The Real Problem with Facebook

"Excuse Me for Being Old-fashioned"

I have very deep concerns about Facebook and what it's doing to our society. I know it's a wonderful way to make friends from around the world – although I've managed to do that with email.

What concerns me is this inclination to only have “virtual friends.” People are isolating themselves. Where are their face-to-face friends? Where are the friends they used to chat with by phone? What's with this constant texting? One line of bad spelling is a conversation?

Everything is completely impersonal, now. Yet, it's addictive and intrusive. While folks are out to lunch or with any friends at all, anywhere, they're texting and fooling around with other “friends” they don't even know. How rude can you get? It's as if they don't dare miss a message. What the hell's going to happen if they do? It's just incredibly stupid.

Do you know your next door neighbor? Probably not. And, why would anyone want to tell complete strangers the story of their life on Facebook? They don't even know who they're “talking” to.

Not to mention that all this information they're putting out there can come back and bite them in the butt at any time. It's costing people jobs – causing court cases to be lost – and who knows what else!

It amuses me to see the people worrying about Facebook's privacy policies all the while they're posting inappropriate material about themselves for the entire world to see. They tell things they should have better sense than to tell anyone but a closest friend - a real friend. Facebook people are not their friends!

Last week, I saw a commercial for a car that “allows you to use all your social media hands free.” WHAT?! I don't care whether you're using your hands, or not – how safe a driver are you while you're using social media at all? UNbelieveable!

Excuse me for being old-fashioned, but when push comes to shove – at least in the USA – folks will be cut off from the internet and they're going to wish they had real flesh and blood friends to turn to.

Social media, carried to the extremes it's been carried to, has done little but isolate folks – and put them in grave danger.

Business News

"Precious Little of It "

In scrounging around for online news this week, I suddenly realized what we have are a lot of words that are non-stories. News doesn't seem to be news online. It's rumor, speculation and “maybes.”

“According to multiple sources, Yahoo is getting ready for a big restructuring initiative ...”

"Rumors suggest that the first cuts will come from ad technology ...”

"It looks like Facebook is finally taking search more seriously. The company is reportedly working overtime on improving its own search feature ...”

"Last week, the Federal Trade Commission released its final report on privacy. Jules Polonetsky, the Director and Co-Chair of the Future of Privacy Forum explained that, while the FTC did ask Congress to pass privacy legislation, it placed a greater emphasis on finding industry best practices for self-regulation.“

Again – no news!

Be careful about believing what you think you read online. It's likely not the facts you think you're reading. Watch the wording.

Now, sometimes – especially in email – outright lies are passed around. We all know this. And, in an election year, these emails will increase.

Please don't simply accept the truth of every email sent to you – and shoot it out to everyone you know - just because it's something you want to believe. You can make serious mistakes (and look ridiculous) that way. Check it out.

When you receive the one stating the Medicare fee will go up to $247 in 2014 – check Snopes before you have a heart attack:

Check it out here

The Money is in the List

"Where Did All the Ezines Go?"

I'm really worried about all the online business owners who have stopped sending newsletters, then complain about their business going to pot. They can't sell anything if they don't have contact with potential customers.

I've made a concerted attempt to subscribe to all Chamber of Commerce - on the Web™ members' publications. I may have missed a few, but I've been surprised at the outcome.

Too many don't publish at all. Others only send out ads, without even a greeting from the sender - much less an article! WOW– I wonder who is reading those?

With all the fast-paced selling over the past years online, I came to a point of feeling like we all needed a break. During 2011, I called a moratorium on selling products – except for Chamber memberships.

No – I lied. I did ask for contributions to help me get “Just Sayin' ...” launched. But, that was it. And, yes, my bottom line suffered. Yet, with the economy so unstable, it saved me a lot of worry about what was happening.

What I did not do was lose contact with my lists. Our lists are our potential buyers. I only stopped hitting them over the head to buy stuff for a year.

But, I digress. The point is, online businesses can not survive without direct contact with potential customers. So, if you have an online business, it would be to your benefit to start communicating – or, go back to communicating, as the case may be.

No, I'm sorry - social networking doesn't cut it!

Use Your Power

"Put Broadcast Media on Notice"

Have you noticed how difficult it is to get “real” information from the broadcast media regarding the upcoming presidential elections in the USA? Everything is slanted, and much of it is outright lies.

This is bad enough while trying to choose the Republican nominee, but it will be even more problematic when the election process is in full swing.

It's time (actually it's past time) to put broadcasters on notice:

"The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has launched a new era of big-money politics. The wealthiest 1 percent now have unchecked power to pick and choose our nation’s leaders. And they’re doing it by spending tens of millions of dollars on televised political ads that leave voters awash in misinformation.

So where’s the broadcast media in all of this? Instead of exposing this runaway spending and separating fact from fiction in an election year, they’re lining their pockets with the winnings — to the tune of more than $3 billion dollars in 2012 ad buys."

Put the largest TV conglomerates on notice. Demand that broadcasters expose the money trail and cover election-year issues properly!

Sign Petition

"Browsers and Privacy Issues "

Internet Explorer (IE) full of security holes – always has been. There's no need to even discuss it. Don't use it.

Firefox started off great. But, over time, it got heavy and slow. It seems every upgrade made it more difficult to use. Lately, it's gotten a little better. But if, like me, you're a serious internet user – and don't have time to fool around with it - it simply has too many toys.

Chrome is fast. It's also the most secure. They actually have “hacker competitions” and Chrome is the only browser that leaves those competitions untouched. Unfortunately (for those who care) it's made by Google.

Which brings us to the newest online uproar – Google's new privacy settings. Google is consolidating all their various privacy settings to one setting that will work across all their platforms.

In my opinion, it's much ado about nothing.

It all comes down to Google's tracking policies. So, I'd like to point out – there's nothing new about that! Google has been tracking us all for years! Nothing new there.

You may feel it makes you more vulnerable to having hackers – or, if you're really paranoid, the government – get your information. Well, as I said, Google has tracked us for years and their security has been excellent.

So you want to avoid being tracked? Really not a big deal. Just don't sign in to Google. When you're logged out, your activity won't be associated with your user account.

I never sign in unless I'm actually working with Webmaster Tools or need to use Gmail. Google isn't doing this because they give a pig's wazoo what you're doing online.

They do it to make more money! They do it to attract more targeted advertising. The better they can target, the more they can charge their advertisers!

If you're concerned about what Google knows about you, just go over to Google's Dashboard and sign in. The dashboard gives you an overview of all your activity through Google.

It also provides links to adjust your settings, privacy and security for every Google service. When the new privacy policy takes effect, this page will be even simpler to use.

If you're concerned about the increase of targeted advertising, go to Google's Ad Preferences Manager: Google Ad Settings

It allows you to opt out of targeted ads when you're signed in and when you're signed out!

Yep – much ado ...

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To re-publish articles by jl scott from this site, please include the following byline - with live links - after each article you use.

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* dr. jl scott is the Founder of Chamber of Commerce - on the Web™ - and also the publisher of the Online Business Trade Journal™ - the blog that keeps you up to date with online business coming of age. Visit:

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