Every day, millions of people go on to their Facebook pages and unleash their fury. Some think it’s important we know they have a life, some think it’s important we know what food they’re eating, and some go on simply to look to get into arguments. Before you start taking this too personally, I am one of those that looks to get under peoples’ skin, and to get into what I classify as “debates”. Ever since I was young I enjoyed getting into debates with people. I also do stuff with family and friends, but I actually don’t post that stuff on Facebook many times because I don’t want anyone feeling jealous of what I do, and I don’t want people comparing their lives to mine. I want people to live their own lives and be happy. But, for one reason or another, most people in this world enjoy going on Facebook for a variety of reasons.
Why do people even use Facebook?
Some use Facebook to reconnect with old friends or classmates, some use it to catch up on juicy gossip, some do it for the same reason many people watch the news (to find out others’ lives are not all that interesting, and the grass really isn’t greener on the other side), and some do it to make others green with envy. Ultimately, the reasons people use Facebook are aplenty, but it all equates to one psychological thing: empathy. Whether we’re looking to provide empathy to others, or look for empathy from others, as human beings, we like attention… a lot! Ultimately, though, Facebook provides us with a soapbox of our own…a place where we can stand above the crowd and show the rest of the world what we are doing and/or thinking. Never before have we had this type of freedom amongst others. Of course, some may choose to “unfriend” us, and some may choose to ignore us, but you know that when you put something on Facebook, others are going to see.
Peoples’ Psychological Cravings
No matter why you use Facebook, ultimately, your opinion on Facebook really doesn’t matter at all. The fact is, it would be remarkable if you changed even one person’s mind during a debate or argument on Facebook. Yet, people continue to argue and debate every day. Personally, I like to see what makes people tick, but I also like to understand what makes them think about the things in the way in which they do. I like to understand the root of their argument, and then to dissect it. Having taken debate many times over during my scholastic years, I always found debate interesting, especially since I also majored in Psychology and Sociology, and had to take many Rhetoric classes. Combining all three opened up avenues for me in regard to understanding the human psyche, and to be able to not only win debates, but to have the power to persuade people. Obviously this helped greatly during sales jobs while in college, but understanding the way the human mind works continues to help me through today.
The Facebook Opinion
The fact is, it doesn’t look like Facebook is going anywhere, yet people continue to find themselves fuming from Facebook arguments and debates. They raise their blood pressure, they get unruly, and it can have a negative affect on their own psyche. And for what? Ultimately, using Facebook to deploy your opinion is no different than walking up to someone and providing them your opinion. Granted, people provide their opinion to others all the time, and granted, Facebook provides a much, much larger audience than most people can muster in person, but the results are always the same. People will spout off their feelings on Facebook, some will agree, some will disagree, arguments will ensue, and days or weeks later all is forgotten…
But is your opinion really forgotten?
While your opinion may be forgotten by friends and the general public, your opinion is still out there for potential employers, and even your current employer to see. It’s like I tell my children, I don’t care where you are, someone is always watching. I tell them to consider that people are watching, and that people are judging. I tell them to act accordingly, and I remind them that no matter where they are in this world, they are always representing our family’s name. On Facebook, people get so lost behind a keyboard that they often times forget that people are watching, people are reading, and people are most definitely judging. I can tell you that I have personally seen things on Facebook that would make me think twice about hiring certain individuals. In all honesty, I would never hold one’s opinion against them, but I would judge them according the way in which they handled themselves on Facebook. So, no, folks; Facebook doesn’t forget your opinion. What you write online will remain there for good. Even if you delete it, don’t think it’s truly gone forever. Many times, I will go on Facebook and truly want to chime in about something. It may be sports, politics, or many other things, but often times, I will actually just read and move on. I do this because I realize it’s just a trap. It’s a trap to where I could lose my job, lose everything I have built, and lose my way. And for what? So people can simply see what I think? Trust me, folks, it’s just not worth it.
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