Why Facebook is better for business than it is for you

Facebook collage by Jennifer Daniel

Facebook collage by Jennifer Daniel

True or false: Facebook has made the world a better place.

Sure, I find it interesting to see what my Grade 8 class has been up to over the years and, yes, Facebook made organizing a bachelor party much easier by wrangling all the crazies from his wife’s side of the family. But in the end, I actually think Facebook has been better for businesses than it has been for me, and here’s why.

Facebook forces brands to be more authentic and honest – exposing the good and the bad – and leaving judgment open to public opinion. So “why is this good for business?” you might ask (if you were in marketing pre-2004). Because letting people in creates more engagement and it also makes businesses a bit more interesting. The world has changed and the power over a brand has undoubtedly shifted into the on-line world – pushed and pulled by a number of forces – the strongest of which is public opinion.

But for people, it is the opposite. Facebook is where we can ‘present our best selves’, curating photos, activities, and countless friends. And curating is an understatement. People spend a great deal of effort to choose the right profile pic, the right cover image, share countless pictures of their ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ vacation, their engagement and so on. Their Facebook page becomes this polished, photo-shopped, Stepford-wife like version of real life.

And as we browse, laugh, like, share and creep, it’s hard not to compare everyone’s ‘outer-selves’ to our ‘inner-self’ – hardly a fair comparison.

As humans, we are complex, flawed and beautiful at the same time. And our lives are usually the same way. So don’t compare your real life to your Facebook feed.

Instead, find some cool companies and ‘like’ them. Hopefully they’ll share some great information, such as how to live a healthier life, or how to make delectable ricotta-filled cannoli cup desserts that you can share with your flesh-and-blood friends with the next time you have them over for dinner.

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