Facebook - Love it or Hate it?

Facebook - Love it or Hate it?

3rd February 2020

The free social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and of course keep in touch with those long-lost school friends you can rekindle friendships with and relatives ( you might not wish to really see, just like being nosey eh?) Plus, you don’t need to be too tech savvy to use it.

Facebook has an estimated over 2.7 BILLION unique monthly users, WOW, with 2.1 billion users that are visiting the social networking site on a daily basis. Reaching 60.6 percent of internet users.

I do believe it has changed our behaviour to how we communicate and behave online to “like “and “liking something”, now it’s just a global thumbs up. Words are used less and less but still keeps us connected in some way. Facebook has given each of us a voice and an online identity and from its existence others have been inspired and created such as Twitter. But as much as Facebook has given each one of us a voice, a digital version of “us “it has also contributed to “life envy “. We are all guilty of logging on to see what our friends have been up to, what interesting things have happened in their lives. It’s a sort of fix that we crave a few times a day. I bet most of us have found ourselves looking through photos from our nearest and dearest but also complete strangers too. Never before have we known so much about people, both things we want to know and the updates we would prefer not to have seen. Facebook gives us a glimpse into the lives of others and with that comes a level of unintentional and unwanted comparison. An aspect that has contributed to unhappiness and yes pressure I think, as some users may think that their lives are less than that of some of their friends.

It is though, a platform for many businesses, not just personal lives, albeit was originally designed for college students back in 2004 by a Mr Mark Zuckerberg when he was enrolled at Harvard University. Here at the Armour Group however, we don’t use Facebook for our company purposes, largely due to security concerns and also the fact that we value our privacy.

On the other side of the coin though, a couple of us do have use of it in our personal lives, I enjoy Facebook most of the time and dip in and out regularly but I’m one of the nosey ones (smiley face).

I do get the impression from people I speak to about Facebook, that post where they live, check in to different locations and post when they are off on holiday (obvious empty home for burglars to target! ) that the actual main bug bear for users is the sponsored content, targeted ads. Yet this generates huge revenue growth for a lot of business including their own, how ironic! Admittedly you get a lot of “all about me ““look at me types” self-centred, and of course the usual bombardment of what people have eaten for breakfast lunch and dinner. Even as I write this, I have my Facebook account open and am occasionally flicking through, after a 10-minute break, I refreshed my page and the first thing that came up was a rather distressing image of an obese female eating talcum powder…… just why?! I can assure you I am not digging that kind of weird vibe….

But the main issue here should surely be your privacy? your security and you protecting what you hold dear? Do you really want the world to know your house is empty? Do you think it’s a good idea to show your new car registration along with where you managed to park for the day? Do you really know the people well enough that you accept friend requests from? Is your account really that private that us as a company wouldn’t be able to find things out about you, criminals spend a great deal of time using open source intelligence to target you and track your digital footprint.

I’m not saying don’t use Facebook, stay away from it, it actually has some good features, but lock it down, the guy you met in nightclub last weekend doesn’t need to know where you are checking in everyday does he? Or the woman you met at the local gym, does she need to know who your parents are?

How many friends on your friends list have you met in real life?

Have you applied for a job recently? You can put money on the fact that your potential employer or a company you want to work with are going to stalk your Facebook account. If we are checking out a potential employee, we look at an applicant's Facebook pages and look at what they post, some of the comments they make and receive and decide if they are a good fit. We decline applicants just from FB.

What we learned in 2019

Facebook has spent the last year trying to deal with security issues afflicting the still hugely popular social media platform – from data security challenges to political misinformation campaigns.

On the plus side, Facebook suspended tens of thousands of Apps as part of its ongoing investigation into how third-party apps on its platform collect, handle and utilise user’s personal data. The Apps associated with at least 400 developers have either been suspended or banned completely due to a violation of Facebooks policies. It seems they are taking things more seriously, especially after the hefty fines….

April 2019, Facebook booted more than 70 cybercrime groups off its platform that were pushing illicit services – from email spamming to stealing credentials and payment information. Researchers said a simple search on Facebook for keywords like “spam “CVV or more returned results for a slew of groups, carrying out these illegal services. In total, the groups had approximately 385,000 members and some had been up on Facebook for as long as eight years….

In short, I both love and hate Facebook, but love outweighs the hate. Yes, I confess I’m a snoop, but aren’t we all on there? What are your thoughts on Facebook?

Now don’t even get me started on TikTok…

Written by Tara Manners - Head of Sales