Social Networks – ‘Timely’ Blessing or a Curse

Social Networks – ‘Timely’ Blessing or a CurseSocial media is, by definition, supposed to be a social experience, but it has left many of us addicted to its environment. Usually it is or going first into the address bar. It all starts with creating a profile, adding photos, finding friends, updating statuses, chatting with friends and playing games. And the best part is: we never know how time will fly, leaving us with a loss of several hours of productivity.

And this is why some employers have banned social media sites — as well as other potential time wasting avenues — from the office. Few employers argue that social networks are inherently bad, but what makes these sites great (freedom to post what’s on your mind, discuss the day’s hot topics, post silly pictures) is also what makes these sites a threat in terms of effective utilization of time.

Many companies found their confidential details and meeting agendas being posted on FB by their employees. But banning social sites is not going to help, employees use smart phones to connect to any of these sites. However, they can practice task tracking and assignment completions instead of ‘taking the toys away and hoping children don’t find something else to play with’.

Furthermore, people have reported a decline in their overall performance with the ban on social networks. They say that it was very refreshing and enjoyable to check statuses and posting comments in a few minutes of break from work.

People who are task-oriented and responsible for their deliverables (in fact everybody is responsible for their deliverables) carefully watch their time. Banning social sites would do nothing but make them feel as if they are working in a primary school’s computer lab, where they’ll regularly receive a ‘not enough permission’ message while doing research work.

Coming to the conclusion – on one hand many companies have declared social networks as complete time wastage, but on the other, there are a number of firms getting lucrative businesses from the same ‘time wasters’.

What is your vote regarding social networks: blessing or a curse, in terms of time utilization? Kindly give your feedback with rationale. A Conclusion shall be published at the end.


  • I like your viewpoint on this. And I tend to agree. Taking the toys away actually is counter productive. It leads to the “forbidden fruit” paradox. Question I have is… Why can’t we let results based performance speak for itself versus drafting yet another policy to ban Internet usage? This is a catch up game that is not winnable.
    In my work experience, I have seen both extremes and approaches. But at the end of the day, when you are left to your own devices and are treated as an adult, most people will tend to do the right thing, i.e. balance work and life in the right amounts.

  • They can be a blessing if you have some discipline and self control. I work out of a home office and anything can lead you astray. Social networks have proven very valuable in my business and personal life but I can see that without self control they could run your life.
    I schedule time for social networks just like any other task. I stop when the time is up or what I set out to do is done, whichever comes first. That way I get to have a real life too.

  • A blessing for those that use it wisely…it can really expand your connections but more importantly, your knowledge of multi-environments will be enhanced.
    It is a curse however for those that use it in negative ways, an example would be those that are too young to realize how words and collective published “hate” are harmful and can illustrate how a virul mechanism can be squandered.

  • I think every thing has -ve and +ve aspect, so you don’t say that social network is bad, being a SEO i know how social media can be use, there are many business who are using social network for their brand promotion and rocogniztion: if u want an example so i think you are also using social network for your blog promotion.

  • Remember when cell phones were ‘banned’ from the workplace?
    Same thing with ‘Social Media’. Eventually, it won’t become such an issue. Companies are somewhat reactive in their ‘policies’ on Social Media.
    The saying ‘one bad apple spoils the whole bunch’ may apply here. If one employee is abusing Social Media during the workday, address it with that employee (just like you would extra long lunch hours, etc.). It should not be a punishment of sorts for the whole company. Deal with the problem people and let the others go on with their productive days. My guess is the person who has the issues with abusing SM also has productivity problems at work.

  • With the advent of new media to social media these times are an ad agency’s dream.

  • The real answer lies somewhere in the middle. It is about return on investment, if you invest 5-10 minutes and get a lot of return (people interested in your company) then it can be good. If as some say you spend all day on it then it’s probably bad.
    Overall I would say unless someone’s job is PR it is probably more of a curse. People tend to get addicted to these social networks and end up blowing more time on them than they intended. Ultimately if someone is wasting too much time on them it’s effectively like someone showing up drunk to work everyday in terms of lost productivity.

  • Just my personal opinion….I find Professional Networks such as this one useful. However, I think that Social Networks such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter a COMPLETE WASTE of time and I have NO interest in joining any of those sites.

  • It’s becoming a bigger issue everyday as more people join and waste a lot of time on the internet. Social networking is known for its ability to be addictive because of its collaborative nature which people enjoy a lot.
    I think in the business world, more corporate organizations are looking at social networks as a potential money maker because of its customer referral abilities. A good example is Facebook, which I use on a daily basis for both business and personal. Perhaps the answer to your question is ‘both’.

  • William Powell

    Social media has always existed. The expression of it has only change with the advent of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
    If this particular expression is made unavailable, people will find a new outlet to express their desire for social media.
    Relationships are what have always made for good business. Will some people abuse it? Of course. But there will always be people who abuse whatever they have available to them. It could be copy paper, office supplies, or any other aspect of work.
    How one manages this will be determined on a more individual level.

  • Padric O'Rouark

    The company I work for does not exactly ban them as much as track the employee usage. You log onto one and you get a big banner before you can do anything. People have been fired as a result of abusing company time in this manner.

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