There are problems afoot on Facebook. Almost daily, there’s another group being formed to protest (in that typical slack way that Facebook itself has engendered) something or other about their policies. The latest initiative is a group of users preparing to “decamp” en masse on a given date.
I doubt the franchise is in serious danger of disintegration, but all the kerfuffle has me thinking: What is the cost/benefit proposition for Facebook participation for me personally? A leisurely bike ride permitted a sober tabulation.
On the costs side, the obvious (and enormously valuable) expenditure is simple time, Like it or not, and whether you’re disciplined or not, it siphons off dribs and drabs that a careful time accounting would probably reveal is way more than each user thinks they’re spending.
You’re giving up a substantial amount of your privacy. Even if you dole out your personal information judiciously, there’s no telling if (or how) it can bite you in the future (tomorrow is a long time away).
Good content is hard work (which explains why there’s so little of it around). Participation in a meaningful was is not only time consuming, but a significant amount of effort.
Pluses? Well, after I reflected on about 7 or 8 months on board, next to nothing. I’m not really selling anything or building my brand, so there’s no commercial payoff. I haven’t forged any interesting new relationships (if anything, it’s made me have second thoughts about some people I thought were interesting).
How about ideas? Nope. Have to say that the crowd in my little coterie is pretty non-productive in that department. Keeping abreast of birthdays, lunch menus and the bowel movements of one guy’s dog doesn’t qualify as worth knowing in my book.
As time has passed, I’ve cut an increasing number of individuals out of my news feed because they’re either shallow exhibitionists, tediously self-promoting or boring ‘slacktivists’ droning on and on. A couple of interesting leads to clever YouTube clips (among endless thousands) doesn’t amount to much return on your investment.
Maybe some of this rather vocal discontent with Facebook has more to do with return on investment, not Facebook itself?