Younger attorneys are much more likely to use Facebook, IM, and other emerging technology during work hours. Although some of that usage is purely social, some of it enhances their productivity.
IM and other social media help foster connections between individuals. Large social networks allow individuals to call on more resources for information. For example, a young attorney with a large social network can utilize Facebook or other social media to get quick answers to questions. Yes, they can also use email, but social media allows to reach, and stay in touch with, a broader audience.
Younger attorneys will also help uncover emerging technologies that will benefit the firm overall. Sam and I are both relatively young, and we are constantly toying with web-based applications, ways to use smartphones, and other devices to improve the productivity of the firm.
Social media and other technologies may seem like a distraction in the short term, but in the long run will benefit your firm.