Buying My Friends Back

On September 4, 2013, in HRExaminer, by John Sumser

Every single thought, word, image, like, sharer, comment, posting or connection you make in social media is the entertainment that the big Social Media sell advertising on. It's your life and the platform rakes in revenues based on the entertainment value of your life.

Every single thought, word, image, like, sharer, comment, posting or connection you make in social media is the entertainment that the big Social Media sell advertising on. It’s your life and the platform rakes in revenues based on the entertainment value of your life.

If the service is free, the product is you.

Repeat after me.

If the service is free, the product is you.

Repeat it until you act like you believe it.

Every single thought, word, image, like, sharer, comment, posting or connection you make in social media is the entertainment that the big Social Media sell advertising on. It’s your life and the platform rakes in revenues based on the entertainment value of your life. It’s easy to think about and hard to internalize.

When you use social media, you are an unpaid intern builing a pile of content and improving the accuracy with which you are targeted. It’s true in every single on of the platforms. You are for sale. You fetch a better price if you are more active.

Maybe you’ve seen this before:

Pay to Play

It says that I have the potential to reach 34,000 people but Facebok will only let me reach a few of them unless I fork over some bucks. At the $50 price point, I can reach about half of the audience. It’s not that they will read it. It’s that the posting will appear in their flow.

Hmm, I gathered those friends but I have to pay to reach them? I dished them up and now they’re the product. If I want them to see a particular post, there’s an additional fee.

I’ll admit it. I don’t know all of my Facebook friends as well as I might. But, I draw the line at paying them to be my friends.

You might say that all of this really only applies to the people who have ‘liked’ your company page. Help me out here. I worked to get them to like me. I make them interesting content on a routine basis. And there’s a surcharge on top of that?

It’s bad enough that the likelihood that my friends will actually see the post is so low. I don’t even actually show up in most friends’ newsfeed. Sometimes I wonder what the point of social media communication is.

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Photo of author Paul Hebert, founding member HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board
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