“You are a tease” he said. “You dip your toe in and then retreat”. He was right on the money; those of you who read this blog know I took a sort of hiatus while wrestling my love/hate relationship with social media. “You need to be more like a Facebook whore for us to invest”. Q: What precisely is a Facebook whore? The crass, but fearless investor continued: “Someone who is on Facebook all the time, 24/7, constantly updating, commenting no matter how mundane, or stupid, as long as you are always available”. I considered his response and then ventured “Don’t you mean Facebook Slut since no money is changing hands?” But then I realized my own naivete- a Facebook whore is the Facebook slut who’s successful- she gets the dough. Mom was wrong; evidently, everything I needed to learn to succeed, I definitely did NOT learn in kindergarten.
I didn’t heed that sage’s advice, not only because I find our society’s obsession with broadcasting our lives alarming, but because I am opposed to how it zaps productivity, and am left in an ethical quandary of harnessing the very thing I see as marginalizing our lives, our relationships, and our health. Spending sedentary time updating, tweeting on our asses, is it any wonder then, that so many of us have fat asses?
But what has always kept me wary of Facebook, as an investment [recommended shorting it the minute it opened for trading], and as a means to build our brand, is how it makes money; by trolling your information and activity- it is a corporate “Eye of Sauron”. Further, reliance on a third party leaves you vulnerable, particularly, if the Eye sets its sights, or buys, a business that competes with yours, as several companies that were shut out of Facebook, learned and reported this week. Businesses like divorce attorneys and mate match sites, use your ‘single’ status to start their ad campaigns. More dubious enterprises such as fortune tellers, identity thieves, and burglary rings, are also scouring facebook and reaping rewards. All of which reveals one simple fact; your free facebook account isn’t really free; it has been paid for in the currency of the your privacy.