Monday, 31 March 2014
Why Facebook is a Personal Nightmare but a Business Dream
I truly have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, and I think social networking goes so much deeper than what you view on your screen. I had Facebook for a long time when I had my daughter in 2010, and as I mentioned in the previous post, I suffered from a severe and debilitating postpartum depression for nearly 2 years after.
Not only did I feel like a crappy mom because of my complete lack of affection towards my new baby, but then I went on Facebook and got to see "real" moms loving, cuddling, and kissing up on their new bundles of joy. Well I MUST be a heartless human being, I thought to myself. Look at how awesome these other moms are at motherhood and how utterly pathetic I am!! The only message I got from Facebook for the longest time was:
You are a complete failure.
Something deep inside me couldn't give up my addiction to "staying connected" though - I mean, what would happen if I didn't have Facebook?! I would drop off the face of the earth completely! Then one day I was having a horrible horrible day and I said something to the effect of "some days I even wonder why I am here". I did not mention my daughter in that status, nor did I (in my opinion) elude to her being in any danger. Well, one of my "friends" did not agree, and they called Family and Children's Services on me. That is a story in and of itself, but due to my hospitalization with PPD, FACS had already been involved and had placed my daughter into a kin home on several occasions. I had recently (a few months prior to the Facebook status) gotten FACS out of the picture and they had closed our file.
Now it was re-opened. It crushed me because I had waited over 18 months to be free from under their watch and now it was here again.
So, after that incident (and I will say that FACS did a quick investigation and ruled that the filed could be closed), I decided enough was enough. I was going to quit Facebook.
It was a strange transition, and I felt a little "out of the loop" for a few weeks, but after that I absolutely loved it. Perhaps it was a coincidence, but once I stopped worrying about what everyone else was doing, and what they thought about what I was doing, I started to flourish and come back into my own. I started doing things because I wanted to, not because I wanted to post it as my status and show off what amazing chocolate chip cookies I had baked while also doing 5 loads of laundry and polishing my silver.
I had been off Facebook for about a year when I started my painting business. I was quite content to use local classifieds and my blog as advertising, until a few friends mentioned perhaps starting a business page. I was extremely nervous because I did not want to fall back in to old ways. I had come SO far and I couldn't bear to think of returning to that place where all I did was feel badly about myself when I looked at my news feed.
I started slowly again with Facebook, and I opened a new profile so that my old list of friends wouldn't know I was "back" since I wanted to lay low. I used my new profile merely as a catalyst to start my business page. Another painter was gracious enough to give me some names of buy and sell groups that I should post my stuff on.
I started my business page with no help from my "friends" since I didn't have any on my new profile, nor did I really want to ask anybody to "like" my page for fear that other people would notice me...so I just kept minding my own business and posting my items on the groups and slowly but surely I started getting "likes:!
I am THRILLED that in about 4 months I have surpassed 400 "likes" on my page! That is so very exciting to me because I know those are all "legitimate" likes and not ones that came from my friends list or from bribery (that's a whole other post!). I am appreciative of every single fan and each new "like" makes me feel so good.
So, in summary - I stand behind my beliefs that Facebook is an awesome vehicle for small business owners to promote and sell their goods, however, I also feel that on the personal side Facebook can (for some) be a trigger for self-blame, guilt and envy.
All in all your biggest protection is self-awareness - know what you can handle and what you cannot. Know when to stop creeping that person you went to highschool with that now has a gorgeous husband/wife and high-powered job.
After all, who's to say that's even real anyways?
Thanks for reading,