You may have already noticed at the footer of our page a little comment stating that ‘we don’t like Facebook’. It’s True. But what’s wrong with Facebook? I hear you ask.
A while ago now, we had an idea. It was one that we thought would work and one which we truly believed in. It was called TheBabyWebsite.com. We put our blood, sweat and tears into it and it became very successful. (Successful enough for us to sell at the end of 2016 and travel the world with the proceeds!) Anyway, the site was busy, active and obviously a valuable resource for the target audience. This was back in 2005 though, a little while before the whole ‘social’ media thing took off.
When Facebook came on the scene it seemed like an interesting prospect. A platform for discussion, sharing and community – indeed. What could be bad? It could only be good for everyone – couldn’t it?
Over the years, we embraced it, but purely from a professional angle. We had to have our ‘Page’ so that people could see that we weren’t old stick-in-the-muds, refusing to jump onto the colossal social bandwagon. After all, what’s wrong with Facebook anyway? Mrs 50 Plus had her own personal profile and she admits that some aspects of it were ‘nice’. Seeing other family members in photos, watching how the kids’ friends were getting along, it was all ‘nice’. Irritating as hell though for her, were the mums boasting about this, that and the other, posting pics fishing for compliments and telling everyone how much they loved them!
After a couple of years we could see that Facebook was changing – in our opinion for the worse. But again – What’s Wrong with Facebook?
Having 5 teenage kids buzzing around we began to see how they and their friends were using it, and none of it seemed positive. Now they were all intelligent, fully-rounded, savvy kids, yet we could see that even they were being influenced in a negative way by the way Facebook was being used. Reading between the lines, you could see kids everywhere wondering why they weren’t invited to that party, or why they couldn’t have those great new trainers, or why their social lives weren’t as exciting as everyone else’s. They wondered why their Mums and Dads weren’t taking them to those fantastic pine-fringed beaches in all the photos. It was making them feel less ‘privileged’, left out of things, when in fact they were leading perfectly normal lives.
All those ‘games’ and groups that were masquerading as entertainment were simply data dredgers, delving into every aspect of people’s personal lives, and not only that, were being spread like viruses with full endorsement of the victims themselves.
The Business End
Then came the ‘business’ side of things. One thing that Facebook brings is this ‘real time’ concept to the online world. Fine when you’re a big company or a multinational corporation where you can afford to employ entire teams of social media assistants, working shifts around the clock in front of screens, interacting with their loyal customers. But when you’re part of a much smaller operation, the last thing you want to be doing after a hard day at the office is to be sitting with your head buried in a screen replying to inane nonsense in the name of ‘social media’.
Heaven forbid you don’t respond to a post within 60 seconds… Mrs Angry then spits her venom out, venting her spleen at the uncaring, ignorant site owners who won’t chase up the free sample of nappy cream that she was offered only the day before. She tells all her ‘Friends’ (stifling a smile here!) how abhorrent we are and demands they boycott our lovely site. It makes us sound really bad, doesn’t it! We weren’t though. We made huge efforts to be interactive and helpful to everyone. That’s what made our site so popular. We were genuine, interactive and all-embracing. We were unbiased and not affiliated to any ‘baby-brands’, so why did people become so difficult on Facebook? It didn’t happen on the other platforms we used; Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest etc. They seemed to serve their purpose and did so in a way that people accepted and enjoyed.
Facebook – Not for Us!
We made a decision when we started MrandMrs50Plus that Facebook wasn’t for us. It represents everything that we feel is wrong with social media. It is exploitative, sly, dangerously powerful and influential and, in our opinion, brings out the worst things in people that in time even they will be embarrassed about.
So, what’s wrong with Facebook? Why not go over there, take a long hard look, and read the last week’s newspapers. When the implication of a democratic process being influenced by unscrupulous businesses is even a possibility, it’s time to run to the cave to hide.