Lack of Facebook Access Makes You Want to Quit? Grow up, Punks

Ann All

What would make you quit your job? Lack of insurance or other benefits? A lengthy and expensive commute? Limited advancement opportunities? No Facebook access?


A recent survey by IT services provider Telindus found that a whopping 39 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds would consider leaving their jobs if a Facebook ban was imposed, reports Another 21 percent said they'd feel "annoyed" by such a ban. I assume Telindus did the survey before the latest dismal jobs report.


This is one of those items guaranteed to make me feel like a crone, because my initial reaction is "Grow up, punks." In fact, that's still my reaction, even after mulling it over.


Yeah, I get that folks want to use consumer tools to help them do their jobs better. I use some consumer tools at the office myself. But let's get real, Facebook offers little the average worker can use for work. As a recent Flowing Data study showed, the majority of Facebook applications fall into three categories: "just for fun," gaming and sports. Not to mention, Facebook can have a deleterious impact at the office. In addition to its time-wasting potential, heavy Facebook usage can slow network performance.


As I wrote in April, a third of respondents to a different survey (mostly younger folks) said they'd be willing to forgo a portion of their salary to work for an environmentally conscious company. At least an ostensible principle, the desire to do right by Mother Earth, is involved. Those who'd quit a job over Facebook just want to be able to do what they want, at any time.


Not surprisingly, the number of folks who'd consider quitting in response to a Facebook ban shrinks with age. Just 16 percent of 25-to-65-year-olds (an oddly large sample, if you ask me) would so so, and 13 percent would be annoyed by such a ban.


Still, the survey is worth considering, as it points up the frequent disconnect between the expectations of younger workers and their older employers. As I've wondered before, how far will employers be willing to go to recruit and retain young and talented workers, who may expect such perks as the freedom to use some applications of their choosing? In another decade, a lot more workplaces may look like Google.

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Jun 16, 2008 4:58 AM Kristen Kristen  says:
As a member of this blog's defined "punk" population, I found your thoughts interesting and inspiring.Ill agree that Facebook offers little the average worker can use for work. I basically sign on for three reasons during work hours: to read newfeeds on friends, to write responses to wall posts, and to scrutinize recently posted pictures and promptly untag if embarrassing/hideous.BUT I believe there is an indirect benefit to my employers. Reading, writing, and scrutinizing with immediacy, attention to detail, and entertaining value - these activities are not kept exclusive to socializing but they cross right over into job skills when processing information regarding business, responding to co-worker or client emails, and determining what looks good to the public eye.I was inspired to expand upon this opposing argument to your blog in my own blog titled: "A Punk's View of Facebook" ( Thanks for starting the discussion!- A Punk named Kristen Reply
Jun 16, 2008 9:09 AM Turbolift Turbolift  says:
As I read all these comments, I realized I have finally crossed over the fence from the youngin's to the old crones.. As a manager, it's tough enough to get the under 30 crowd to put in a decent's day work without giving the access to 'tools' such as Face-book. Now if you want to get to a tech website or online training, then that's another thing all together but no one has even mentioned those tools as options. I've noticed a distinct difference in work ethics within the various age groups. The younger the group, the more I hear 'The company owes ME' The older the employee, the more I hear, 'what can I do to make the company more profitable'? You guys just don't get it. you ARE replaceable and highly doubt you can just walk into another job within a week. The company doesn't OWE you anything except an agreed upon wage in exchange for work performed. Your productivity contributes directly to the bottom line. If you're surfing then you're not productive, no matter how you want to try and convince otherwise. If the company doesn't make money, it can't pay you . It's as simple as that... Reply
Jun 17, 2008 2:03 AM Jerm Jerm  says:
Thats because 99% of companies measure activity when the focus should be on OUTCOMES... When you have a poor management system in place you need to crack down on "distractions" this is a an inssue within organizations not from the bottom up, but from the top down...-Jerm Reply
Jun 17, 2008 3:43 AM corey corey  says:
Ugh. This article and the majority of the comments make me wish that global warming (if it exists) would hurry it up and destroy humanity. Reply
Jun 17, 2008 9:42 AM Seshan Patamadai Seshan Patamadai  says:
More than a Face-book vs coffee-break debate, I see this as a fascinating face-off of world view.Old or young, there are slackers and there are performers. High performance does not mean working continuously like a machine. Neither is everyone who takes frequent breaks (literally or virtually) a genius who produces a week's work in an hour.Good leadership will accommodate individual needs within the bounds of company objectives - for after all, what is a company but a group of people? How many hours you put in doesn't matter as much as what you put in those hours. So put in rules about facebook or any new stuff that comes out - simple rules we try to follow in our daily lives - no hate mail, porn, etc.. and measure the people by output, not by time alone. Reply
Jun 17, 2008 12:01 PM Jerm Jerm  says:
More than facebook vs. coffebreak...More than old vs young...It is those who get it vs those who don' Reply
Jun 18, 2008 9:04 AM Joan Joan  says:
I would be more worried, were in charge of my company's overall productivity and profitability about people like the first poster, who simply cannot spell. I quote:"Business systems should be used for business unless your running a dating agency then I suppose Facebook would prove quite useful, what is annoying is your workforce coming into the workplace pumped up on pro Plus, after being up all night on facebook, then logging onto the company internet and carrying on were they left off, the last thing on there mind is work. IT departments getting constant complaints about network performance, from the few who do turn up for work and not facebook. Control of social tools like facebook needs to be controlled within the work place, do what I do stick a PC in the Canteen (Cyber Canteen), so it can be used for such things as Myspace & facebook, so it does not interfere with normal workflow and is kept within reconised break times." Reply
Jun 19, 2008 8:12 AM Techno Quiz Techno Quiz  says:
I support at workplace this access must be provided but for little time may be during tea breaks etc.Though no doubt it plays with the security of organisation to some extent acess must be allowed. Reply
Jun 20, 2008 9:01 AM Pat Pat  says:
I thought about this study...18-24 year olds. What % of them are still in school? They may be attached to their Facebook, but are they in the workforce yet? Generally speaking employees, no matter what age, are using the company's technology resources to access personal email, shopping online, and many other person persuits. If you took this away from most employees, they would not be happy campers.Does the company stop the clock when the employee goes, most companies like employees checking email at 10:00 at night.The question is whether the employee is performing....are they invested in their level of excellence and in the company's performance. If their presence on the Web is hindering their performance, then their manager needs to step in to break the connection. Technology is part of all of our lives and finding the balance between restriction and respectful use of the internet while at work is necessary. Reply
Jun 23, 2008 12:10 PM Anthony Miller Anthony Miller  says:
People who talk about security holes should perhaps cogitate on the fact that you can now plug a mobile directly into a USB port giving you immediate unrestritcted access to the internet (okay, it's a bit slow) ... if you errect a draconian firewall this is what people will do. As soon as they do this the practical use of a firewall to protect the company from hackers and viruses is instantly disabled. If you make a system too restrictive people will simply bypass it completely... Which undermines the point and effectiveness of it.Bandwidth is definately an issue - particularly with video/audio streaming. Reply
Jul 29, 2008 11:51 AM robszee robszee  says:
there are always loop wholes to get around blocked websites.... my work banned facebook but i still on it every day. you jsut have to find a proxy server that hasn't been blocked Reply
Sep 13, 2008 8:17 AM Blake Brannon Blake Brannon  says:
Why quit when you could have moderate access. Here are instructions for how to access Facebook at work if it is being blocked Reply
Jan 30, 2009 9:05 AM Simon Simon  says:

