We work in large organisations that ban access to social media.
We have long-winded IT policies that forbid our employees from tweeting, liking, stumbling or commenting.
After all we are paying these people to work, not to surf the internet catching up with their friends.
But is our logic sound? Should we isolate our employees from the world?
Tasmania (before Facebook)
If anywhere can claim to be cut off from the world Tasmania can. Tasmania is a small and lonely place on the edge of nowhere. It sits 130 miles south of Australia, the next stop, is the South Pole, 3,000 miles away.
When Europeans first discovered the island in 1642 they found 4,000 hunter-gatherers. They were living a prehistoric lifestyle, they couldn’t light fire, they didn’t have stone tools, they couldn’t sew and they didn’t even know how to fish.
When the Tasmanians drifted apart from mainland Australia, all communication with their aboriginal cousins stopped, they became completely isolated, technology stopped developing, skills were forgotten and their society faltered.
Communication is a good thing
Is banning social media such a good idea?
Should we ban the telephone, for fear that people will talk on it rather than work?
If our biggest problem is that our staff are so bored that they would rather spend all their time on Facebook, then shouldn’t we give them something more challenging to do?
Does banning Twitter make work more fulfilling?
And if we can’t find them something challenging to do
Then we should at least give them access to LinkedIn. Then they could find another job.
It is the only humane thing to do.
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Image by Dmitry Baranovskiy