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Facebook Can Get You Fired

written by: Sheri Newton•edited by: Michael Hartman•updated: 5/23/2012

Do you use Facebook or other social networking websites while at work? If so, your job might be in danger! Find out how your Facebook addiction could land you in the unemployment line, and what to do to make sure you’re not fired for using it.

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    The Facebook Addiction

    Facebook logo Are you addicted to Facebook? If so, you’re not alone. According to an online survey of 2,500 people conducted by Coed magazine, College Candy, and Busted Coverage, revealed that almost 80% of those questioned can’t go more than 24 hours without logging into the social networking site.

    How often do you check your social networking websites? If you check it once a day or more, you’re probably addicted too. What makes the addiction even worse is those who are using Facebook at work. Not only is it making you less productive at your job, but it can also lead to you being fired. Are status updates and FarmVille really that important? I vote “No."

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    Facebook Use at Work

    A survey from 2009 by Nucleus Research found that 77% of Facebook users used the website while at their job. 87% of these didn’t have any reason to use it at work except for their own enjoyment. A survey from 2010 by Palo Alto Networks questioned Facebook users anonymously, and found that 96% of the employees working at the corporations it questioned use Facebook at work, 93% use Twitter at work, 86% use LinkedIn at work, and 79% use MySpace at work.

    The Sims Social on Facebook Sure, some people do need to use Facebook for their job. These people are promoting their company, using social branding, or just reaching out to their customers. I’m not suggesting that this is a problem; it is actually really good for business when used in this way. The people that are having the problem aren’t using it for these reasons.

    The problem starts when regular employees that work in an office environment have access to Facebook, and are on it constantly throughout the day checking in with status updates, chatting with friends, playing FarmVille, The Sims Social, or other addictive social games.

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    Facebook and Productivity at Work

    Some companies block all social networking websites on their internet connections. There are some ways around this, but doing so and getting caught could cause you to lose your job for using Facebook at work. If you think they can’t find out what websites you’re visiting, you’re wrong.

    Other workers just use their smartphone to connect to their friends on social network websites, and are constantly texting their friends and family. This isn’t a good idea, because employers don’t want their employees on their phones all the time. Trying to hide it doesn’t work well either, and honestly just makes you look like a dishonest and secretive slacker.

    The doctor I used to go to had office workers and nurses that were more interested in being on Facebook than waiting on patients. I realized this after waiting for over two hours to get in to the first smaller waiting room they place you in, only to find that six of the workers were huddled around a computer with Facebook on the screen. Not only was I angry at them wasting my time, but what kind of a message does that give to the patient? When I finally saw the doctor, I explained why I was so angry (I had been waiting three hours now), and why I was changing doctors immediately. One of my relatives actually worked in the office, and I found out later that a few of the workers that were on Facebook that day were fired, but if the problem still persists in this office, I’m not sure. They’ll never receive my business again.

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    Facebook Can Cause You to Lose Your Job

    A company doesn’t hire and pay their workers to be on Facebook when they should be doing their job. If you want to text your friends, check status updates, or play Facebook games, you need to do that in your own time – at home.

    If a company is tracking your internet usage and monitoring your computer, you better believe that if they catch you using social networking websites or other internet websites irrelevant to your job, they will fire you. There are plenty of people that are looking for employment that would be happy to take your job and not use Facebook at work. Don’t give them a reason to fire you. Keep your Facebook addiction at home and away from the workplace.

    Another thing that gets people in trouble at work, and often fired for using Facebook is calling in sick, and then posting on Facebook that you’re really somewhere else having a great time, or the reason you’re sick is from that nasty hangover from the party you attended the night before – complete with pictures of you in action getting drunk. Be careful when using social networking websites, and always set your privacy settings to maximum levels when possible to avoid that disastrous outcome.

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