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Two of the key elements of Facebook are friending and likes.  We ask others we know to be our friends and like us.  And they ask us to be their friends.  We expect our friends to like our comments or postings and be supportive. On inspection of many peoples’ Facebook pages, there is very little trolling (saying something negative).

Facebook has a controlled selection process to make me feel positive about myself.  That means self-selecting your own critics. In market research, we call this loading your sample.  In politics, it is gerrymandering.

No one dumps on you if they want to stay your friend.  You are breeding your own sycophants and creating your own celebrity — Well, at least a celebrity in your own mind.

It is kind of like rick-rolling your own ego. Every time you post something you are looking to fool someone into supporting you.

Many businesses have jumped onto this self congratulatory bandwagon creating their own “Like” pages to get their customers to agree to like them.

As to how real any of these “likes” are, one never knows.  Is there much trolling on these sites?  No.  And many of the likes are in response to an opportunity to “win” something.

In many ways, Facebook is creating alienation while seeming to create on-line communities.

You might feel disenfranchised, not listened to; you might not be what you wanted to be with your dreams for life.  You might feel your opinions don’t count.  Your sense of self worth feels undermined.

Enter Facebook.  What a perversely logical thing.  You get to celebrate yourself on the web.  Add a blog to that and you are really something (hold that thought, it is getting too close to home on this blog!)  But blogging is much more work than Facebook so people will stop blogging.

There is one other point of creating your own celebrity though Facebook and that is the sense of belonging by just seeing yourself and your comments on a form of media.  That in itself is validating.

As part of a social marketing program, Facebook can be very helpful.  But Marketers should be careful about how real the comments are on what they make.

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