I'm sorry but are we forgetting that you get paid to WORK, and do not get paid to sit surfing the internet on a social networking site. I know it's not in my contract and i very much doubt it's in yours. Sure if you want to surf it during breaks then it should be allowed but we go to work to WORK not sit ideally and surf the web. And as for facebook benefiting a company tell me this, How does spending time surfing a social networking site, discussing the weekend and chatting with friends, WHEN you should be filing reports/making orders/putting together quotes (ect...) aid your company? Correct me if I'm wrong but it doesn't and as for the argument that it promotes your company I'm sorry but it's the most ridiculous comment I've heard today why? Because the only people using the site are doing so for personnel pleasure therefore yes they may see your company name etc... But they're not going to give a blind bit of notice to it and will carry on doing what they are doing. I'm 18 years old, I LOVE facebook but i go to work to WORK! And I do work! and if facebook was banned then that's fine by me doesn't mean I'm going to quit my job over it, I'm sorry but it would be pathetic if I did because I'd be throwing away a good salary and for what? To get 95 or so every 2 weeks whilst I sit on my arse and surf the net? I don't think so somehow. I agree with this blog if you want to quit your job because of no facebook access... grow up because you're stuck when you can't afford your internet at home and with no job? How do you plan on accessing facebook then? Tell me that.

Apr 7, 2009 9:00 AM Christine Schnell Christine Schnell  says: in response to Simon

oddly enough we've run into some of these 'punks' and we showed them the door. There is always some argument about what the next 'have to have' business enabler out there is and whether corporate should embrace it. Each company has to review this on a case by case basis.

For us, we reviewed the facebook useage and 97% of it was personal use. We don't pay $4k/month internet fees for you to play so it was gone. The guys on the C-level only care about 1 thing. $$$ and when its being wasted on social networks, then social networks go away. Go ahead and leave, just like a dog - when you get hungry you'll eat the corporate dog food.

Apr 28, 2009 2:47 AM Kay Kay  says:

no my kid believes in recycling. he believs in protecting the environment. he is a vegetarian. but he has a cell phone. there is other ways that we can go green other than giving up a cell phone.

