Facebook and Work

by Katherine on August 15, 2011

Facebook

Perhaps one reason that I have failed to update my Blog is that I have been too busy on facebook! Now whilst my blog is professional my FB activities are most certainly personal. So why am I blogging about facebooking? I’m going to look at this from an ergonomic impact. Is it good for us or not and what may be the impact on our working lives?

Psychological Impacts:

FB most certainly is a sociable activity. It helps us to connect with other people at any time of day, fitting in with modern lifestyles and our ’24 hour’ society. Due to the advances in mobile technology, most of us are able to ‘ log in’ wherever we are and whatever we are doing. At work, this maybe during our lunch break. It may be at regular intervals throughout the working day or it may be a near constant use of facebook, when really we should be doing other things. So is this good or bad? Well I guess this may depend on what type of work you are undertaking. For some individuals involving themselves in facebook banter may enhance their work by increasing their motivation and overall happiness. For others, it is likely a distraction that takes their mind away from the task in hand.

Other problems maybe where professional and personal lives intertwine. What is safe for your close friends to witness on facebook may have more of a detrimental impact on current or past work colleagues, who know you in a more professional capacity. Having said that, I do feel that sometimes this can also be an advantage, as you may come across more positively. But the big danger of facebook must be what you post. How easy is it to have a rant on facebook, publically insult others, or even worse, come across badly yourself, possibly by too many negative status updates, washing your dirty laundry in public or basically appearing needy and sad? If you happen to be at work whilst writing or reading emotionally charged topics this may translate into more emotionally charged behaviour at work!

Physical impacts:

Sitting facebooking increases our exposure to sitting at a computer, whether this be a desk top, laptop or handheld device. For most people this will have a hugely detrimental impact and is likely lead to increased aches and pains. In clinic I treat too many bad backs or bad necks which are associated with sedentary lifestyles, especially when work is undertaken at a computer. Getting up and moving around or going for a walk at lunchtime, rather than sitting Facebooking is a much healthier habit.

My own personal experience:

From my own personal perspective I have only been active on facebook for about 7 months. I’m learning my way through. Whilst I think Facebook can be a great forum for topical and heavy issues I know that I personally have been a bit too deep and philosophical at times. I have tried really hard not to ‘slag’ anyone off but I know that I have not always got it right. BUT, I do have good friends on facebook and I know I will be let off easily for posting bits that really I shouldn’t have. I have tried to inject humour whenever possible but also to be supporting and understanding. I love the fact that I am now in contact with people that I certainly would not have been if it were not for Facebook. I love the whacky threads that sometimes come from nothing and from the interaction of your own friends with other people’s friends. I know I have certainly been a bit obsessive about it, and at times read and tried to evaluate other people in a way that should only be done face to face. It has got in the way of work a little but I have very flexible working hours, so work still does get done! At the end of the day the positives certainly outweigh the negatives for me. I will not be closing my Facebook account, but perhaps I will try to login a little less!!

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