Admittedly, I was late to the game.
When I finally created a Facebook account +/- one month ago, I was shocked to see all of the people from various phases of my life who’d beat me there. There were childhood friends, high school and college friends, colleagues from all of the different professional positions I’ve held, even family members. I was hooked right away. I know it’s not a competition, but my 86 Facebook friends definitely make me more invested in the site.
What’s more, my job as community manager of OpenDNS is to do just that – have a hand in everything that touches our awesome community. Imagine my surprise to find the group OpenDNS is the Stuff with forty-something members and a moderator whose name I didn’t recognize. (No doubt the coolest Facebook group. If you haven’t yet joined, you really should.) The fact that the group was born outside of our doing is great, but just because I didn’t build it didn’t mean I wasn’t going to be a part of it. I scanned the members, got familiar, intro’d myself to the moderator. And these things take time.
This is all ironic, of course, since I work for a company that blocks Facebook for thousands of businesses, organizations and households around the world. We did a survey recently and found that Facebook was the No. 2 most blocked domain on OpenDNS-using networks. (I’ll give you three guesses what the No. 1 most blocked domain was.) Since I’ve been using Facebook I’ve seen that the site is not unsafe for adults like me. No, not at all. But it does make me unproductive. Someone in my position, with my enthusiasm for Facebook, could easily pass a few hours during the workday tending to their account.
When we launched Web content filtering we weren’t sure who, besides parents and network admins at schools and libraries, would use it. Not everyone wants to be a censor. But I think my Facebook fixation and my acknowledgement that [me + work + Facebook = work not done] is pretty representative. When you’re on the clock, sites like Facebook can be a serious distraction. What you do on your own time, off the clock, is up to you.