May 23, 2009 12:57 PM Curly sue Curly sue  says:

Your not on Your wacker today. You need facebook it's a consistancy in everyones live. If you quit your job over it than your on facebook way too much. I personly go on facebook may be 4 times a week but you dont need to quit your job just because they blocked it, you can always go on at home. It's a good way to keep in touch with people and see what is happening in the world.

Jul 12, 2009 3:40 AM whigrose whigrose  says:

I'm not so sure the word 'punks' is appropriate.  I'd prefer 'spoiled brats' as I think it is a bit more accurate.  That being said, it does concern me that when things like this come out, too many people just assume everyone of that age fits in that category.  This is what prejudice or pre-judgment means, after all.  Look at the flip side of it.  Out of the large group of 18-24 year olds (and that is significant as one would hardly expect someone just out of high school to be terribly similar to someone a few years out of college) only 4 of 10 hold this feeling.  This still means 6 of 10 disagree.  And I'm willing to bet (a small sum at least) that the feeling is more prevalent in the younger of the segment.  That is, graduating college and entering the workforce, especially in today's economy, will gradually take the highly unrealistic and spoiled expectations away.  Instead of overreacting to it, why not wait and see how they feel a year or two down the line?  After all, who is the same person at 18, 25, 32, 48, etc., etc.?  More contact with the real world will pretty much lead to 'growing up.'  At least, until they rule the world, then who knows?  We may have more 'google oriented environments' for our workplaces.  But it isn't going to happen overnight.  Right now, demanding access to facebook on your work computer gets you called 'spoiled' or a 'brat' or the like.  And since that isn't likely to change anytime soon, the younger workers will have to change themselves for the time being.  Somethings gotta give, after all.  I wouldn't worry about it too terribly much.  And if you are worried, then target high schools and make them what they were intended to be in the first place--education for the real world for those not going on to college, and for those going to college, enough education and real world prep to keep you from being as immature as you were in kindergarten.

Sep 4, 2009 10:00 AM Born in '60 Born in '60  says: in response to whigrose

I think the last comment here is one of the wisest. Who IS the same person he or she was right out of college? And I have to add: Who who WANT to be? (Life gets better!) There's plenty of hope that the attitudes of the youngest adult workers will change.

Whigrose's point that a sizeable percentage of young adults WOULDN'T quit their jobs due to lack of Facebook access is also worth thinking about. Sounds like a majority of this age group was "raised right": In other words, they didn't mature into adulthood thinking they are the center of the universe, that the world revolves around them and  everyone else should cater to their needs. As a college teacher, I have to defend young adults and say that most of my students do seem to take responsibility for their own actions. At least most of my students don't whine because I don't allow them to use social networking sites during class!

Finally, in what universe do these folksfolks of any agewho would quit their jobs over lack of Facebook access LIVE? Do they not ever leave the FB site to check out the news? Who, given this economy, can AFFORD to make such a frivolous demand of an employer? These days, who can afford to quit a job in a huff over lack of time to "tag" someone on Facebook or play Farmtown? These people are not living in the world as I know it!  

I agree that spending a few minutes on Facebook is no different than lingering a few minutes at the water cooler or coffee pot--although, having been in the workplace for several years, I have a feeling that Facebook surfers manage to do both.

Maybe I should become a more demanding worker. I say, if it's OK to waste time on Facebook or in the break room, then I should be able to take a break from my teaching to play Solitaire or do a little cross-stitching. And if my employer doesn't like it, well, I'll just go start my own school.

May 22, 2010 7:05 AM Jay Jay  says: in response to Simon

Ah, good to see there's a few 'punks' out there who get it!

If more had your ethic, there wouldn't be bans in place today. Facebook and the workplace could coexist, if it weren't abused so much.

Were I your boss, I'd say take a 10 minute break and log on if you want.

May 22, 2010 7:15 AM Jay Jay  says: in response to Born in '60

I think it's Farmville, not Farmtown but I wouldn't know for sure either heh.

Excellent post - well said.

May 27, 2010 5:57 AM JP JP  says:

I cannot believe how many of you made negative comments about using facebook at work, yet you sat in front of your computer ranting about it, while wasting time at work.

How is spending your time using facebook any different than wasting it going on message boards, reading messages and posting replies to them?

How is it different than going online and reading the newspaper. To be honest, The internet was banned at first from work, because people didn't need it, and quite frankly, lots of people only need the internet at work for one thing: e-mail.

That's it. People don't have to google every little thing that comes into mind.

I work at an advertising/design agency, and we have absolutely no restrictions whatsoever as far as internet usage goes, and you know what? I have never in my life seen more responsible and dedicated employees.

Part of my job is to be at the agency and with my main client. A large fortune 500 company, where I sit amongst corporate employees.

