Facebook Thoughts

24 Feb

I shared my Twitterpation this Tuesday, so I thought I’d round off my Social Media thoughts for the week with some Facebook reflection. My feelings about Facebook are more complex. Honestly, we’ve had a love-hate relationship over the years. But after some mature reflection and counseling (I jest), I’d say that we’re friends again. Most of my beef with the platform came from a personal standpoint, and now, especially after running Facebook accounts for different businesses, I see the value in this increasingly popular site. Ready to ride my emotional Facebook rollercoaster? Well, climb on in (for my literal readers, click ‘Continue Reading’).

Negative: The Relationship Status

My first major falling out with Facebook happened over the dreaded relationship status. Now that I am happily married, I don’ give my status a lot of thought. I broke up with my first college boyfriend over the summer. One morning, I was greeted with the status change he initiated. I was crushed. The sad end to my relationship (at the time, now I’m completely cool with it of course) was broadcasted to all my ‘close’ friends. I felt like everyone knew and cared for some reason. I was embarrassed and my Facebook page, the changed status and all those untagged pictures stung each time I signed on. Ouch. So I swore off Facebook for a while, even disabling my account for a week or two. Now, my nosy self likes to check up on old friend’s relationship statuses. But I still think that changing it is a big deal for people, and Facebook is a pretty public forum to share the vacillation of a personal relationship. Status will obviously never go away, but it is still a tender subject for some, so be gentle when you see those broken hearts in your feed.

Negative: Time Waster

I like to be active. If I’m lazy for too long, I get a headache and feel mad at myself for not accomplishing something. Most of the time this is a great motivator, but yes I realize it is also healthy to take breaks. I’m a work in progress here! Anyway, Facebook is a notorious time waster that can suck me in with its treacherous depth. Clicking on a casual acquaintance’s status update can lead me down a labyrinth of Facebook stalking that has no end. Suddenly I’m looking at pictures of a wedding that not only was I not invited to, but that I don’t know a single soul who was. Dangerous! And I can bet most of you (come on people, be honest) have been there before. So for a while I swore off Facebook because I felt like it was just a little too tempting of a time waster. Now, I’m just careful to stop the stalking ASAP if I catch myself slipping into checking out distant relatives of the girl who sat by me in Freshman Orientation. It has helped, and I have yet again jumped a Facebook hurdle. To quote Yoda, “Control, control, you must have control.” *pushes up glasses, takes hit of inhaler*

Mostly Positive: Everyone is Doing It

I have to be honest. Facebook is the best place to get updates on most of the people I know, and it is how I keep tabs on my college friends who live in far away parts of the country. But it is also kind of weird (and believe me, I mean no offense) that everyone now includes (how do I put this lightly?) ok, fine, I’ll just say it: Grandmas. The age range is mind boggling, I’d bet it runs from 13 to 99. While that may be weird for me, it is actually great for businesses. Facebook is a one-stop shop to reach a wide demographic.

Positive: Great Place for Online Specials

One major thing that made me an active Facebook user again was the profusion of deals. I personally think Facebook is a smart place for businesses to broadcast online-only specials. If a business advertises a Facebook-only deal, it is a way to monitor if their online marketing is working. And it is a way to generate actual business from online interaction. And as I’ve already mentioned – everybody is on so it is a cheap way to reach a lot of people. I am living proof that Facebook works for businesses. I have taken advantage of free movie passes, free cheesecake and discounted clothing. It was all worth it and all I had to do was ‘Like’ a page or print out the special.

So for me, Facebook may have taken some getting used to, but I think it is here to stay for personal and professional use. I just have to remember to control my usage to not get over-Facebooked. Plus, I will never say no to free or greatly discounted things.

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