So this was my Facebook status the other day. Deliberately provocative, as you can see, and as I hoped, I got lots of responses. I am blessed with the most generous, thoughtful, wonderful friends ever, and they gave me the gift of their gut response (which was almost unanimously “No”, by the way). Then they took the time to answer my questions and explain why they felt that way. Where else can one get a free education like that?
I learned, for example, that some people’s Facebook feeds are overrun with enterprising friends trying to sell them something, and their reactions range from frustration to resentment. People love their friends, but they don’t love the feeling of being pressured, guilted, or made to feel uncomfortable.
There was some thoughtful conversation about social media and what kind of “space” it is. We all endure the ads that Facebook puts into our feeds (somebody has to pay for the servers, and it’s not us), but is it OK for our “friends” to pitch us in a “social” space? Or is there really no separation between business and pleasure, just as there isn’t in real life? We do, after all, ask people at parties what they do, and sometimes they tell us in more detail than we want to know. Is posting in social media about one’s business the same as being that bore at the dinner table?
There’s also the enthusiasm. After all, this isn’t a widget I’m talking about. I am so excited to have found something that works well for me, and I want all of my friends to have the same wonderful experience. Should I deprive them of the benefit of this knowledge? Should I just keep everything to do with it on a business page and keep it out of my social feed? Or should I continue to pursue transparency and authenticity, sharing my experience with the world, good and bad?
The conversation continues. Let me know what you think!