Saturday, April 7, 2012

Facebook - the Useless Time Suck

The Results are In: Facebook is a Useless Time Suck.

A Manifesto of sorts.

[[posterous-content:pid___0]]Now, if you know me, you also know that I rarely get strident about something unless it somehow runs across what I feel passionate about.

I am passionate about honestly helping people, and have made it my work this life to do so. If you look up my back-trail, you'll see that this is mostly all I've done. Of course, I'm made my mis-steps in following this or that trail down, but you won't find me honestly decieving people in the name of help.

That's really why I write and draw funny pictures (caricatures and cartoons). If I can help someone have a better day or improve their lives somehow, then it's worth it - completely regardless of whether I've ever earned income with it.

Scammers who come across my lines tend to get a rough time of it. Sure, I have some skin invested in getting scammers gone - but I learned that no law or government will do anything effective about it. However, when you educate someone about how scams work and how to get free from scams (free download), then they no longer fall for scams.

Before I explain why I'm quitting Facebook (again), let me tell you some facts I've figured out along the line. (Now don't take these as Gospel or anything else. Please reject them utterly. Your own truth is what you have to prove for yourself. The most expensive advice is free.)

1. The world is what you think it is. That comes from the oldest surviving philosophy on this planet. It is the basis for all self-help and religions as well. Your attitude creates the world  you live in. And as Jesus said, Heaven is already within you. So if you are surrounded by Hell on Earth, you might consider changing what your attitudes are about the people in your life.

2. Politics is a useless time suck. Government isn't actually vital or necessary. In these days, it's mostly set up so small minorities can get their way and enforce expensive requirements on everyone else. The days of the Big Steel Trusts is over - so why do we have government-sponsored and protected unions? Some "reverends" who don't have a church can get people to march all over the place and intimidate companies so that they give special favors to their chosen minority. But like the statistics show with lotteries - if you don't know how to manage money and are given a million dollars, you'll wind up poorer than you started. People who are poor have made poor choices. People who are rich have made smart choices. As I read today, "If the government gives you something, that means it took from someone else."

Tonight in our house, we decided to simply turn off the national news as it's going to be filled with political garbage from here on out. And we vote every election. But it doesn't mean we have to listen to garbage in our own home. (Local news is different, since they are going to hear from someone if they do something stupid. National news is too stupid to listen.)

3. Most people (statistically, it's 97%) out there are following conventional wisdom like sheep being chased through a pasture. That's why it's called "conventional wisdom". And any good herdsman (or "community organizer") can get a flock to go wherever they want. (As long as they have some mindful dogs with sharp teeth on the flanks.) 

Conventional Wisdom is full of lies which keep people from succeeding. And so we have the ongoing concern with "getting a job" or "getting a good education" or "affordable insurance". But if you think these through, you'll see that the highest taxes are paid by individuals with jobs. And they take it out before you see it - even if you get a refund, they don't refund the interest they made on your money while they had it.  If you want to keep your money, study books by Kiyosaki 

Every person who has ever gotten "rich" in this country did it on their own. They quit following the current "conventional wisdom" and learned by looking and testing their way.

and others, who will tell you the tax laws are the policy the government issued to tell you how to make your money. Work for yourself, on a contract basis. Have no employees. Set your business up as an LLC or corporation and then only pay taxes on profit (after you invest and pay operating costs.) [Note: check with a reputable accountant or financial planner and you'll find that they'll begrudingly tell you this is true - but don't act on what I say until you've done your own homework. Mileage can vary. Poor choices will make and keep you poor.]

Conventional Wisdom in Farming keeps farmers poor. Because they think they have to use expensive fertilizers and pesticides/herbicides to raise crops. And buy huge equipment, farm huge acres. Grass Fed Beef is the cheapest protein to raise, and can take no more acreage than the feedlots and corn/soybean fields already used. Plus, it's mostly done on marginal land that can't raise conventional crops. Takes some study, but can be gotten to the point where no inputs are required besides fencing - and checking them twice a day. But you can write off walking among them as exercise, can't you? What studies I've done on conventional crops shows that they can be farmed with organic (note the small "o" with no government trademark) and natural methods, following how Nature has done it since before history started being recorded.

And there is no logic in what stands for Conventional Wisdom in government. Smart people go there and do very stupid things. For the most part, deal with people on your own local level, as they interpret what goes on in our government centers. Never take any money or favors from someone in government is a good general policy. As above, they only can give to you by taking from someone else. And vote for the person who thinks most like you - and then hold their feet to the fire to vote the way you think they should. But don't let politics decide anything for you.

Jesus the Christ made a living with no job, no house, and didn't even own the clothes he wore. Yet changed the lives of billions forever. If you only took what Jesus actually said (as close as we can figure it) you'd do well. Not what came after, but just the "letters in red".

Spammers make their living because they figured out how to herd sheep so they could be sheared.

4. So it follows that "popular" applications like Facebook just suck time (and other things.) Statistically, they only ever reach about 50% in a given country, and then start declining. However, the majority of the people on there use it for what? Name one invention or charitable cause which has sprung as the result of interaction on Facebook. Anything which has used Facebook or some other social media to forward a cause wasn't invented or organized as part of any Facebook interaction. Only in spite of.

Facebook (and Google) make their money from advertising. Yes, that's the stuff blockers are made for - and what people have been training themselves to ignore. Advertising is based on the same points spammers abuse. People can be herded this way and that according to how they are programmed by conventional wisdom through their lives.  Advertising is just another set of sheep herders. And why (like news media) they aren't trusted or listened to very much.  With DVR's, people now simply fast-forward through the ads, even in spite of the programming some of them have to stop that. (It used to be that you could also record with out the ads, but they figured out how you had to do that at least.)

A couple of weeks of experimenting have showed me (again) that it takes an intense amount of input into Facebook to get any result from it at all. And that result isn't in terms of getting products sold, just that you get some popularity for whatever you said or did. But you can't spend popularity.

I run a site for Grass Fed Beef, which I've recently expanded to include Shaklee health supplements - a logical extension. How many people do you think ever bought beef or supplements from me by what I did on Facebook? None. Zip. Zilch.

Facebook is a lovely walled garden where you can spend time and money and get nothing. You simply return to your day job for the rest of your waking ours. It's not the real world, and it isn't the real Internet. It is another MySpace.

It is like the model of the Insurance salesperson who joined every club in town. Because by meeting all these people and gaining their trust, you would then be the one they turned to as they felt they needed insurance. (But insurance is a racket I don't even need to go into here.) The point is that you don't do deals inside Facebook, but outside, in the real world. You can meet people and chat with them and gain their trust there - but you have to take it outside FB in order to do the deal.

All the articles and studies I've done about Facebook simply tell this same story - you can't get there from here. Corporations spend money to "brand" themselves online this way. But they get a "tax write-off" for advertizing. Small businesses don't have the personnel to spend on "social activities" like this. Sure, have a page. And get your blog posts sent to Facebook if you figure it out on your own.

Facebook makes their money on you visiting and spending time there.

It doesn't make anyone money except for itself.

It's a time suck.

I don't know about you, but I've got a lot better things to do.

Contact me via one of my blogs. Don't try to reach me via Facebook - I won't be there.