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Opinion Editorials

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin.

Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration.

He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events.

Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he’s empowered.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  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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Opinion Editorials

Our five faves for Friday – almost Thanksgiving edition

(EDITORIAL) This week, I have so many faves that I can barely keep it at just five – Unicorns, gophers, tears, science nerdery, and rebellions, oh my!

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I heard a rumor that it’s Friday again, so today we share with you five of the neato-est things that we came across this week – some silly, some serious, all awesome.

1. Brands refusing to open on Thanksgiving Day

It started with retailers opening early on Black Friday, then opening at midnight on Thanksgiving Day, and now retailers are expected to force their staff to work instead of enjoy a bajillion-ish year old American tradition.

But some companies are pushing back, publicly refusing to open on Thanksgiving Day, so even though our home doesn’t care about Black Friday, we’ll be giving some business to those taking a stand.

2. I need you to know about my favorite tv show ever

So there’s nothing new about this, but since you’ve never heard from ME on a Friday Faves roundup, I really need you to know something about me – I have a lot of natural curiosities and history (when not told in a dusty way) fascinates the hell out of me.

Unearthed on the Science Channel is friggen amazing and literally EVERY episode has taught me something that I didn’t know before (like the one about Stonehenge included new discoveries that change how we think about how humans used to operate – seriously mindblowing stuff). All of the episodes are available online, yo, so get to nerding!

3. No one has bought me a Pony Cycle yet

One of the only email newsletters I actually open is The Grommet – they feature independent makers’ inventions and wares, and I’m all about supporting the little guy.

But I posted this insanely amazing Pony Cycle on my Facebook timeline this week with a request that someone buy me one. Guess what? No takers. My friends are monsters. I mean it comes in horse, unicorn (dibs), and zebra, why not buy me one or three?

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4. Video that made me cry

After the recent earthquake hit Iran, there has been a deep need for food for the victims. Watch this video (my fave part is the pat pat on the back) and try to tell me that hate isn’t something we’re taught… also, I’m not crying, you are…

5. My favorite gif of this week

If you know me, you know I love gifs more than the average person. So when I came across this one, I knew I had to award it my fave of the week…

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Opinion Editorials

Is your job inadvertently harming your health?

(EDITORIAL) We often get so consumed with our work that we unknowingly hurt ourselves in the process. Learn how to keep this from happening.

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With the changes in seasons, we tend to put more of an emphasis on our health. This makes sense as flus and colds have a tendency to run rampant around the holidays.

However, we should be more mindful of keeping track of our health throughout the year. And, given that our jobs are such a large part of our lives, it is important to keep in mind that our jobs can have an affect on our health. Which can often be a bad thing.

For most of us, we are in the same space for eight hours of our day. Sometimes we think that just because it’s ourselves occupying that space, things can’t really get germy. Well, think again.

We have so many things that we touch on a daily basis – our keyboard, mouse, phone, ID badge, etc. These have a tendency to become a house for germs, which can hurt us as time goes on.

Combat this by setting aside some time each week to disinfect all of your most-used items. Also, consider keeping some hand sanitizer at your desk.

Getting up to clean around your office can help take care of another issue – being too sedentary throughout the day. Sometimes we get so consumed with plugging away at our computers that we forget to get up and stretch.

This can be harmful to your weight and your circulation. Keep the blood flowing by getting up and moving a bit every hour or so.

The mindfulness of your health should not stop at the physical, but should also involve keeping an eye on mental health. Your job plays a big part in this as well.

First of all, you start and end your day with a commute. For some, this can be incredibly strenuous – expensive, traffic-filled, etc.

This has been known to lead to depression. Try filling this time with positivity and fulfillment by listening to a quality podcast or an audio book. This will help to give meaning to otherwise wasted time.

The most important thing to monitor with your mental health is making sure to not overwork yourself. It can be difficult to find that perfect work/life balance, but it’s necessary for a happy and healthy life.

Try staying away from work emails and texts after a certain time of the day on weekdays or on the weekends. Think about it this way – you’re not supposed to tend to your personal business during work hours, so why let work interfere with your personal time?

All of this can be helped by checking in with yourself every once in a while, or even by using the buddy system and discussing the topic with a work friend.

Lastly, be sure to check with your company to learn about health and wellness programs that may be offered.

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Opinion Editorials

Do literally anything with your money besides buy an iPhone X

(EDITORIAL) The iPhone X is pretty snazzy, but let me express why your money belongs literally anywhere besides in Apple’s pocket for this phone.

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The iPhone X is off to a rocky start, beginning with the fact that no one seems to know whether it’s supposed to be pronounced “iPhone Ten” or “iPhone Ex” and working up from there.

If you’re here, you probably don’t need me to tell you that a 5.8-inch OLED screen, facial recognition, 4K recording at 60 FPS, and an all-glass design are superfluous as hell — but just in the off-chance that I’m wrong, THE IPHONE X IS SUPERFLUOUS AS HELL.

Take literally 30 seconds to think about all of the mega-cool features that convinced you to buy your last smartphone, then think of the last time you used even half of those features without feeling compelled to do so. If you’re one of those people who uses all of the filters on the camera every day, fine, but I’m willing to bet that you just use your phone for Facebook, texting, and calling your grandma.

You don’t need a 5.8-inch, all-glass, basically-a-tablet-of-a-phone to do those things, but if money doesn’t mean anything to you, be my guest.

It’s also worth noting that there is a certain point at which “really fast” and “really, really fast” feel identical to one another. My personal experience with this phenomenon was with the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 8; it doesn’t matter how fast your newest processor is if the last one was fast enough.

Apple has a long history of publicly executing things that people are still using. While it’s hard to be too mad about the headphone jack, they hit a soft spot when they nixed ethernet ports—and, more recently, USB 3.0 ports—and the most recent dissident to fall victim to Apple’s indiscriminate chopping block is the Home button.

Yeah, that thing that make the iPhone usable in the first place? Not there anymore. Worse still, the simple display is now flooded with different shortcut hotspots. For example, you swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the Control Center — no, wait, that’s how you get home. You swipe from the top-right corner of the screen to open the Control Center, while the top-left corner opens the notifications screen that — hey, are you writing this down?

To make matters worse, Apple added a bunch of different contextual shortcuts to the physical buttons on the sides of the iPhone X, further reducing accessibility. I could go on, but I think you get the point.

Is the iPhone X necessary? Absolutely not. Is it neato? Sure.

But is it worth your time if you’ve got dollar bills to blow? Again, absolutely not — do literally anything else with that money, up to and including burning it. As long as Apple continues to ignore the issues that plague their devices in favor of broken facial recognition and 3D emoji animation, consider spending your money elsewhere.

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