Making the Case Against Facebook

Anyone who knows me knows that I enjoy using Facebook. In fact, when I joined Facebook in 2008, my Cootiehog level of participation took a huge hit and I went from posting every day (sometimes multiple times a day), to once a week, to once a month, to a few times a year. Readership and commenting plunged from a peak of nearly 1,000 unique readers to a few dozen. But Facebook was quick, easy, and
(eventually) on my phone. It was so much easier to post a quick quip than spend time coming up with a worthy post to put on the blog. I kept the blog because I had a few long-distance friends who were NOT on Facebook and were still interested in keeping up with our goings-on (hi, KF and MBM!).

But I’ve noticed in the past year or so that my Facebook feed has gone from being about my friends to more about the products my friends are selling. No longer do I see pictures of people on their vacations with family – now I see before and after pics, or receive countless invites to candle parties, nail sticker parties, cooking utensil parties, jewelry parties, makeup parties, skincare parties, healthy living parties – you name it, I get it.

I decline every single one. Because if I go to one just to be polite, I’ll feel like I have to go to them all. I’m not that polite. I don’t have time to be that polite. If I was that polite I’d be going to 15-20 parties a month and feeling guilty when I don’t spend money after listening to the spiel about why this! product! rocks! I’m not exaggerating – I have THAT many friends doing MLM sales.

And listen, I don’t begrudge these women their home-based income earning (it’s all women – not a single male in the bunch). I have one friend who is so successful that she quit her full-time job because she makes more hosting 6-7 parties on the weekends than she did working as a paralegal in DC. She is a rock star for her MLM company and was eventually elected to the Board of Directors because she is so good at it. I get it – there is money to be had. I’ve seen the company cars that have been earned, and the all-expense paid trip rewards. I know MLM selling can work.

I’m just not interested in reading about it.

Last night I whipped out my phone to catch up on the day’s Facebook posts, only to have post after post be about products, not pals. I put my phone away. But then I brought it back out and posted that as much as I loved my friends, I was going to have to hide the posts of ones who insisted on using their personal FB pages to hock their wares. And I’m obviously not alone in that feeling – within a couple hours of my post I had many friends (non-MLM) who “liked” my status.

In my mind, MLM marketing should be done on FB pages, not personal posts. I have one friend who created a FB page for her MLM business a few months ago. She invited me to join the page – I elected not to. After a few weeks of promoting the page in her regular feed, and building up the readership there, she finally stopped posting about the biz on her regular FB profile. She exclusively uses her FB product page to exalt her product and the results of using said product. Her posts went back to being about her life as a singleton, her job, her cat, her vacations, her life. Maybe once a month she’ll post a link to her product page and let people know about it. Once a month is much more preferable to 3-4x a day. And it was a blessing because I felt like I didn’t have to skip all her posts anymore.

It’s bad enough that Facebook is forcing advertising down my throat every time I click into the site. I don’t want my friends doing it too.

In response to my post last night about hiding the friends who were wasting valuable FB wall space on MLM, one of my friends responded that she posted about her product all the time because she was really invested in it and that it WAS a major part of her life. She said people were probably sick of reading about her kids or her running regimen. She also apologized for offending me.

It’s not that I’m offended by the posts – the posts aren’t offensive. They are just excessively present because *everyone* is doing it. I responded that I LIKED reading about her kids and her running regimen. And I do.

I like reading about kids being late for school, a new restaurant being visited, a longstanding football rivalry, the latest book that you read, the college class you are taking, that movie you want to go check out, your hatred of the gym but the importance of going, the new Bible study your small group is starting, your feelings on the latest episode of “Walking Dead,” your desire for political ads to go away, your excitement over good concert tickets, the toils and tribulations of potty-training, excitement over lower gas prices, your excessive overtime that you wish you would end, your lunch, your frustration with (or love of) Common Core curriculum, your upcoming vacation, your advice on how to handle a teenage girl who isn’t responsible enough to have a phone, the silly thing your dog did yesterday, your marathon training, the prank you played on your sister, your opinion on whether WNC or ENC BBQ is better, how hopeful you are about your latest job interview, your lament over Christmas ads before Halloween, the new house you bought, cars running out of gas, your desire to retire to some tropical beach, your favorite memory from high school, how much you love the new [insert singer’s name here] song, the time you were climbing a fence and got stuck at the top, how much you saved at the store this week playing the grocery game, excitement about the mission trip you are going on, how you miss your husband who is traveling for the next few days, about your new baby (be it human, feline or canine), your beach pics, your mountain pics, your food pics, your hanging-at-the-bar pics, your cat pics, your poolside pics, your selfies, your beer pint pics, your home reno pics, your kid pics, your vacation to Europe pics , your TBT pics, your
look-at-this-new-kind-of-Oreo pics.

Those are the things that made me enjoy Facebook when I joined in 2008, and the same things I enjoy reading in 2014. So keep posting those things. I’ll read every single post and enjoy every minute or it.

Thanks,

My Signature

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