Image via CrunchBase
by Frank Reed
I think this post could be categorized in several ways. The reason for this is because I don’t think there has ever been a more polarizing, misunderstood, loved, revered, admired, hated and puzzling entity in the history of business than Facebook. Depending on who you speak to they can either be completely dependent on the service (ask some kids at a Ridgewood, NJ middle school) while other industry bigs, like Matt Cutts, deactivated or deleted their accounts.
Facebook brings out some very visceral reactions from many people. There is infatuation with the ability to be involved with everyone else’s lives. Many people crave the strange cocktail of voyeurism mixed with direct involvement in other people’s stuff topped off with a shot of “Privacy? What privacy?”. They alternately love the service and the business opportunities it presents but then bemoan how Facebook basically flips the bird at their users with regard to privacy.
I am not sure how I feel about it all. Honestly, I suspect I could live without Facebook pretty easily. I would miss being in contact with some people from my past that I have reconnected with but if the “relationship” is now real, it will survive and if it’s not then it won’t.
As for Facebook introducing me to new ideas and products? That’s a hit or miss proposition as well. I find new things and I get interested for a day or two then it’s back to regular life. I discard the new things so readily because I already have so much to keep track of that, unless it is something ridiculously spectacular, the likelihood of anything supplanting the things already important to me is slim at best.
Oh, and advertising to me on Facebook? Total waste of time. I don’t click on paid search ads with Google and they are light years ahead of Facebook in terms of having my trust. In fact, I really don’t like the idea of putting any money in the pockets of a Mark Zuckerberg when you consider the following instant messaging string that the Business Insider SAI site shared today. Please note there is some offensive language, but it helps paint the picture of the character of Zuckerberg. And of course, if it lives at the top, it breeds through the masses in any organization
According to SAI sources, the following exchange is between a 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg and a friend shortly after Mark launched The Facebook in his dorm room:
Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask.
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend's Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don’t know why.
Zuck: They “trust me”
Zuck: Dumb f**ks.
Gives you the warm and fuzzies, huh?
So what would life be without Facebook? I suspect it would be quite good. Why? Because something else will come along that is better suited for how we actually interact. A new friend of mine (actual live handshake kind of friend) who did very well during the first round of the commercial Internet told me that he believes Facebook is not even close to the best way for online “socializing” to take place. It’s just that we are kind of stuck with it right now. On many levels I have to agree.
So what would life without Facebook be like? Honestly, I am not ready to find out. I think that will come with time because I am already finding myself checking in with it less often and with less zeal. That’s not a reaction to who is running it. It’s a reaction to what it provides for me. When I look at the quality of life issues it’s really not making things better. In fact, it may make things worse. Time is valuable, and when I look at my personal ROI on my Facebook time, it is running in the negative these days. If I treat my life like a good business I should cut the loser out, right?
So what would life be like without Facebook for you and your business? Would you REALLY miss it? Be honest. Please, share your status with us.