Is Facebook good or bad?

It seems to me that if I was to believe the pundits social media is going to either cause the next apocalypse or be the saviour for us all! 

But I want to look at two specific cases here and their relationship with HR.

First the negative.

Kimberley SwannKimberley Swann, at 16 year old in the UK, who was sacked from Ivell Marketing & Logistics for posting on her Facebook profile that her office administration job was boring. Some more background:

  • It was her first real office job, yes she was employed at a call centre before but this was her first office job. 
  • The company only found out after she allowed another employee to become a “friend” on Facebook.
  • She never mentioned the company name, so no initial damage.
  • There is no information on if the company provided her an acceptable usage policy, even while she posted from home it should have highlighted that she should have a due diligence when interacting online.

While it might not have been the smartest of things to do, I personally don’t think it should result in immediate dismissal. The company would have done better to take on board the fact that she was bored and look at ways to use her skills, also explaining that posting on Facebook was not the smartest of moves. If she did it again then look at discipline actions.

Another thought if they had done nothing Ivell Marketing & Logistics or Steve Ivell would not be all over the Internet and they would not have had to remove the contact us page on their web site due Facebook users crashing their email server. 

Now the positive, Deloitte’s is paying employees for using Facebook to find new employees! Deloitte’s a large user of social media as part of regular business operations and recruitment, this only entrenches them as a leader around innovation.

Now this brings me to Brett from Job Adder’s post from last week, he’s right don’t put the cart before the horse otherwise you and your social media campaign will end up on the cart even if you don’t want to go on the cart.

18 thoughts on “Is Facebook good or bad?

  1. Well in this case social media has clearly been bad for everyone involved in this sorry tale.

    I wonder how long it will be before IT curriculum in schools includes a few lessons on the perils of social media and how it can damage your career prospects!

  2. I actually believe that Facebook is great. In addition, I would like to condemn the company for firing an employee for saying that her job is boring. Facebook is a personal forum and not a professional one.

  3. Having a boring job is something about 90% of the population experiences on a daily basis. Admitting it is a sign of intelligence and honesty. Firing someone for being honest and intelligent is a mark against that company who obviously needs to start dealing not with threats to its “image” but with its reality as an employer.

  4. @Robin very true!

    @Kevin again spot on, the result is just as bad for all concerned. Interesting is it an IT subject to teach people how to operate online? Or is it an induction process for companies hiring new employees? Or parents?

    @Valencio but where does the boundary lie between work and personal? Is Deloitte not pushing FB to be a professional tool? Here in Australia we have several companies engaging staff through FB.

    @Kate my thoughts exactly! I was talking with a very senior employee of one of the largest software vendors globally who was amazed at the amount they could learn from the 25yo they were mentoring. They said at one point they wondered how the person got any work done due to the continual multi-tasking but eventually figured that the 25yo was more productive than they were at 60+. Interesting perspective.

    Thanks all for the comments.

  5. Well you know how much I rant about my job on Twitter – and that’s completely public! But I don’t believe I’m breaching any codes or policy. I do not slander my employer – but I have bad days and I share those. I also have good days too which I share. I don’t see a problem with it. Employers shouldn’t be so narrow-minded.

  6. There’s a local Twitterer here who is also an efficiency consultant. She argues *for* restricting access to social media by business because she feels people “waste” too much time on it.

    In the days before the net, I recall bosses walking the halls listening for people taking personal calls on work time.

    They seldom showed up at my house at 2 am to make sure I wasn’t thinking about work.

    I fully agree the correct action here (esp with someone who is 16) is to say “aww shucks, you’re bored? What wouldn’t make you bored?”

  7. @Michael – They said at one point they wondered how the person got any work done due to the continual multi-tasking but eventually figured that the 25yo was more productive than they were at 60+. Interesting perspective.

    I believe this is misguided. It’s not just about what you do, but also how well you do it!

    People can’t truly multi task at work (doing multiple things at the same time). What is really happening is best described by a digital communications term, called Time Division Multiplexing. Meaning that you are dividing your time, and your attention, between multiple tasks. The result is likely to be that you don’t do any of them as well as you might do if you concentrated on one task at a time. In fact it may be even quicker to do that as well. So while you think you might be working well by trying to do multiple things at once, you are probably working inefficiently and at a sub standard level.

    Email is a well recognised efficiency sapper. Couple that with Twitter, IM and SMS and it’s a wonder how people who are interacting with all these channels can get anything done.

