My first week back blogging and my friend Kristi made it easy for me with a Finish That Sentence Listicle.
Ten Things I Hate About …. Facebook! (and it’s not Mark Zuckerberg’s fault)
- That people post photos of their meals and/or desserts. (Unless you are inviting me for dinner and want my opinion on the menu, then it’s okay)
- That people put up “poor me” or “pray for me” memes but then say its private don’t ask any questions. (Seriously people, if you don’t want us to ask then don’t put up a post)
- That people want to be friends on Facebook but pass by you in the grocery store without a hello. (One of my favorite experiences was a friend who put up a post that said we live in the same town and you’re my friend on Facebook but we never speak. We’ve been having dinner once a month since then–we hadn’t seen one another since 1989)
- That people rant about the banana peels left on the rotary but refuse to actively participate with Earth Day Town Clean-up. (Seriously, our town has a fruit loop/rotary more people complain about that then having to pay for a dump sticker and pay for the trash bags to throw into the dump!)
- That people de-friend family and friends on Facebook instead of calling that person on the phone and having an actual conversation about the disagreement. (I will never, and I mean never, get this habit of people friending and de-friending on a whim. I get it if you don’t agree with a person over time or just do not have a connection. But I think it shows how superficial the Facebook connection is and should not impact your emotional state so much)
- That people state they are going on vacation and then wonder how their house got broken into. (Here is a tip: If you are going on vacation do not put on Facebook you need a dog/house/pet sitter for X amount of days and when you are leaving. Do not post vacation pictures UNTIL you get home. Spend your vacation enjoying it, brag later.)
- That people do not get the friend Facebook-approval stamp before posting photos that may or may not be flattering. (My friends and I have a rule, any photo that might be remotely embarrassing must be FB approved. It’s a good rule and minimizes revenge pictures)
- That people (elected officials) are moderators on “closed” or “private” Facebook pages where they have the ability to censor/delete comments or approve posts. (I’m an elected official, this is a pet peeve of mine. Peeve is probably too weak of a word. I am deliberately not on some Town pages and rethinking others. It doesn’t seem fair that someone who is elected can choose to allow their constituents to post/comment or not. It stops conversation and it infringes on 1st Amendment rights. At the very least it has the potential to place limits free speech–in my not so humble opinion.)
- That people are too foolish not to understand that a platform that is “free” and has you agree to their (lack) privacy standards never figured out that Facebook used that information to target advertising to your likes/dislikes/interests and are now upset about the lack of privacy. (Unless you read the entire agreement, then my apologies)
- That people read the click-bait headline, but never click the article to read the actual facts. (Please pinkie-swear now, never make a decision based on a headline. Read the article. Or swear you will never make another decision without mature guidance).
Please understand, I use Facebook. I like Facebook for so many reasons. Reconnecting with a high school friend who when we met (in person, gasp!) felt like no time had passed. For my PACS1 family, whom I never would have met (in person, double gasp!) or forged connections. I love that I get to see Tia’s son in action, though she lives too many States away. There is so much good that comes out of Facebook. I adore that I can chat with a friend on the far-side of the world, when it it is nighttime for her and Diet Coke time for me. I use it as intended, a fun way to connect with friends.
But there is also the stupidity that Mark Zuckerberg had to spend two days testifying to Congress on the role Facebook played in the election (or not–depending on your politics). The better question is, why are they just now concerned on the influence of social media? Didn’t President Obama harness the power of Social Media to do the same? Didn’t Bernie Sanders show the establishment how to reach those who their policies affect and raise a ton of money doing it? (This is not pro- or anti- Trump, it is just fact). Congress doesn’t spend two days on anything. They spent less time reading the budget or the #ACA than grilling the “boy-genius” who figured out how to make millions based on the public’s willingness to give up their privacy. It is like Congress got caught in the Facebook time-warp. They meant to only go in for a quick minute, next thing you know it’s 2 am and they are still playing Candy Crush.
Do people really believe that Mark Zuckerberg (and his major stakeholders/executives) created the Facebook platform for free? Does anyone think that they afford their grand homes, perks and vacations by philanthropy?
In case it is unclear: No.
Facebook (any social media) is a for-profit business. If they allow you to join for free, how are they going to make money? By advertising, more by targeting advertising to you so that you will by merchandise/give to charity/make decisions based on what the advertisers presented you. If they are successful, you buy/believe/give and their advertiser is happy. They buy more ads and target more people. They refine their ideas, their access and their ability to “make” you do something. (“Make” because ultimately you have the choice to do or not to do.) If they are not successful, they lose advertisers and therefore the bottom line is affected.
This is common-sense 101. It’s simple and easy to demonstrate. Go onto Facebook and then click on an advertisement. (It’s okay, I will wait) Now wait, go to Pandora. Look to the left of the screen. What do you see advertised?
Have you not been paying attention or are you really surprised that Facebook (and other platforms) have been using the information that you provided to then give you want you told them you wanted? It’s not just Facebook. The other day I Googled wedding dresses for guests. Since then in almost every platform I’ve used (Pandora, E-mail, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc…) I have seen ads for “wedding” themed outfits, gifts, shoes and get-aways. Even I can figure out that Google (a “free” site) used my search to sell advertising.
Did Facebook (and let’s not forget the other platforms) impact the 2016 election? I’m not a genius and do not know for sure, but I would hazard a guess that yes they did. Not for malice, but for profits. That someone (or country) used it to meddle in the election, for malice and to undermine our Country is not surprising.
But we gave them permission, the first time we agreed to any privacy practices and still used the site.
And it is time we take accountability for what we did.
This is how I Finished The Sentence: Ten Things I Hate About (Anything)