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Why I’m Not on Facebook

So, R.E.M. broke up recently. If you are of a certain age, that is to say, “old,” this might have been big news to you. And as it turned out, the day it happened, my good friend Joel Garza emailed me a link to the news with a funny little quip: “If I were actually on Facebook, this is the kind of thing I would post.”

I felt like Robinson Crusoe seeing that footprint in the sand: I’m not the only one.

Hi. My name’s Steve, and I’m not on Facebook. Yes, people also ask me if I make my own clothes. You may say it’s impossible for someone who owns an agency that sells social media consulting to consciously avoid Facebook. I believe that is exactly the point.

When it comes to using social media, I refuse to be on every channel “just because.” Social media should be about authenticity. You know what’s authentic for me? Not being on Facebook. The people I care about can find out about me the old-fashioned way — by email and that thing called talking. Why am I a Luddite about Facebook? Two reasons:

  • Numero Uno: I think Mark Zuckerberg is destroying the entire concept of personal privacy on an industrial scale. Hey, it’s his prerogative to do so if he can get a couple hundred million to participate. I choose not to. It’s my little way to rage against the machine. And I don’t have to sleep in a public park to do it.
  • Numero Two-o: I reject the notion that just because a technology channel exists to open every aspect of your personal life that you’re obligated to participate. Once upon a time, the concept of separate public and private lives was a given. Today it’s an anomaly. Perhaps it’s a Victorian viewpoint, but I’m not going down without a fight — preferably with flintlock pistols at dawn.

Should you (or your company) be on Facebook? Do you need a blog? Should you be on Twitter? Or on LinkedIn? For you? The answer may very well be “no.” For your company? These questions are usually proxies for the real issue: Should you be in on social media marketing? My answer is “yes.” But when you do take the plunge, you should be authentic and your work should have a purpose. If you need a little help figuring any of this out, drop us a line. Or not. We’re OK with saying no.