Do you know who's more efficient? the people at the agency.

People at the agency, sit in front of their computer, designing or checking copywright text. They need breaks, and they might use facebook or something else to keep their heads clear, but you know what, they are always working. They finish work on time, and they respond to emails rather quickly. And if they have a lot of work to do, they don't just punch out at 6 or 5, they stay until really late, sometimes midnight. Just to get the job done.

It is a matter of professionalism. One might use facebook, twitter, read newspapers online, waste time on message boards, but as long as you get the work you need to get done, by when you need to get it done and in the expected quality, then you shouldn't have a problem.

I quite frankly hate that at corporate, I have no facebook, twitter, or even skype access, a tool I need to communicate with my team.

You know what happens? productivity decreases everytime I come to corporate, why? because of internet blockage.

I have to send e-mails back and forth for an hour, while I could just be chatting to the person and getting the matter resolved in less than 10 minutes.

I waste so much time talking on the phone, just cos I can't sit and chat with my co-workers.

At the design agency, we use an internal messaging system, and you know what? people rarely leave their desks, and get the work done fast.

So, while you older people, might not see the use of certain things, you might also want to answer me the following:

If you think facebook is such a waste of time, then why are you here on a message board, typing during your work hours. Why don't you go back to work instead?

Stop reading news online, or googling, or writing on message boards, or texting, or doing anything like that, because I am sure, that you do. I know the type, the hypocritical type.

You talk about productivity, yet you sit here, typing and ranting.

Seriously, how's that different.


By the way, I got off work just before I started typing this message. And you might call me a Punk, but I am a successful one, thanks to the fact that I know how to use facebook, and internet applications, such as message boards, that make people like me oh so much money.

Jul 20, 2010 8:16 AM dan dan  says: in response to JP

i use

Jul 26, 2010 11:37 AM SEO company India SEO company India  says:

I completely agree with you, these type of kids need to grow up.

I really don't think that any person would ever be considered as a good worker if he/she spent so much of time that they were supposed to be working wasting away on facebook.

Well written.

Sep 9, 2010 6:15 AM TimeOP TimeOP  says:

TimeOP is a great tool for tracking and managing the productivity of your team. No longer will you have to ban social networking sites or other unproductive actvities.

Your company can allow such relaxing activities, while empowering managers and employees to keep track of how much time they spend on different activities.

So give TimeOP a try. Free of charge.

Sep 26, 2010 9:27 AM quicksilver quicksilver  says:

Whether an application is blocked or not, self-control comes from within

Ive been using .

It uses a better procedure than blocking social media sites because it only monitors sites like Facebook during production hours. People/Employees still have the option to use it for a breather or during breaks  really . Sometimes they use it for work too in helping reach decisions. For me its really unnecessary to block Facebook.

Nov 12, 2010 9:56 AM Melissa Melissa  says:

Facebook is still okay, made a revelation between social media.  Also they update new stuff all the time.

Apr 19, 2011 2:51 AM Jake Shannon Jake Shannon  says:

Facebook no doubt is a good social media website but to quit a job i don't think it should be a reason as in some organizations where Facebook has nothing to do with work, shouldn't be used as it is just wastage of company's working time.



Jun 10, 2011 4:06 AM Scales Scales  says: in response to Jake Shannon

I absolutely agree with Jake. Not only wasting company's time is a matter but also a matter of your career as well. If you are using Facebook while working, you are also wasting your time as you are missing what you must to do to grow.

Oct 26, 2011 7:29 AM Martha Martha  says:

Really?! ) I have some other problems with my private and personal information.. What about that?!

Dec 23, 2011 8:38 AM Lawrence Lawrence  says: in response to Martha

Hi Ann,

I don't have a facebook account, so it's a none issue for me.  I think facebook, or "fakebook" as some call it, makes some waste too much time.

Jun 25, 2015 5:01 AM ryanbolton ryanbolton  says:
SEO is one of the important aspect from the website point of view.If the website is not visible to others how come we get traffic on our site.So one needs to optimize its site for proper ranking on SERP's. Reply
Jun 26, 2016 6:36 AM Ron Ron  says:
I pay you to work not do social media. If I need a social media running for my business I'll have an employee that will have one of their duties as working those social media pages. The other employees job would be to NOT do social media but working for my company. I would allow them to access it during paid breaks but turn it off afterwards. If there is an emergency or such then yes, outsiders can call the business and get in contact with the employee, I have no problem. It depends on the business, some have a situation where needed phone contact is possible, I have worked at some that did not. One of the biggest complaints today is customer service, the social media has been one of the biggest reasons for that problem. If a ban of FB makes you so upset you will quit, then I think you might need to rethink. For you need my insurance to see a doc to fix your anxiety problem. Not many are irreplaceable. Too many think they are. Reply

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