Putting the ‘Social’ back into Social Media


Anyone else find it amusing how stressed out people get about Facebook? But they stay on it?

Newsfeeds are filled almost daily with people complaining about the latest Facebook changes – changes to settings, tweaks to profiles, reminders to update information leading to accusations of privacy invasion.

Here’s a very cool video that pretty much sums up how people think:

If you’re on Facebook, no one is breaking your arms to be there right…? If you don’t like something you have the right to deactivate your account.

Why do people blame Facebook for being …. well…. Facebook?

Facebook is a tool – a service provided by a company who has the right to change its terms of reference, terms of use, the way the site looks and functions, and anything else they choose to. AND it does all this for free for the regular user. But we get bent out of shape because of it. Humans don’t like change … clearly. But the power still rests with you to deactivate your account…. just as it rests with you to leave your employment if the company you work for changes things and you don’t like it. But you don’t see us complaining under those circumstances. We just put up with it and move on.

There is a definite shift in energy around Facebook and social media in general and I believe the reason is because people have forgotten the one thing social media was set up to do – BE SOCIAL!

Instead we have a generation of users who have lost the art of respectful communication, we have abuse, armchair critics and flaming. Speaking in 140 characters will do that to you I guess.

Everyone knows you can’t have an argument via email – but we do it on Facebook. But what’s the point? We say things to each other online we would never DREAM of doing face to face. No one wins that kind of one upmanship. And again… what’s the point anyway?

Sites like Facebook were set up for one reason – to help people find other people with whom they share interests. It morphed into a way for families to stay connected, and to find and catch up with old friends. And all for FREE! But we still think we have a right to judge and berate!

Facebook actually does have very strict security settings – they have in the past shown that they act fast when something goes awry (as it is likely to do in any online situation) and they have quite good security controls. In fact they showed very good corporate responsibility by setting up an entire department dedicated just to security and listening to user feedback. The user however has to change the defaults on their settings – and why not? We should all be taking responsibility for our own security – it’s not their job really but in this digital age we do have a tendency to try and offload responsibility to the service provider.

Then there are the business owners who are complaining that now they have to pay to ‘boost’ their posts otherwise not all of their 1,000+ likers will see them. This usually comes from a place where the business doesn’t realise social media is … social! It’s about ENGAGEMENT! You use your newsletter or your site to push out your product and message, but you use social media business pages to get people finding you, and engaging there with them.

And again, at the end of the day Facebook is a business with the right to charge or not for whatever they see fit – and for you, your listing/business page is STILL FREE! That is AMAZING for businesses yet we still hear them complaining about Facebook! They’re not MAKING you pay for posts – they give you the option. The choice is yours. And you’re a business – you understand a business needs to make money to function. Facebook has investors – now also shareholders. They have a right to try and make money. They are doing it in my opinion, in the most unobtrusive way possible – they could at any time turn around and say “Hey all you businesses catching the free ride – time to pay up for the space you’re taking up on our servers” – and they would have every right to do so.

If you decide to stick with Facebook you might like to come along to the presentation I’m giving at OIVAC next weekend on whether you are killing your online reputation by the way you behave online. Check out the schedule here. If you miss it, recordings are available!


© Lyn Prowse-Bishop – eSOS



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