I am going on vacation this week and before I shut out the world, I wanted to share with you what my vacation plans include: eating, sleeping, playing and contemplating leaving Facebook.

I know, technically, that’s work related, but since it has infiltrated every aspect of my life, it has crossed over to the realm of deep thoughts while on vacation.

Andy Ostroy, a New York City-based political analyst who writes a column for The Huffington Post hates Facebook, and he has seemed to survive without it. I bet he has not even been ostracized by his social group!

My personal dislike for Facebook has grown over the years as they have consistently trampled over their customer’s privacy concerns. But honestly, I don’t care about privacy [if it’s posted, is it ever really private?] but what makes me insane is their spectacularly poor handling of these events. The arrogance and/or ignorance that seems to stream from the top is shocking for me, as a communications professional, to observe.

My discontent grew exponentially when a gal I went to high school with started posting about 50 times a day and I couldn’t find a way to hide them – they just kept coming. These were not banal real life posts, like “my dog just ate,” (which are bad enough) but they were the dull, senseless auto-generate crud: Let’s See What Celebrity You Would Most Likely Be Caught In A Sex Tape Scandal Quiz or If You Were A Toad, How Many Times A Day Would You Croak?: Take The Quiz. [Ok, the sex scandal one might be funny, but I have work to do!]

Facebook apps are out of control and no one seems to be able to stop them. And what is with the Poking? What the blazes does that mean and why would I want people I haven’t seen in real life thinking about poking me? And the constant invitations to nothing that matters to me.

Ryan Kett’s HubPages blog says it best:

Why do people insist on inviting you to a group over and over again until you ‘accept’? You have been invited to join a group on 18th Century Steam Engines: ‘Reject Invitation’; You have been invited to join a group on 18th Century Steam Engines: ‘Reject Invitation’ You have been invited to join a group on 18th Century Steam Engines: ‘Reject Invitation’. Would those same people [send] you 28 letters inviting you to a wedding? Or would they perhaps get the point?

Facebook it seems has also legalized harassment!

And because I can’t get really angry without laughing about how ridiculous this all is, Julian Smith’s YouTube video is hilarious! If you do anything today, watch this video!

Over time, I have been convinced that I have to be on Facebook for professional reasons. All the PR people are doing it! Then, I changed email addresses to be more professional and I swear on a stack of bibles, I deleted my old email account 6 months ago and Facebook will still not let me change to my new email.

Oh, I know, just contact customer service. Um… how about no. THERE IS NO FACEBOOK CUSTOMER SERVICE!

I get the situation, it’s free, so why would they want to pay customer service staff. But here’s an idea: instead of changing the site every six months, pay a couple nice college grads to manage a help desk. Mark Zuckerberg has more money than…I don’t know, The Queen? He could afford customer service if he cared enough about his customers.

But here is the kicker. Recently, for a client event, I paid for Facebook advertising. Then, being the really good PR gal that I am, I sent individual messages to attendees who were “maybes” on the attendee list AND I GOT BLOCKED!

I was blocked for sending messages to people who RSVPd to an event that I PAID to advertise.

What fruit basket wrote that policy?

So, it’s come to this: just like I don’t want to deal with creepy guys from my past contacting me on Facebook, I’m thinking dumping Facebook just like I dumped them. You love the irony, right?

But like all bad, long break-ups, I need to mull it over and talk to all my friends about it until they are sick of hearing about it.

So, should I stay or should I go now. What do you think?

So, I’m off to mull and I’ll see you back on the relaxed side!

~ Jules

PS. This will automatically post to Facebook , so you can write me there 😉

7 thoughts on “Please Tell Me: Is Facebook Necessary?

  1. Jules:

    I have become more detached from FB; however, as Rotary District PR Chair, most of our members use FB and this year I’m going to try and take advantage of that situation. The problem is that FB is the 800 lbs gorilla in the room and while it makes a mess of everything it’s hard to ignore it.

    Right now Twitter is the most misunderstood social media tool, but I think that over the next 12 to 18 months business is going to figure out that FB is for socializing and Twitter is for business. So my theory is that business will listen to FB, but do the talking on Twitter.

    It’s interesting that in the space of 4 months I have switched from FB as my primary tool to Twitter. I don’t think I’m alone in that experience.

    Good question. Have a great vacation.


  2. Paul ~ Well put: it makes a mess of everything but it’s hard to ignore. As a business person, I am torn. Personally, everyone I love knows my cell phone number, so they probably wouldn’t notice if I closed my acct.

    I am curious to know what other professional think and to see if things trend the way you suggested.

    Thanks for stopping by.
    ~ Jules

  3. If it weren’t for two things, I wouldn’t be on Facebook. One – my company is quite young and the younger staff (by only about 5-6 years) kept calling me “Grandma” until I got on FB. We have a great time commenting on inside jokes on each others walls. Two – I am in PR and what better way to publicly relate with people than on FB? Although I keep my account to personal friends only, or try to anyway. But yes, I get frustrated with it and will boycott it for a week or so – only to get pulled into its gravity pull once again. Sigh.

  4. I am young and I am over Facebook. (OK, I’m not that young). I use mine mostly for business and I do not know if it really makes a difference. That is what I am trying to figure out: is all this talking, posting, commenting, liking, etc. leading to anything? Perhaps I will try to measure results or interactions for me personally. We’ll see how I feel after our time apart.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. As promised, I have made a decision. Despite some infuriating experiences and having to endure some tedious farm related posts, I have decided to stay with Facebook. Why?

    1. I have about a dozen really cool people that I love being connected to in that way. (Jason, if you’re reading, you’re one of them!).

    2. I do feel, given my profession, it is expected.

    3. I find it useful. My clients like seeing me there and my competition is there, so why risk it?

    Yet, as I make this decision, I also agree with the following article:

    6 Reasons Not To Have A Facebook Page [http://www.jeffbullas.com/2010/08/24/6-reasons-not-to-have-a-facebook-page/]

    1. Facebook own your page not you ..think of it as renting or cyber squatting if you don’t comply with their terms and conditions your Facebook page can be terminated with the push of one button. If you have a blog on your own domain and self hosted then you own it and have total control.

    2. Facebook is not forever. As with all trends it will fade away (eg AOL) or morph into something else as the Web continues to evolve.

    3. On Facebook it is extremely difficult to backup and maintain your content to save for the future

    4. Facebook keeps changing its look and feel and features without your consent (Your blog is totally under your control)

    5. You cannot optimize your Facebook page for search engines but you can with your blog

    6. With Facebook you are constantly at the mercy of what they will allow and don’t allow you to edit or change or customize. You can add almost unlimited customized features to your blog.

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