Will Facebook ruin your career?

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FacebookGadgets are horribly addictive things. We all know people who spend half their time glancing down at their phone, scrolling through data to show you something, or forgetting to talk to their friends and family because they are far too busy updating their status.

And while this is bad enough for your social life, new research has found it could be deadly for your career too.


Addiction
Software company harmon.ie asked workers about their gadget use during office hours, and found an alarming level of addiction. Some 41% would take calls and send texts during meetings. One in ten would visit sites like Twitter and Facebook, often posting status updates on the progress of the meeting - or the quality of the refreshments. Many continued to do so even after their boss had told them to turn their phone off.

Deep down we realise we are doing the wrong thing. When asked whether they were irritated by other people doing this sort of thing, 82% of people said it was unacceptable.David Lavenda, of harmon.ie, said: "Clearly, the perceived pressure to stay connected has led many people to neglect their manners."

Why do we do it?
But it goes deeper than this. Apparently we are kidding ourselves that other people doing it is rude and inconsiderate, while when we do it we are simply being efficient and keeping on top of our work. Alternatively, of course, there are just those people who honestly don't care about the opinions of their co-workers, and would much rather keep in with their social network than their workplace one.

The risks
Either way it's incredibly short-sighted. Its not going to take long before showing such a lack of respect backfires on you, and with so many unemployed and capable people out there, no-one should think of themselves as irreplaceable.

If you reveal yourself as a gadget addict in meetings, then your boss is likely to assume it's also dominating your time outside of meetings, and they are well aware of what a distraction it is. A third of people say it takes more than 20 minutes to refocus on their work after texting or receiving a message. More than a third say that it is making it difficult to get through their to-do list every day and 22% say they are less creative as a result.

So while you may think sending a Tweet about your colleague's dress sense may make your online network think you are terribly creative and funny, those around the table - with a real influence on your career and your working life - are likely to take a far dimmer view.

But what do you think? Would you text or take a call during a meeting? What would you think of those who do? Let us know in the comments.