Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Facebook - SAHM's Water Cooler

Bosses and business owners know and hate this simple fact:  There isn't an employee on the planet who actually puts in every single minute of work that they are paid to perform.  Feel free to dispute this, claim that you work every second of every day, and I'll feel free to call you on your BS.  An employee is paid for their complete shift, let's say it's eight hours of work, but there is no way they actually work eight hours in a given day.  Legally mandated lunch breaks and rest periods aside, it's human nature to mentally relax whenever you get an opportunity to stop working.  Don't think I'm slamming it because I find nothing wrong with recharging your battery by checking out of work for a few minutes.

I always felt I was a good employee and I'd bet money that my employer agreed.  However, I took plenty of chances to grab a smoke, get another cup of coffee, hit up the vending machines, and shoot the breeze with co-workers.  Go ahead, mock my work ethic, but I needed the distraction of friendly human interaction to reset my brain after being mentally exhausted from work.  I work hard and I fully expect and need to play hard too.

I don't work these days; well, it's more accurate to say that I don't work for wages any longer.  I don't have co-workers, but I do have my fellow stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) friends.  We can't exactly gather around an office water cooler to chit-chat throughout the day, but we can log-in to Facebook.  And I do whenever I get a chance because it's an easy way to get a little adult interaction and I can quickly jump back to my SAHM job duties at any time.  A 2 1/2-year old can be an incredibly frustrating boss and some days require more water cooler time than others!

This came up when someone I don't personally know suggested that her spouse objected to the amount of time she's on Facebook.  I don't know the particulars so I can't comment on their situation, but I find it hard to see the problem unless the home and children are being neglected.  Who cares if someone wants to pretend to harvest crops or feed fish?  Understand that I say this as someone who totally does not get the appeal of those sorts of games.  Who cares if someone just wants a little human interaction to break up the monotony (or aggravation) of the present day?  Yes, I say this as someone who has had plenty of aggravatingly monotonous days!

My husband is on my Facebook friend list and I suppose he could take it upon himself to spy on my FB activity levels.  He's not my boss though so I double-dog dare him to do it, but he certainly has the ability to do so.  In any event, I don't begrudge him whatever he does on-line (at home or at work) and I suspect he feels the same about my internet activities.  I mean, as long as we get our jobs done, who cares how we want to decompress?

Have your internet activity levels ever been the root (or symptom) of problems in your relationship?  And, to reverse the question, has your spouse's internet activity levels ever caused problems between the two of you?  How did you work through the situation?  I'm looking forward to reading your comments!

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