  8. Being discreet is a good strategy to employ. Why add needless risk to your job in this market.

    But companies seem to be over reacting to such statements . Its almost like being in China where any negative statement about the govt can put you behind bars.

    One can only imagine how open these firms would be for feedback from within if such is the reaction for an innocuous statement – like feeling bored.

  9. Many firms have their pages on facebook and other social networking websites,i guess this was done to protect the company.It is agreeable that 90% experience boredom at their workplace,Steve Ivell surely experienced the same.but to display it publicly can threaten both the employer and the employee.

  10. REALLY? got fired for saying her job was boring?!?! the company has some serious problems! so what? she was bored and she told people! lolz the company needs to get a life! i love facebook i talk to all my friends n i love love love sorority life lloolz

  11. yeah,, the point is facebook is good not bad.. if u can use facebook carefully, u’ll not get into a jail.. u can makes a lot of money, hahaha.,.. ^_^

  12. Friends are amazed I’m not on FB. I don’t get it: I’m not selling anything, not looking for work, & not trying to make friends other than face-to-face. Is there any other reason to be on ? Email & texting works well enough…or am I missing something?

  13. Facebook is a good source because you can ahve a social life with your friends and connect with friends from even another country. Now theres email but facebook has instant connection and it is garunteed more comfortable then email. You can write what your doing how ur doing it why ur doing at and other people can comment instantly. Now you might say that they are sexual predators out there wo say facebook is bad and i belive that they are. But facebook has a program that lest you block friends which you rarely talk to nd ur still friends with them but like they say it ” It Limits Your Friendship” so they can only see your default picture and send you messages. With all these deiffrent things these geniuses made to this brilliant webstie it makes facebook very social, fun and who knows maybe you can become famous. You might also say that maybe its adicting and that kids might not do what they have to do cause of it. I mean yes but its not like its something bad i mean its only a social network and isnt that we have parents to change things that us kids dont notice now a days.

  14. Facebook is a social networking service that was started in February 2004 and is used by many people as a means of communication. 500 million active users are on it, so people are bound to run into friends from the past and families they did not know about. Facebook the leading social site has a lot of different ways to communicate, has some similarities and differences to MySpace, and like everything also has its flaws.
    Facebook is just so great. Today’s Facebook population consists of around 500 million users worldwide. The majority of Facebook users are between the ages 18 – 25. Facebook is used by teenagers and adults for means of communication with family and friends from all over the world. This is how Facebook works: There is something on a member’s profile called a “wall” and people are allowed to write on member’s walls, it is like a comment. When people post on walls others can view them and also add one to it or simply click a “like” or “dislike” option. This allows for more communication to happen and introduces new friends. There is also a “status” option, which allows for a member to post how they feel, how their day was, or anything random that can come up to the mind. Just like the way the wall post works, the status works the same because other members may also comment on it. Facebook also allows people to upload photos to share with friends and families. When there is friend online one can have a IM option that allows people to chat with other friends. If they are not logged on there is also a message option, to keep it a bit more personal and private.
    Facebook is the new version of MySpace. When Facebook was created in 2004, it was meant to serve the purpose that MySpace did. As time went by Facebook became superior, growing its popularity until it surpassed MySpace. Now most people use Facebook and do not even log onto their MySpace, but there are reasons for this. Facebook seems like it is made for the older generation, it is more public and it allows more people to communicate with each other from one single post. On the other hand, MySpace was more private and the only thing people could see was a member’s status. This was because MySpace has special codes that allow users to hide all the comments left by other members. Facebook, being more sophisticated, has fewer kids on it. Unlike on MySpace there are always little kids talking bad about someone else and it is just a great big circle of drama.
    Facebook has no privacy. What is privacy? The way Facebook choose to run the website is a bad idea because it allows for many more people to communicate with each other by posting. But, by making this so public more than friends can view this and know what people do, did and what they will be doing. There have even been incidents of in which people have been kidnapped and raped because the information they put out on their Facebook. Some people say, I will be doing this here and at this time and someone who is stalking them through Facebook can be waiting for them. On Facebook privacy is something hard to achieve.
    Facebook is one of the greatest social networking sites ever created in our opinion. Since day one in February 2004, it has been very popular and still expanding. It is an awesome website with its entire means of communication, they are flawless. Also it tops any other social networking site out there. The one flaw it does have is its privacy settings are not high enough, all they need to do is put more restrictions to non-friend members of Facebook. Facebook, you know you need it.

  15. Umm id say its like a coin that has two sides good and bad ,for kids its bad they use it to much !

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