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500M reasons to hate Facebook, but I really only have one

(Social Media) Facebook is a target of love and hate, but there is one problem Facebook introduces into the web ecosystem that hurts a free exchange of ideas.



Facebook and the quiet underbelly

Let’s be real folks, you’re addicted to Facebook. You love the attention you get when you cheerlead in a so-called private environment. Only your friends can see you put your friend or the issue of the day on ‘blast.’ You can make people laugh with off-beat commentary, and there is no one to blast you back – hence the phenomenon and growth of private Facebook groups.

If you’ve not had the pleasure of being invited to one of these anon groups, then you’re probably known as a big mouth, are unpopular, or you’re not an anti- with the rest of your professional anti- friends.

I don’t mind folks hiding in public on Facebook; by all means, chatter away to your heart’s content. What would your ‘friends’ do without you to distract their day? I don’t even mind that Facebook is so important to your daily life that you have the app on your phone too, alerting you that someone paid attention to something you said.

After all, if your Facebook friends don’t affirm you, who will? God bless the book of faces that make up your universe, who needs humans all up in your face laughing and cutting up, or even agreeing with something upsetting- it’s more fun to hide your addiction in public for all to see.

You’re not invited to your own conversation

No, what really pisses me off about Facebook lies more in the anonymity and growth of private groups. Many of the sites I read including the one I publish have amazing content, argument, and address important topics, but the comments are typically not really engaged, much less other websites linking to content and writing opposing views or counterpoints.

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This is how the web became so connected in the first place. Once upon a time you could bounce from site to site watching the debate happen in real time, which is slowly dying. But is it?

Quite the contrary – comments on your site may look empty, but hop on Facebook and guess what, there are 270+ comments being shared across Facebook and maybe even more, depending on the story. Factor in the private groups where those who are always afraid of blogging and putting their opinion on the record are hiding and whaling either for or against your opinion, but you’ll never know it because you weren’t invited to your own conversation about your published thoughts – God forbid you join in where the conversation is presented.

So yeah, I hate Facebook because it’s given the world a place to hide their feelings and professional opinions on important topics being discussed where they can actually make a difference.

Personally, I’ve never sweated comments, I see them spread across the web, but sometimes I really miss the opportunities we all have to make a difference right here in public.

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Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.



  1. Ryan Cox

    February 13, 2014 at 11:46 am

    I’m commenting, publicly. As someone who is not invited to these groups (thanks for telling me why) I tend to agree 100 percent + fiddy (thats cool kid for fifty) with your “why” for hating it. I never looked at Facebook through that lens, or thought to for that matter, but now that you’ve had me do so…I agree. If the majority (assumption) of people fear having a public debate about a topic and we cannot walk away from a conversation/debate (read: not mudslinging or hateful) then what is the point of being an open and connected universe? Dare I say that your “public” persona is 100 percent + fiddy (there it is again) NOT public? If you dodge every public conversation, any talk of religion, sex, drugs or money…and have a private group you rail on me in…….(dramatic pause)…….then how is anything about YOUR web connected, open or social?

    I enjoyed the inner-thought this post provoked. I might extend the conversation and do a blog myself. Gracias.

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