Use of social media at work – helps or harms? (Part 1)

Today, one of the most relevant topics of discussion is the use of social media at work. Not that long ago our Ministry of Foreign Affairs prohibited its employees from using Facebook at work. This prohibition is only one of many, as I believe such measures are undertaken in other institutions as well, only people do not talk about that out loud. However, each such resonant event quickly sparks debates on whether this is good or bad.

Different studies, a cornucopia of which I’ve observed, attempt to answer this question. Interestingly enough they justify the idea that the use of social media at work is necessary, meanwhile I have not yet come across those studies, which would clearly prove that this should not be done. All these discussions raise one general question on whether one can engage in outside activities while working, i.e. can people go for a smoke, talk on the phone, chat on Facebook, etc. while at work? In my opinion, first of all the fact is how and why working people are faced with such a need in general. No one would be surprised by me saying that people are social beings who need to communicate – and here you have the answer. However, here two approaches that can be distinguished – the first case states that people can communicate only after work, as this is when they become social beings. Working people are believed to be only robots performing functions assigned to them. Another approach expresses the view that a person is a social being by nature, thus he should remain such at work as well. It is believed that this why he feels free, while when doing what one wants, the desire to create emerges. I am convinced that creativity is the most important basis for any activities. If a person becomes a robot, he loses many essential human qualities necessary in all activities. Of course, the fact of what kind of job we are talking about should be considered, because if we have in mind working with machines, people basically work as robots there. If during their work, which requires full attention, they were to start using Facebook, various injuries would be inevitable. Moreover, there are organizations, the presence of which on the internet is a bad thing altogether, for example, the State Security Department, employees of which most probably use local area networks. However, if we are talking about service, communication-related activities, which are clearly different from working with machines, such a prohibition is essentially absurd.

Prohibiting a person from doing what he wants can completely quell any creative origin possessed by him. After all, Facebook is only one of many measures allowing people to communicate, thus if an employee is prohibited from using it, he will quickly find another way to access communication with who he wants to be engaged with. Maybe he will no longer use Facebook, but will start talking more on the phone, take longer smoking breaks, coffee breaks and look for other opportunities to communicate with others. I am deeply convinced that such decisions made in organisations clearly show the obvious lack of understanding of these obvious things.

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To Be Continued

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