Facebook Addiction?

Do you ever feel that Facebook has got the better of you? That it has some kind of force that draws you in every time you go near your computer? Well if so you should know that you are not alone.

Two researchers here at MIT have conducted some experiments to see if they could halt their addiction in its tracks. The researchers put some code into their machines that monitors the sites they visit through their browser. When they visit Facebook too often an electric shock is sent through a peripheral device to their keyboard, and they get a jolt.

Now if you have ever spent any time with cows you will know that they respect electric fences because they hurt, and the researchers think that this system might deter them from too much use. They call it Pavlov’s Poke.

And surely enough after a few shocks the boys used Facebook a little less.

Thumbs down.

Thumbs down to Facebook overuse.

There is also the story of a young man who hired a woman through our local newspaper to help him avoid Internet distraction. She sat next to him in his office and slapped him in the face when he lost the thread of his searches. Probably a little cumbersome as a solution though, not to mention pricey. Read the story here.

So the boys came up with an automated version that posts a job request through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service when the quota is reached. The job requires a person to call and abuse you reading from a script, simple and a much better use of human resources I would think.

And we might really be talking about addiction here. A study cited in Forbes by the University of Chicago claims that Facebook is more addictive than cigarettes or alcohol, with the average user spending 400 minutes a month on the site.

Another report from the University of Utah shows that people who use Facebook a lot are led to believe that other people’s lives are better than theirs.

This is an easy conclusion to come to when you look at photos of your friends (and people you don’t really know or never really speak to face to face) while they are on holiday, having fun in clubs, meeting new people and going to music festivals, while you are sitting at home in front of your computer feeling miserable. Photos of arguing with your partner or the kids waking up at 4 in the morning are rarer.

Researchers at the University of Michigan came to the same conclusion. Read their report in full here. This is a brand new piece of research.

The truth is that these social media sites are designed to be both addictive and necessary. They make you feel better in some ways, people of course like you, but they distort views of real life and can lead to distraction and unhappiness.

They make money by selling, so they need as many online presences as they can get and for as long and often as possible. They are (as they openly admit) marketplaces, designed to sell access to their users for publicity purposes. They are not apolitical and have goals, and their success makes or breaks their share price.

On a personal note I recently applied for a job in the USA as a freelance journalist. Although I have lots of experience, good qualifications and a measurable reader base, I got no further than the application form. The employers wanted details of my social network, Facebook, Google plus etc, not my writing.

I had nothing to offer them.

Getting Started With Social Media

When trying to promote your business on social media websites, there are a few basic tips that should always be followed. Using these tips will allow for a smooth entry into the world of social media, and make your efforts more successful. In this article, we will discuss those basics and help you to develop a “getting started” plan for your social media efforts. Read on to learn more.

Social MediaWhatever your choice is for social media marketing, make sure that you use correct grammar. Meanwhile it is tempting to use abbreviations such as LOL or LMAO, remember that you are trying to come across as a professional who knows a lot about his or her company. Do your best to spell everything correctly and use punctuation where it is needed.

Network With Others

Try to collaborate with other people and companies when using social media. When they link to your content or share your content, you are being exposed to a brand new group of fans and followers. Return the favor and link to their content as well. The more people who link to your content and social media posts, the better off you are.

To make sure your social media page appeals to your target audience, research books, magazines, and other things you believe they’d enjoy. Try to match the tone of the content you see in your research, and incorporate popular phrases. Doing this will help your target market to trust you and will make them interested in what you have to say.

Understand that technology is driving social media and vice versa. Every day that social media becomes more popular, technology races to catch up, which prompts social media to become more popular. Know what the technology is offering your customers in their social needs so that you can take part in talking WITH them, as opposed to talking AT them.

Never spam when posting on social media. Posting spam is the quickest way to lose followers and damage you and you companies reputation. Spam posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites make any legitimate marketing difficult. If your posts are just a few words and a link to a product, you are posting spam. Give relevant content or reviews along with any links you post. The holidays may be a big time of the year, but don’t use the opportunity in the wrong way. It isn’t the best phase to test out new theories or gamble with a big risk. Stick to your proven guns and utilize them in a more customer-friendly manner. You will have all year to plan out a strategy for the next holiday season.

Use Local Media Sites

To successfully market your business on social media, you should take advantage of Yelp. Yelp is an online community where real people review local businesses. Yelp carefully filters its reviews to protect against scammers, and the Yelp community of reviewers is very close-knit. Positive reviews on yelp can bring your business legitimacy and help attract new customers. Make sure to monitor yelp for people’s ideas and suggestions about how to improve your business and help yourself achieve the best rating possible on the website. You also may want to look for outside help utilizing best SEO companies recommendations.

