Building a fence around Facebook

Typical perimeter fence with barbed wire on top. Wikipedia

Facebook is too large to ignore, in time every government and major business will have to wade into the pool with some rules.  My sister in a previous job had her internet access restricted to keep her from posting on Facebook; now working for herself she rarely, once or twice a week, posts anything on Facebook – as opposed to 4 or 5 times a day before she lost her internet access.  That is certainly one problem, just how much time at work does the average worker spend on Facebook? Whatever the number it represents  lost productivity.

Of course, there will be those that argue the employee in regular daily contact with family and friends is happier and healthier and therefore more productive and cheaper to insure.  Others will put forward the argument that using Facebook to build a network of social contacts can also be beneficial to a business; my other sister and her family in Oz use Facebook to connect their friends to their employer’s business and to their own business interests.  All of the advocates believe in the value of Facebook and in consequence use it in their strategic as well as social planning.  Besides, at this point there is hardly a business without a Facebook page: “Friend us and get the latest updates and offers;  Follow us on Facebook.”  As common as Facebook has become, we are only at the beginning stages of the social media revolution.  As I said, every entity is going to have to have a policy to control its use and one to maximize its use.

The update: New York City is forbidding its teachers from friending students.  I think that is a first, but probably isn’t, when my granddaughter was in high school two years ago, she certainly had teachers as Facebook friends, all the members of a team and the coaches were usually friends on Facebook and no one was harmed.  However, at this point, there have been dozens of stories about teachers and students in the midst of “affairs” posting very revealing messages and pictures on Facebook; but even without Facebook, the sinning teacher always seems willing to put sexy pictures in phone and email messages; the students are just as willing.   In Las Vegas this week one school believes it has “evidence” of seven students violating school policy and the law by sextexting.  Without or without Facebook, teachers have always found a way to get involved with students if they were predisposed to do so.  Building a fence around Facebook to control its impact on education, government and business is going to be a major trend in the future.



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March 2012
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