cartoon cow writing at a desk

Big Brother Zuckerberg (4.10.18)

I’m not a fan of social media. For one, I’m too slow for the digital era. I accept the fact that I am digitally challenged, however as a small business owner it’s important that I utilize social media to market my product. Therefore, I choose to live with the double edged sword.

I’m a late bloomer to Facebook. Facebook was born 14 days after our second daughter Rachel was born. While the rest of the world was exploring and playing with a new toy on the internet, I was a 40 year old mother managing two children under the age of 2 in diapers. I never got on board with social media. I’m the most high-tech person in my family of 8 which includes 3 generations! I spend my time raising and unschooling young children, co-owning and operating a residential roofing company, and launching a board book business. My plate is full.

I got my feet wet with Facebook in the past 3 years to market my self-published children’s board books. Learning on the job has been painful to say the least and I have never had a big network, because my family and social networks are small. I value quality relationships. The beauty of social media is that I have met some high quality people through Facebook whom I consider friends even though we have never met face to face. We became friends because the stars aligned and we are passionate about similar things.

I used to freak out whenever a Facebook friend had taken the “What color are you?” or “If you were an animal, what would you be?” or “What famous person is most like you?” questionnaire that was being promoted at the moment. Yes, I wanted to take these quizzes too, but the cautious side of me always said, “Don’t do it. Don’t give out information, because you don’t know who or what is behind it.” As a small business owner on Facebook, Pinterest, Google, etc., I receive very detailed reports about who is interacting with my business. I may not have your name, but I have access to a lot of information in your wheel house. These reports tell me where you are located, age group, male/female, whether you are on mobile/desktop, your interests, etc. This data collection is phenomenal for someone who can tap into the demographic minutia and make hay while the sun shines, but this treasure trove is “Big Brother” freaky to me as a human being. These quizzes have to be designed to gather more information about you and these high tech companies are using this data and selling it to the highest bidder – i.e., legitimate companies in business and illegitimate companies in business.

I’m not an advocate for government regulation, however the criminals in the world (i.e., Facebook, oil companies, cigarette companies, big agriculture, etc.) that run businesses unethically are the reason that we have to have regulation to protect the people and the planet. I hope Congress makes progress with “Big Brother” Zuckerberg today shedding light onto an industry run amock. Godspeed.