Find The Influencers

Find some influential bloggers that are out there in your niche and offer to be a guest poster on their blog. This would then allow you to have a link back to your blog. It may also attract people to follow you on the various social media sites that you are on.

You can get your followers’ attention by posting something in a format that makes reading easier. For instance, try coming with a list of top 10 tips or writing questions and answers. The visual aspect of your article will make it more appealing and your readers will be more likely to share it.

Develop quality content targeted for social media. If you are just haphazardly flinging words, advertising or any number of mundane snippets at your customers, then you are wasting your time and losing their business. Be as concerned about your social content offerings as you are for the content on your business site.

The world of social media offers tremendous advertising potential, with huge numbers of users being added every day. Every business wants to take advantage of this platform, including yours. Getting your business marketing efforts started the right way will increase your social media following, and increase profits too. In this article, we have provided some basic information which, when implemented correctly, can make your marketing plan a successful one.

What Not To Share on Social Media

The point of social media is sharing, along with openness and at least trying to be yourself over the internet. While there are a lot of things worth sharing and airing to the world, there are some things that are best unsaid – or in this case un-tweeted, un-Facebooked, and just kept to yourself.

Photos of credit cards or other financials

You might be thinking “nobody is stupid enough to do that,” but the truth is, there are people who have already done it. Some people have posted photos of their credit cards – account numbers and all, leading to some nasty comments. Clearly, this is not a wise thing to do. Others post photos of bills, leaving their names and addresses unblurred. This is a big risk that can easily be avoided. You are nullifying a section of Facebook’s Community Standards that state:

“We take the safety of our members seriously and work to prevent attempts to compromise their privacy or security, including those that use fraud or deception. Additionally, we ask that you respect our members by not contacting them for commercial purposes without their consent.”

Pranks

If you post a link that is seemingly interesting, make sure it really does lead to a worthwhile page. Otherwise, you are just wasting people’s time. Rickrolling, where linking people to a YouTube video of Rick Astley singing “Never Gonna Give You Up” was very popular, is now an annoyance. Show some maturity. This may be in violation of this section from Facebook:

“Before sharing content on Facebook, please be sure you have the right to do so. We ask that you respect copyrights, trademarks, and other legal rights.”

As well as Twitter, from their Twitter Rules:

Copyright: We will respond to clear and complete notices of alleged copyright infringement. Our copyright procedures are set forth in the Terms of Service.”

It was said that Rick Astley asked the video to be taken down. When you Rickroll, you are committing a violation.

Vague updates

If you are being vague, you are most likely asking people for attention. You want them to ask you what it is about but the truth is, nobody really cares about your vague status updates.

Crass photographs – of yourself, no less

We are not all blessed with bodies of Greek gods and goddesses so it might be in everyone’s best interests to avoid uploading that self-portrait you took when you were fresh out of the shower. Besides, the terms of Facebook say that:

“Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.”

Your contact details or anyone else’s

Your phone number is a very sacred thing that should only be given out to people you know and trust. There are lots of people on the internet that will take great pleasure in making your life miserable if you happen to post your contact details on any social media websites.

Social media privacy

Your address, photos of your home, and vacation dates

These are all a combination of ways to say “I will be gone on these days but hey, look where I live and see the nice things that will be left unattended”, which, in a nutshell, is an open invitation for people with less than noble intentions.

Threats and bullying

There is nothing worse than a bully who does their dirty work online. It is also a clear violation of Twitter and Facebook’s policies:

“Safety is Facebook’s top priority. We remove content and may escalate to law enforcement when we perceive a genuine risk of physical harm, or a direct threat to public safety. You may not credibly threaten others, or organize acts of real-world violence. Organizations with a record of terrorist or violent criminal activity are not allowed to maintain a presence on our site. We also prohibit promoting, planning or celebrating any of your actions if they have, or could, result in financial harm to others, including theft and vandalism.”

“Facebook does not tolerate bullying or harassment. We allow users to speak freely on matters and people of public interest, but take action on all reports of abusive behavior directed at private individuals. Repeatedly targeting other users with unwanted friend requests or messages is a form of harassment.”

“Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.”

Violence and Threats: You may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others.”

Rules are there for a reason and following them will make social media sites a better place for everyone involved.