I joined Facebook on November 7, 2007, about a year after Facebook opened the platform to everyone with an email address. Since that time, I have been tempted, off and on, to close my Facebook account. Who hasn't, right? You know the drill: Facebook changes something, or some feature I like is not working properly or whatever. Since I'm not an impulsive person, I usually think better of it and end up just taking a break from Facebook. It's a good thing too, because while I don't love everything about Facebook, I do like a lot of things about Facebook.
Because I come across (and have sometimes, admittedly participated in) “I hate Facebook conversations,” I thought I'd share why — even though it's far from perfect — I really do like Facebook.
8 Things I Like About Facebook
As a fellow entrepreneur, perhaps you can relate to some of these things, and maybe share some of the same opinions.
1. I can find most of the people I care about on Facebook
There are some significant people in my life who do not use Facebook at all. One of them is my mother. Other than those people, I can pretty much find anyone I want to find on Facebook. Most all of my family members are on Facebook and I can reach out anytime to ask a question, offer a word of encouragement, ask for encouragement, see the new wedding pictures and more. I can use Facebook to meet new friends and nurture relationships. I can do that on other platforms too, but none offer the combination of ease of use and intimacy that Facebook does.
2. It's free
So, there's that.
3. I can connect with as many or as few people on Facebook as I want
Facebook makes it easy to assess the type of person who reaches out to you on Facebook. Do you use Facebook only for personal reasons? If so, then you can decline friend requests from people you met once at a conference. Do you accept all friend requests, no matter what? You can do that too. Do you accept some and not others? Well, you can set that up however you want it … and you can tweak and change it as you go.
As of this writing, I have 285 Facebook friends. At one point, I had over 1,300. I did not like being connected to that many people, so I disconnected from hundreds of people I really didn't know. But I could just as easily have kept adding friends until I got to Facebook's maximum (which I think is 5,000). It's up to me, and I can make changes as my personal and professional needs change. I can set posts to private or make them public. I am in charge of how everything looks and who sees what, and this makes it easy (and often times, fun) to interact with people on Facebook.
4. I can buy an ad, but I don't have to
A few technological light years ago, Facebook made it easy for business posts to be seen in the news feeds of the people who had liked your business page. Today, Facebook suppresses most of that visibility unless you boost a particular post or purchase an ad. That change was a hard pill to swallow, but it's not Facebook's job to make sure my fans buy my products. That's my job.
So if I want more people to buy my stuff, I can get a Facebook ad or boost a post. If I want more people to buy my stuff, I can find other ways to help them do that. I'm not stuck with Facebook.
5. I can facilitate meaningful growth in the lives of Indie Business Network members
We maintain a Secret Facebook Group for Indie Business Network members. We laugh, we cry, we learn, we share, we moan, we groan, we succeed, we celebrate, we give birth, we mourn, we grow, we open, we close, we ask, we answer. We live life there. I'm grateful to Facebook for making it easy for us to use the platform to help our members flourish.
(You know how important I think it is to host your own core branded outlets, so we also maintain a self-hosted forum.)
6. I can be entertained
When I have the time, I can go to my news feed and find something to laugh about. Sure, I have to sift through abused dogs and mass shootings, and I do not like having to do that. But nothing is going to be to my liking all the time. Before I go to my news feed, I get ready to find what I'm looking for. I block out the rest.
7. I can change how my “life statements” look
I can add a cover photo, I can take it down, I can tweak it. I can make it personal. I can make it professional. I can let my friends see each other or I can hide them. I can share what music and books I listened to today, or I can hide them. I can make the picture from my new blog post public, while only allowing my family to see that I am grieving about one thing or another. I can put it out there or hold it back. I can look back over the last few years of my Facebook profile page and see what I've accomplished and where I need to improve. It's not the only means I have to do that, but it's a pretty powerful one.
8. I can learn about new products and services I might like
I can log into Facebook and search on something I'm interested in and find a ton of things to consider buying. I could just use sponsored sidebar ads for this, but I prefer to search and explore on my own terms. I have discovered cool subscription boxes, mineral makeup, fitness tools, and more smoothie recipes than I could ever imagine existed in the world. They are at my fingertips when I look for them on Facebook.
Not Perfect, But So What?
I could spend all day complaining about Facebook. The nagging privacy issues, the annoying ads for shoes that pop up right after I leave the Zappos store, and those awful “It's a Donna thing, you wouldn't understand tee shirts.” Ugh.
On the other hand, I can choose to compartmentalize those things and focus on what's good. And there's a lot of good in Facebook, so I'll concentrate on using the good things Facebook offers to make my life more manageable and more fun.
Best and Success!