Online For No Reason At All

Posted on March 7, 2006

A recent Pew study found that one big reason people are online is just for fun or for no reason at all. The survey found that 30% of web surfers used the Internet in this way. MediaShift blogs about digital lollygagging and the fuddy-duddies that want to stop the fun.

Digital lollygagging seems to be catching on in the U.S. And let's face it: The vast majority of blogs and news sites we read have nothing to do with work. Sites such as are set up for the express purpose of having fun, usually while at work.

And for the fuddy-duddies who don't want us goofing off at work, there's even a cottage industry of web filter companies that help our bosses monitor what we do online and for how long. Last year, Websense, one of those filtering companies, estimated that Internet "misuse" in the workplace cost American companies $178 billion annually in lost productivity, or a whopping $5,000 per employee per year.

Of course, Websense sees itself as our corporate superhero, ready to solve this national crisis.

"Websense allows organizations to institute flexible policies to effectively manage employee Internet use," says one Websense press release triumphantly. "For example, through implementing time-based quotas, companies may set daily limits to manage employees� access to non business-related websites. Employees can visit these sites for a specific allotment of time each day, and are notified when they must use quota time to access a website."

People are not going to want their Fark or random surfing time micro-managed but it wouldn't be a surprise to see some offices limit surfing time.

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