What do you think? In a world of multitasking employees with smartphones that can access the full internet all day long, do you think it’s worth banning social networking sites at large companies? Are you encountering this same problem at work? How do you deal with it? Is getting an iphone the right decision for me?
Social Networking, or Lack Thereof
There are many things I like about my new job. The people I work with, getting to run my own library, have a large, decluttered office all to myself, etc. But there is one thing I really don’t like. I have zero access to several of my favorite websites, namely Facebook, Twitter, and Pandora. Thankfully, I can still access my non-work email, my Google reader, my blog, and a few other places, but not being able to stay socially connected is really bothering me. I’m a huge Facebook user and have been ever since it debuted my freshman year of college. I started using Twitter because I thought it was fun, and I really like to listen to my Pandora stations while I work. I also love to gchat (Google’s instant messaging feature) with my friends while we are at work, but even that is blocked. I don’t think restricting access to these sites is keeping me from doing quality work, but it does allow me to stay connected throughout the day outside of email and texting. Not that I mind doing either one of those, I would just rather chat (and peruse Facebook).
I understand that I work for a large corporation and in a hospital, so using these sorts of sites probably isn’t in the best interest of the company and our patients. But I don’t think that limiting where I can visit online is going to make me a more efficient librarian. I am part of the internet generation. I learned to be a good student, and now a good employee, during the rise of social networking, blogging, and way too much internet use. In spite of this, I still manage to get things done (in a timely and efficient manner I might add). I, as well as most of my generation, are multitaskers. I can perform literature searches for patrons while gchatting with my best friend, I can answer the phone while blogging, and I’m pretty sure that I could listen to a Pandora station while cataloging. Social networking has become huge in the library world and limiting my access is actually hurting my career (maybe. I could be making that up =) ).
To combat this lack of connectivity to the outside world during working hours, I have been thinking of getting an iphone. It’s very expensive and with just starting a new job, it’s probably not the best use of $200 plus the $30 a month data plan. However, 3G coverage would allow me to access all the sites I can’t get to at work and allow me to stay more connected with my friends and colleagues during the day. I haven’t been able to totally justify the expense other than how much I want one and how much I could use it at work.