfect example to share with my students – about critically evaluating content presented on the internet. Understanding the implications and how this may influence their practice as educators.

The selected quotes from the report are perfectly positioned…. actually made me giggle… if someone can manage only 15 minutes of work a day then it doesn’t say much about their workplace… or job role!
And of course, it neglects to address what exactly people are doing with Facebook, doesn’t it..??.!
Perhaps, like blogging and Googling, they might just be working… perhaps social networks can include some effective work practices that the authors aren’t aware of … ! 
I think this report says more about the naivety of the authors of the report – and in fact the journalist, than it does about the negative aspects of social networking!

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