Everyone is abundantly aware of the kind of stupendous distraction social networking is. Facebook estimates the number at 10 billion man minutes – the amount of time that Facebook’s 350 million registered users spend on the site every single day, taking time away from their homework, their official duties, and their families. Doctors seem to say that these are people who deal with a real and active addiction; and informing support networks to keep themselves in check is often as good of an idea for Facebook, as it is for substance abuse. Many people just close or deactivate their Facebook accounts. Others, form pacts with their friends to help keep them off their habit most of the time. Some people even give over control of their account to a trusted friend (presumably one who is less ravaged by the addiction)who will change their password, and not give it back to them until they feel truly able to control themselves. Parents of Facebook-hooked teenage children certainly seem surprised at the determination they see in their otherwise irresponsible young charges, trying to keep Facebook from running away with their whole lives.

But children on the whole seem to be in better and control of their dependencies than working adults. Businesses in America and the UK are increasingly finding that they need to block access to social networking sites at the company’s server, to keep this habit from lowering workplace productivity. And of course, employees are certainly not taking a hint at this; they and are finding workarounds, such as accessing Facebook through their e-mail. For the less-than-responsible, a service called MoDazzle lets you do this.. You just send an e-mail to MoDazzle, and it fetches you all your latest updates through your e-mail. You can do most of the stuff on MoDazzle that you would get to do on Facebook.

It isn’t just the matter of self-control that Facebook brings up at work and at home. In America, the state of Florida has ruled that lawyers and judges cannot be Facebook friends. There is the matter of being responsible, and then there is something like this that is clearly silly. Lawyers who are friends, are not suddenly going to turn strangers just because one of them got promoted to being a judge.