the fear of facebook

No, I’m not a technophobe, but I am a Social Media-phobe.

At least I was a year ago. Before July 2011 I was not on Facebook. I didn’t have a Twitter account. I wasn’t on LinkedIn, and don’t even get me started on blogging.

You see, I used to be completely paranoid about having a Facebook profile. An unfounded fear of a permanently recorded social history. Call me crazy, but I was convinced that government spies would somehow use my electronic trail against me. (Although someone did rightly point out that the government probably has bigger fish to fry...) But by joining Facebook I felt that I was somehow opting out of my own privacy.

And maybe I was. But what changed? For a start I moved overseas, and so finally relented to Facebook. I joined in order to keep in touch with friends. Next came LinkedIn, to help with the job search. Then I started my own business and hopped on Twitter. Onwards to this blog, and now I wonder where it will stop… Pinterest, FourSquare, StumbleUpon – this snowball is just getting started.

There’s an old saying that goes “all lasting business is built on friendship”, but I’m starting to think that all lasting business is built on Facebook. In the Virtual Assistant industry majority of marketing can be done online, which means that your friends are your fans and soon become your clients, and your colleagues are your competition and soon become your friends.

I tried for so long to keep myself separate from this online world, and now it has all been jumbled up so quickly that I’m not sure what I was afraid of. I now spend so many hours on Social Media that I don’t have time to worry about government spies. At least not in the day-time…