Corporate Puppets

Corporations are using social networking to their advantage and not only is it changing the way individual's communicate, it’s created a clever way for corporations to advertise. Technology has cleverly inspired a fight for consumers to have the best of what's out there. Good for companies, bad for the rest of us. I like to call this "creative consumerism". Macintosh vs Microsoft. iPhone vs Nexus One. Blackberry vs Droid. LCD vs Plasm. DVD vs blue ray. The list goes on and on. And does anyone else feel like they are time warped back to previous elections with the ongoing "map war" between Verizon and AT&T comes on the television every other commercial?

Let's consider the cell phone. Which one do you have? The iPhone? Google and T-Mobile's new G1? Can your keyboard flip out? Does it have a cool color? Can you go on-line with it? Does it boast an "intuitive interactive user experience?" Are you ashamed to answer your cell phone in a crowd because it isn't a brand new Blackberry? Not only has this creative consumerism made made us broke, it's also made us lazy. How many of us have created a new way to text that has to be deciphered with a decoder? Your message ends up being taken the wrong way, since there is no body language in a text message, and now you are in an argument? I've even seen friends continue to argue via text message instead of picking up the phone to clarify. Ridiculous? You be the judge.

With the U.S. Department of Labor reporting that as of January of 2010, 15.3 million people are out of employment we can't afford to be in competition. Large corporations can. Families and individuals cannot. My suggestion is to remove yourself from the fight.

Free Marketing with Social Media

A few days ago I decided to delete my Facebook account. I had 236 friends and I personally knew all of them but 3. I deleted my account for several reasons. Since the beginning of the new year I have taken a continuous self-inventory and I discovered much of my time was spent on Facebook reading and anticipating my friends commentary. What were they doing today? Is someone going to post some new photos? When would so and so update their status again? Why didn't anyone comment on my post? Who is going to "like" a group I joined or who is going to give me crap for it. If I write something about something in the news will someone be offended? Am I going to start a gang war on my Facebook page? Is it really worth it? Why am I thinking about all of this? Don't I have important things to do?

Not only were all of those thoughts floating around in my mind but at the same time I was thinking about how many groups I was involved in and how many business I "liked" when it hit me. I wasn't just telling all my friends about the cool things I like, I was advertising for these damn companies. For free! How crafty they are indeed.

The buzz about Facebook making a profit has been up in the air for some time now. In 2008, Facebook was worth $15 million. In September of 2009, CNN ran a story reporting the on-line community had crossed the 300 million threshold. According to the U.S. Census Bureau there are about 307 million people living in the U.S. Sounds like some damn good advertising to me! On January 9, 2010, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerburg, told a live audience that Facebook now boasts 350 million users universally. He also went on to say that if he had to do it over again Facebook user information would be public, by default, instead of private. Just for grins I decided to Google my name just to see what came up and what do you know, the third page down there was my Facebook profile picture staring me in the face. Enough was enough.

I constructed my last post to inform all 236 “friends” that I was deleting my Facebook account. After 24 hours, eleven people had comment and showed their discontent with my decision. Eleven. One friend even stated “I have an idea. Why don’t you throw your computer out the window?” Consider him sold.

When I finally clicked "deactivate" the next screen showed me pictures of the friends I interacted with the most stating so-and-so will miss you. One right after the other. Here is what Facebook had to say once I finally clicked the deactivate button:

You have deactivated your Facebook account. You can reactivate your account at any time by logging into Facebook using your old login email and password. You will be able to use the site like you used to.

The Facebook Team

They make it so easy to come back it almost feels like I haven't gone anywhere. “Today the internet, tomorrow the world” was one user comment in the CNN article about Facebook hitting the 300 million mark. Well Facebook user, you just may be right.

1 comment:

  1. I'm speechless. Can't tell you how much I admire you're ability to see things 360, no matter how long it takes. You consider all the possibilities, all the pros & cons, & in the end come to your own fully rounded conclusion that will best suit you and your peace of mind. I miss you, friend. I miss your company. I miss your conversation. Don't give up on me, I'll come around : )