Sunday, January 12, 2014

Buying Fans, Connections, & Followers Is Despicable

I received an email recently from a company that I shall not name, so as not to encourage business for them, that deeply disturbs me.

It is selling automatic Facebook fans. For just ten bucks, you could immediately acquire 500 fans. You could get 10,000 fans by paying just 99 dollars. It’s legal and reliable – but it’s unethical.

Sure the world of social media forces us to raise our platform numbers. Employers, clients, and others whom you may need to impress look at how many followers and connections you have. Of course the whole story of your social media footprint can’t be found just in the numbers, but if you look to these numbers to guide a buying, hiring, or dating decision, look again.

The process is corrupted by companies selling contacts and immediate connections. The world is unfair if it judges you based only on numbers of followers, but that doesn’t justify doing something to falsify or violate the process.

The media and advertising worlds have already trained us to be suspect of the numbers. Circulation figures for print publications, Web site visitor totals, and advertising space figures have all been manipulated, pumped, and distorted. Consumers hear and believe what they want, but it doesn’t help when these numbers are bloated or falsely obtained.

The email I received says: “Buying Facebook fans is one of the best decisions that you will ever make in your life. This is because when you buy the fans, you don’t have to wait for months or even years for you to garner a good number of followers."

Of course, why work hard like a fool when you can just buy your way to what you need to appear important and connected? Why try to get something properly, when you can just throw money at it?

I’m being sarcastic, but others will take that as gospel. There are many who will do whatever it takes to get what they want, no matter how they do it. They buy term papers in school, ask colleagues to cover their absences at work, and cheat on their spouses. They feel the ends justify the means. What’s the harm in buying fake friends? Because you create a storefront built out of lies and demean the spirit of using social media to actually build relationships, not fake them.

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My Apology
I am adding to the ever-growing overload of digital information with every blog post that I send out. I also encourage others to create content and to build their brand. I might be contributing to the problem of information overflow – sorry!

Post-Human Society
We want to coexist with technology, not be a slave to it or have it obliterate our old way of life. Enhance yes, replace or eliminate, no. It shouldn’t be man vs. machine, but the question is this: How do we merge the two and immerse ourselves in a post-human world?

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014.

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