Many online marketing strategists will tell you to start a Facebook group for your business. I understand why it’s such a big part of the toolbox - you have a captivated audience, you can stop by and say hello at any time, and you create a community that interacts with each other.
In all of this, you are introducing yourself, your brand, and your services to a group of people that self-selected and said, “Yes, I’m interested!”.
But I can’t, in good conscious, have a hand in a platform designed to interrupt a day, to keep you on the site for as long as possible without any concern for your greater life and well-being when I’m building a family-centric lifestyle and committed to helping other families navigate this path for themselves.
Our country and, I’d say, the whole world has a Facebook problem.
The site (and others like it) are designed to be addictive. And they’ve done an incredible job. Everywhere I look, I see people’s eyes glued to their phone with a distracted and constant thumb-scroll action. You know, instinctively, these people are not checking a work email or getting ready to listen to a voicemail, they are scrolling Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, you name it. And they are doing it with one hand while the other distractedly guides their toddler along at the museum or park or playground.
According to Social Media Today, users spend an average of 116 minutes a day on all social media platforms. When we have an 8 hour work day and (attempt to) sleep 8 hours a night, that only leaves us with 8 hours left in the day to get everything else done. Only 8 hours to eat, run errands, do chores, exercise, and most importantly, spend time with family. When our eyes are glued to our phones for 50 minutes of those 8 hours, we are missing out on some serious precious moments with our kids.
When I started my business, my goal was to have the freedom to design my schedule so I could be the kind of parent I wanted to be. And now my goal is to guide others through this process so they can achieve the same plan. I want you to be able to have the time to spend with your family. So, with Facebook’s nefarious tactics to keep you scrolling, I have a difficult time getting behind it.
You see - Venture-backed software companies - yes, that’s Facebook - make their money by keeping you on their sites for as long as possible. In 2017, Facebook made a cool 39.9 billion in ad revenue. The longer you’re in a browsing session on Facebook, the more ad dollars and investment the company can command. This is the model. And since this is the model, these sites are designed not with the best user experience in mind, but with the aim to make you never want to leave.
I know what you’re thinking. “Don’t you have a Facebook account, Meghan?”
Yes, I do use Facebook. And I’m part of a few groups. But I have made a serious effort to schedule in the work I need to do on Facebook and stop myself from getting lost in the vortex.
So I won’t start a Facebook group.
However, I do have a lot to share with you guys and I need to find the best way to reach you. A way that doesn’t interrupt your day and take you away from your kids. A way that allows you to interact intentionally and on your own timetable. If you have any ideas, I would seriously love to hear them. What are you thoughts on Facebook? Do you see it as the downfall of humanity or just another tool with only the power you give it? Something in between?
I’m not sure exactly where Facebook falls for me, but I have seen the power it commands and I don’t want to feed it any more than I have to.
For now, I’ll be popping into you inbox every so often and you can schedule your time to interact. For some reason, email does not hold the same power over people and that’s a good thing.