Why Letting the Military Update Facebook at Work Makes Sense
Recently, the Department of Defense granted military service members the privilege of accessing and updating social networking sites on military computers. The general feeling among the newly blessed users is that it will turn into a time-wasting mess, that they are going to take advantage of until it goes away again.
They are, of course, missing the whole point.
If you have a Facebook account, sooner or later, you WILL use it. The military knows this. It also knows that it has well over a million employees and, well, some of them are stupid and will put stupid stuff – possibly including stuff that damages the DOD image or even jeopardizing DOD missions – on their Facebook accounts. Now, knowing that stupidity is going online and also knowing that it is a LOT easier – as well as more legal – to monitor and take action against stupid stuff done on a government computer than at home in private on a personal computer, it becomes obvious that the DOD took an obvious and completely rational step. They are letting you do stuff on their computers so, if you start doing stupid stuff, they can more easily catch it and stop it.
It’s very likely to work for them too – after all, if you are stupid enough to put troop movements on Facebook, you are almost certainly stupid enough to do it at work on a monitored computer.
As an aside, if you think employers should block Facebook because of the amount of time wasted on it, most likely, you are making false assumptions about how much time you are NOT wasting when you aren’t on Facebook and how uniform the quality of your productive time is. Face it, those employees wasting time on Facebook would otherwise be wasting time twiddling their thumbs, daydreaming, talking, cleaning the gunk under their fingernails or doing any of umpteen million possible things we all waste our time with. And worse, these smaller time wasters, don’t actually provide quality time, which can recharge us. That “recharge” time is why employers give breaks in the first place – they have found that if you take a good ten to fifteen minutes for yourself, the quality of your work goes up!