The Financial Negatives of Social Networking

Last week my colleague here at SavingAdvice, David, wrote about the financial benefits of Facebook. His piece contained some valuable information for those looking to join Facebook. However, I’m of a different opinion with regards to Facebook and social networking in general. So, with apologies and respectful disagreement to David, and in the interest of presenting the other side of the argument, I’ll tell you why I think social networking is a financial, “don’t.”

Opportunity cost: When you fall into social networking, you’re giving up time that could be used in other, more productive ways. All that time spent Tweeting and following others could be spent s


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10 Responses to The Financial Negatives of Social Networking

  1. The truth probably lies somewhere between your positions. Opportunity costs and lost time are the same thing, and resorting to mumbles about ‘this generation’ and how it ‘can’t spell’ undermines the stronger points of your argument. Language is evolving, and those kids are actually demonstrating the ‘power to communicate’ – just in a different language to the one you’re used to.

    Yes, most potential employers will not communicate in that way (and believe me, some will communicate that way), but many potential customers will, and that may be why they get hired. Ultimately, what those kids are demonstrating is not that they can’t communicate, but that they don’t understand the correct language to use in a particular situation – like going to France and expecting to be served if you speak in English.

    Ultimately, social networks can be both hugely useful and productive, and take up time unnecessarily.

    Kinda like the telephone. Get over it.

  2. Broken Arrow says:

    To me, privacy is of particular concern on Facebook. Because while they will do their best to protect your account, that does not translate to them honoring your privacy in terms of content.

    In other words, any content you post on Facebook are content that they have the right to use on their site as they see fit.

    For example, by default, they can and do use your profile as a way to advertise as singles classified ad. You actually have to disable that feature if you don’t want to be used in it.

    For those who are on Facebook, it would be worth searching the net for articles that deal specifically with securing your Facebook accounts, as well as settings to lower your profile.

  3. AJ says:

    Thanks for this. I have some mistakes that I need to clear up.

  4. Robert says:

    This is the future, This is where we’re going. These are tools to communicate with your customers. The game has changed, No longer can the companies dictate their message. We, the consumers will decide and will let others know.

  5. Gail says:

    I’m a bit on the fence about this social networking. My sons are both on Facebook and I know my youngest who due to autism has poor relationship skills, is thrilled to have his friends write to him. He just had his birthday and it was a kick to see what people wished him happy birthday.

    On the other hand I’ve heard that using Twitter and Facebook is a good way to promote your business. Am I denying myself good business by not taking the time to figure this stuff out?

    Also yes, we could take the time to be doing something more worthy, but what is wrong to finally saying we have worked enough today, time to relax? If your time to relax is surfing the internet or Facebook or making paper airplanes whose business is its? We all are desparetly trying to cram more and more into our lives that taking the time to relax is lost, but our bodies are all way too stressed out and need downtime, and I’m not about to tell someone that their downtime is less important or good for them than my downtime.

  6. Robert says:

    Just saw your website Gail. You definitely need to utilize these tools. You could do so much.

  7. Jackie says:

    I think people definitely need to just be a little more deliberate in their usage of these sites. They need to think about who might see what they’re posting and how some criminal or psycho elements might use it too. They also need to evaluate if they’re wasting too much time online, just like they need to evaluate how much time they spend watching tv, or reading or whatnot if they’re doing that to procrastinate other, more important activities.

    All in all, I think it can be a good tool, people just need to remember it is a tool and not an end in of itself.

  8. ThiNg says:

    I have to agree with the posters here. You seem to have gone over the fine line of presenting a rational argument about being careful playing with fire, to being the weird guy mumbling about how cell phones are the devil’s work.

    I am in the middle of dragging some clients from the 1950s into the year 2010. The world has changed. In fact, YOU are writing a blog on a page I read to WASTE TIME when I should be doing work!

    Our accountant used to think the Internet would never catch on…

    Reality is, we are already at a disadvantage to the young’ins. If I live to be 100 years old, what are the chances that I will understand that world?

  9. Gail says:

    Thank you Robert. I plan on it and have actually been working little by little on it. But I’m chronically ill so everything is a little bit at a time for me and I’ve been putting priorities into listing products. I even have a couple of affliate companies that I need to post on my website.

  10. wandaa says:

    I took David’s (he visited my newly created Facebook page by the way, Thanks David) and I also considered your advice which is very good advice. I did create the Facebook page for my business and I being very careful about all the things you mention in this article. I definitely do not want to get caught spending most of my day there and my firewall blocks almost 96% percent of the ads. But I will take all of your advice under advisement. Thanks

    Here’s my Facebook page:

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