Facebook has been in the news an awful lot this week.
And I’m pretty sure you are *dying* to hear my thoughts on it.
I use social media daily for my work. I wouldn’t be able to do my job correctly without it.
But I really don’t like it.
I really really really don’t.
Way back in March of 2009 (nine years ago!!) I wrote my thoughts about Social Media and Time Management and how they are a bit of an oxymoron.
When I wrote that article, my online life and career were just beginning, and I have since evolved. For instance, I now own an iphone.
Most of my online friends are what are known in the media and in tech circles as “early-adopters.”
This is not me. I am completely old-school in almost all of my ways (including cooking, lol!!)
I am also a hugely skeptical person. I assume that my every key stroke online is being analyzed. I am certain that I am being tracked online, and if I allow my brain to go there, when I’m offline.
SO, in general, I do not have a feeling of privacy each and every time I open up my phone or a new tab on the computer.
and even if your “privacy” settings are all set to Mock 5 Impenetrable please do not take that to mean that noone knows what you are googling or clicking on.
Let me explain.
I consider myself a pretty honest and morally correct person. I have joked, many times, with my blogging friends that I have “gotten hit hard with the Ethics Stick.”
so a lot of what is floating around online on how to take advantage of readers, of my mailing list, of my facebook fans/friends, I ignore. If it feels wrong or shady, I don’t do it.
EVEN IF I’m told by some sort of online “guru” or “coach” that I’m dead wrong and leaving “money on the table.”
(SIDE NOTE: remind me to tell you a story about some online women’s business success coach who told me (flat-out) that I must not “crave success enough” because I refused to lock my children out of my office when I was on a conference call.)
Even though I am uncomfortable with black hat marketing ploys, I am very aware of who is on my tiny website at any given time, how they got there, where they are going next, what search query they used to get there, and if I really clicked around I could figure out what city they lived in, their gender, and their IP address.
and that is ME. A 41-year-old suburban crockpot lady who spends way too much time in pajama pants and fuzzy slippers to be considered any sort of tech insider.
If I want to reach a certain audience on Facebook with a targeted ad, I can. For instance, with a Facebook Business account, I can learn how to target women between the ages of 34-44 who drive Toyota Siennas and Honda Odysseys.
Why would I target these women who drive minivans? Because chances are they own a crockpot.
If *I* can do this, you most certainly can bet that a Fortune 500 can, does, and according to their Business Advisor — they’d be stupid not to.
And now is when I get wishy-washy.
I am able to keep up with cousins in Britain and people from around the world.
And I’ve met MANY MANY MANY wonderful people through facebook in the different writing and blogging groups that I am in.
Some of these people I have never met face to face yet we are pretty hyper-connected and communicate on a daily basis.
So it really is quite tricky and I can not pretend in the slightest that I have all the answers.
What About Instagram?
I’ve got to tell you — the news stories I’m clicking on that say that people are leaving facebook in droves and heading over to Instagram crack me up.
Because all of the ways I can target you in an ad on Facebook, I can now in Instagram.
Because FACEBOOK OWNS INSTAGRAM.
But Isn’t Mark Super Philanthropic?
Yes. Facebook gives lots of money to lots of charities.
all big companies do.
Actually, most of the people I know give money to charities and causes they believe in.
and they don’t even put out a press release! they just do it because it feels right and they want to help.
that’s probably all I should say about this.
So What Can You Do?
This is the hard one. I can’t tell you what you should and shouldn’t do.
Mostly I suppose I just want you to be aware.
And I suggest trying to keep your kids away from social media for as long as you possibly can.
A Frontal Cerebral Cortex isn’t fully developed until well into a person’s twenties —- yet most kids are handed smart phones while still in strollers.
Google and Facebook both require that users are over the age of 13 before starting accounts.
That should be the bare minimum. In our house, the rules are a bit stricter — but that is MY house, and I’m not here to suggest any hard and fast rules about what you should and shouldn’t do with your own children.
But please be aware.
Realize how damaging social media can be even if you are a FULL-FLEDGED ADULT.
Nobody likes to see someone else having fun at a party they weren’t invited to.
Nobody likes the feeling of putting something out there online and watching it bomb or get ignored.
Being a kid is hard enough as it is —
One More Soap Box Item
There should be no online purchases or downloads or apps (even the free ones) without you knowing and approving.
Kids don’t need to have their own Apple ID (and whatever the name is for android-devices that is used to download apps/games)
until they have their own credit card. If your kids have apps on their phones that you do not know about, that is not good.
There are even “invisible” apps — apps that look like something else but are actually photo sharing devices.
Know what’s going on in your own house. The kids are living there for free and getting food for free already. Don’t let them have free reign on their devices.
What are your thoughts? how do you limit social media in your own life and in your family?
have a great day, xoxo steph