Are Friend’s Facebook Businesses Really Such A Bad Thing?
My response Scary Mommy’s blog post
I read a post on Scary Mommy (3D Lashes, Jamberry & Other Ways to Lose Facebook Friends) this week about the trend for ‘selling out your friends’. With the current trend for home businesses centred about the old fashioned Tupperware party style model. You know what I mean – Younique, Jamberry Nails, Stella and Dot jewellery, healing crystals and yes with me selling the Cambridge Weight Plan, you can probably chuck me in there too. I’m sure you’ve seen it on a few of your facebook pages with more than one of your friends taking up their respective sales causes.
This is Scary Mommy’s view:
“…But the real thing that chaps me (there’s an oil for that!!) is not the parties or products themselves. Some are very good, I’m sure. The products are secondary. It’s the exploiting of friendships to gain new recruits that really squicks me out. You are selling your friends, period. The whole thing reeks of a coconut-scented pyramid scheme, no matter how pretty the package. This is just my opinion, of course; I could be wrong.”
Ok, I will admit it, it’s a funny well written article. I actually really enjoy the site too. I’ll also admit the author has a point. My Facebook feed has got a little annoying of late, I have to skip past quite a few friend’s promotional post to get to what I want to read. I’ve also been added to a few selling groups, half of the time a little baffled while my Facebook notifications go a bit bonkers.
BUT… (and you knew it was coming) with the bigger picture in mind, what the bloody hell harm does it actually do? People are only trying their best. So your newsfeed has a few things in it which get annoying after a while. But, actually I don’t mind a bit of jewellery and make up window shopping and even a bit of purchasing too.
Most of these people that take up the mantel are doing so for a reason, maybe they’re parents, I have one friend who has a debilitating condition and this model allows her to work from home. I’m sorry is this not better than people claiming income support?
Let’s looks at parenting I have a 3 and a (very nearly) one year old. I used to work 3 days a week. To put both of my children in childcare would look on average taking into consideration 15 hours free (term time) child care per week for my 3 year old, something like this:
3 days per week at 10 hours per day = 60 hours per week
Childminder fee – £800-1000 per month
Nursery fee – £1200-1500 per month
This is not full time, this is for 3 days per week. Just look at those figures, they’re incredible.
This is without factoring in the stress of drop offs with children crying because they don’t want to be left, rushing out of work in order to get back in time & awkwardly walking out of meetings (I had to do this more than once), what to do when your child is sick and if you have two they can get sick back to back – that’s a lot of time off work to juggle. And trust me it’s super stressful.
If you have 3 children younger than school age, quite frankly you can forget it. There is no point in working at all. The childcare costs are too prohibitive, unless you have family who can help. Or maybe you and your partner can alternative with one working days and one nights, or one weeks and one weekends. I know a couple of people who do this. Not great for your relationship or family life though. But we all do, what we have to do.
There’s also the amount of their little lives you end up missing. Being a working parent is immensely hard and in many cases not workable.
Then you’ve got these new, but old style businesses emerging. Giving people a chance to sell a bit on the side, using Facebook, home parties whatever and make a bit of cash for themselves. Something Avon and Ann Summers have capitalised on for years. You can’t blame people for giving them a whirl can you? I mean really?
Yes a few of them are based on pyramid models, but if you’re not part of the pyramid yourself, does it really matter? Just politely detach yourself. No, they’re probably not going to make the millions they hope to, but a bit of extra on the side always helps. If you don’t want to take part or buy anything, that’s completely fine. If the person is genuinely your friend they’ll get it. If it annoys you that much just quietly and discreetly unfollow them (if they hit crazy stalker stage then fine, that’s what the unfriend button is for). Or, if you’re feeling generous give them a like, it costs you nothing, but can boost their Facebook reach significantly.
Let’s stop judging and bashing everyone for their choices. Instead let’s consider that sometimes work for whatever reason – parenthood, illness, or perhaps you need some extra income for some reason – debt or an event, it’s hard. We’re all in this life together. Is it not better to buy that new eyeshadow from a friend if you were going to buy one anyway and give them a helping hand?
Trends come and go, this one may very well pass or maybe it will grow in momentum. Who knows. I will think a bit more cautiously about what I put on my Facebook page now on I have to say. But right now I’m off to look at look at shiny, lovely pretty things…