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Don't Send Me Invites

There was a recent study undertaken somewhere – Australia, if memory serves me right – that arrived at the rather contentious conclusion that logging onto Facebook actually helps employees raise productivity levels. The premise of the conclusion is that if an employee is faced with a particularly tricky or even monotonous task, taking a peek at what’s going on in friends’ lives elsewhere helps the employee’s mind to focus enough to resume accomplishing the task at hand.

Now, before any of the bosses among you starts barking instructions at the Network Ads to begin unblocking the site from the company firewall, consider the following: 1) there is every possibility that the study was commissioned by Facebook; 2) I have no information on the empirical quality of the study, if at all; 3) the study must have assumed that respondents were being truthful in their answers to the survey questions; 4) they were probably not because Facebook can be so much fun; and 5) the study is probably of little worth but nevertheless what most Facebook users want to hear, anyway.

So go tell your Network Ads to put the firewall block back on…

The study must have assumed that 1) all employees are equally responsible; 2) employees merely peek at Facebook to see who posted a photo, changed statuses, said something to somebody or commented on something somebody else did; or 3) none of the respondents used any of the countless gaming apps that third-party companies spend so much time developing.

And they do… At least, some of them do…

Now, let us digress to a strictly HR point of view. Assuming that both boss and subordinate are registered and simultaneously logged onto Facebook, consider the following scenarios.

And assuming that boss and subordinate are “friends” on Facebook, boss can: 1) monitor the News Feed and see on the stream who did something on Pet Society, Friends for Sale, Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, Farmville or any of the countless apps that integrate seamlessly into the site; 2) check the frequency of an employee’s interaction with the gaming app, with the times of interaction conveniently provided; 3) hit the Print Screen button to copy the News Feed into the PC’s random access memory; 4) transfer the data onto a graphics editing software for rendering into a graphic or PDF file; and 5) have this printed as Exhibit “A” to go into the 201 file, probably as a first step leading to – if the employee is a habitual offender – termination.

On the other hand, the subordinate can 1) take perverse comfort in seeing the boss do the exact same thing; but 2) he is the boss; and 3) he is the boss.

Before anyone gets carried away and starts heading for the legal department, I would like to state categorically that I am just attempting to make a parody of the boss-subordinate relationship within the context of this silly little web site that has invaded all our lives to the extent that we certifiably itch when have not seen what has streamed into the News Feed in just a few hours: Facebook!

Some of you might have noticed that I hardly do anything on the site during daytime. “Careful…!!!” sabi ngâ ni Ate Ludz… Like the respondents to the aforementioned survey, I am logged on during the day, but just to take sneak peeks at the News Feed if just to see what stupid quiz somebody has just taken.

Those of you who have looked at my profile would have noticed that I do not game… anymore… I had risen to the rank of Count Dracula in the classic Vampires Versus Werewolves; and Captain Jack Sparrow in the equally classic Pirates Versus Ninjas.

I spent long hours trying to figure out how to accumulate gold; but the sophisticated algorithms prevented me from discovering any sort of patterns. Whenever I made any sort of progress, I would end up dismayed when I woke up the next day to find somebody had stolen my gold while I slept.

Entonces, I arrived at the conclusion – albeit belatedly – that it was all an utter waste of precious time. So kids, don’t send me any invites. I ignore them all. Graduate na ako d’yan

[This article was first published on 18 August 2009.]

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