CEO claims Facebook costs U.S. employers $28 billion annually

The appropriate reaction to this claim: spitting out your coffee. Clean off your computer, tablet, or smartphone screen and read more—and don’t show this to your IT department.

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At least it is, according to some back-of-the-envelope calculations by Michael Fitzpatrick, CEO of ConnectionSolutions.

Here’s how he did the math. If you want to get it straight from the source, head over to Fitzpatrick’s blog.

Fitzpatrick says that, on average, Americans spend 14 of their 74 minutes online using Facebook, not including time spent browsing the social network on smartphones. He then assumes people access Facebook 50 percent of the time at work, thus the average U.S. worker spends seven minutes of his or her workday on Facebook.

Of course, we all have co-workers who keep their Facebook pages open all day—you know who you are—but fine, we’ll go with Fitzpatrick’s estimate.

The next vital component in this equation: the number of workers in the U.S. who are connected to the Internet. Fitzpatrick calculates it to be 48 million. That’s “knowledge workers,” constituting 30 percent of the 160 million U.S. workers.

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