The True Cost of Social Media
Whether you are using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or another social media platform you may soon find out that if you are active and trying to monetize your account that they may soon suspend it with little or no warning. FB and many others don’t always play fair and the only option you have is to send an email to a mailbox that gets answered when they get around to it. I have never been in love with social media, to be honest as the important thing to understand is that when you upload any information to their servers the content may not be yours. Know that at any time they can delete it, suspend some of your services, block you and or delete your account permanently thus make sure you have a backup of it somewhere. All of these companies are guilty of changing their terms and service agreements if and whenever they want to suit their own business needs. One should never provide personal information to them when they ask you to validate your information as I don’t trust any of them with it and what they will do with it. Data they acquire from you is big business and you are just a number that helps them make big money off you and many others and none of them want community they just want to find ways to monetize your data they learn about you.
Many of these companies are a monopoly on their specific industry and platform but what does this means to business and consumers when we hear this word. According to many dictionaries, it is defined by and I quote Oxford “the exclusive possession or control of the supply of or trade in a commodity or service.” For example, let’s say you want to get your car washed and there is only one company that owns all of them across the state or country we would refer to this as a monopoly. Since this one business has taken over and given you no choice on being able to go anywhere else to get your car washed except if you wanted to wash it yourself. Pretend for a moment that you had an idea to start a car wash but you couldn’t exist do the fact that the monopoly car wash buys soap and supplies cheaper than you could and still make a decent profit. We would say that is a competitive market but is that a fair analysis? Now let's say you have your car wash but the car wash monopoly company is doing things such as creating harmful conditions that cause you to go out of business. That would not be competitive if they were directly doing things deliberately to take business away from your car wash in the efforts until they shut you down.
Social Media Platforms were supposed to help build community and bring people together but it has turned into a cash cow that doesn’t have much respect for people, their life and or their dreams. I have been on FB for many years but unlike many, I don’t use it to tell people what time I’m eating, where I’m going, when I’m on vacation when I’m going to the bathroom, etc. and I’m sure you get my point. Doing some of these things would not only be a waste of time but in some regards a security risk and may help others learn when will be an easy target for the bad actors out there.
Recently I decided to do something nice which delivered a Motivational Tip every day via live stream to FB which had no sales content in it just a great tip that if exercised may just improve the quality of your life. On Day 1, I posted my first tip starting with the first letter in the alphabet which is “A” and the tip for that day was “Always be Present”, many liked this and wrote me back thanking me. I began to explain how so many times we are not always present at the moment but wondering what we will be doing right after. Regardless of whether we are with our loved ones, at work, exercising, or some other activity wondering what will be doing next before we finish what we are doing presently. The next day we had a letter “B” and the tip for that day was “Be who you are” which resonated with many. I talked about the fact that we need to be proud of who we are and act that way not pretending to be someone else so others will like us.
Day 3 came and my tip for that day was “C” Challenge yourself but something strange happened; I was not able to stream past seven seconds on FB, thus I rebooted my phone, ensured I had the latest updates but it stopped me in any group or on my page. Now I got no warning that anything was wrong so I tried to stream from my computer directly from FB and then with professional streaming software and I couldn’t get past seven seconds. Finally, I decided to just record the one-minute clip and then decided to upload it and share it out to my 5-8 groups and it went through fine.
After I finished my tasks in the office and was home I tried to add some people to my group, post something, and was not able to click on much, rebooted the computer. Within seconds my laptop was back up and I decided to try it on my iPhone. I was able to join groups, post but I couldn’t send welcome messages to new members in my groups and I was puzzled as to why this was going on. I figured it was probably just a FB glitch and that it would go away in a few days as I noticed they often have server issues. Just as I was about to logout of FB, I got a message saying something to the effect that they didn’t believe I was human. A sensor had been tripped or maybe someone reported me for what I don’t know since I was providing value to my community.
Next, I’m greeted with a screen asking for a photo which I gave but didn’t include a photo ID, who are they to ask me for that. What makes FB so powerful they just have a social media platform. I send them an email that same night to several addresses as all I kept seeing was :
We Received Your Information
If we still find that your account didn't follow our Community Standards, it will remain disabled.
We're always looking out for the security of people on Facebook, so until then you can't use your account.
Hoping to get a reply back from FB but of course, that would have been the professional and proper thing to do I got no such message or any kind of response. Now I know that I am blocked but why. I didn’t violate any terms and conditions and not too pleased with their decision to suspend my account.
Thus, I don’t think FB cares about its clients, their customer service didn’t appear to even exist. From the message above they claim and I quote “We’re always looking out for the security of people on Facebook, so until then you can’t use our account. Thus I learned an important lesson move our groups off of public social media and build them on your website where you have full control of it. I don’t know whether FB will re-instate my account again but I think FB has gotten too powerful for their good and doesn’t care about anything but how many advertising dollars they get. This nonsense about security is a crock and I don’t think they care about it but just an excuse to suspend me. What was I doing creating some groups, building them, adding value, collaborating, and creating a community isn’t that what FB was supposed to be all about.
About a year ago, I was contacted by their FB Ad Team because I was spending so much money. They hooked me up with a “FB Ad Consultant”; they didn’t work for FB, you couldn’t call them and all they knew how to do was to get you to increase your budget. They knew nothing about FB or its ad platform but were expert salespeople in disguise that didn’t care as long as they kept your money coming in. Once you cut off spending, they mysteriously decided to remove you from their special program which was a joke. Thus, in conclusion, I am disgusted with FB's acts toward me and the amazing value I have to offer. I have decided to move my groups to websites that I control. If they bring me back fine, but I’m not putting all my eggs in FB or any other social media ever again, this was a very expensive lesson for me. I can’t tell you what to do but we need to send a message to our government that this type of treatment to any person is disrespectful and an abuse of power. Don’t play the FB Security card every time you see growth and get a phone number for more than ad sales and service.
Did you know that FB stores record your private data of what apps you use even when the FB app is not launched? Very Sneak right, exactly and they have a page buried called Manage off-facebook activity. Remember it's not only FB that collect data about you but many other company apps you have installed and use too.
Thus if you are a business owner in NJ reach out to me as I’m building groups here and will be in other states that are all about value. Let’s stop this FB and social media nonsense where they believe they are the creator. They are just a software company that got lucky with an advertising platform, stop giving them so much power they don’t deserve it. You were better off before you had FB and were glued to it 24-7 in my honest opinion.
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