Facebook Lessons from “South Park” — Never play Farmville!


Everything you need to know about Facebook is in this darkly funny episode of “South Park.”

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Kyle “friends” the wrong person on Facebook.  Now all of his friends are unfriending him. His situation is desperate.

His father and even grandma start hassling him for not friending them.  Frustrated and tired of wasting his life online, he attempts to delete his Facebook profile, but gets sucked into the the inner Tron-like vortex of Facebook, where he’s forced to into exile in Farmville.

I mention this South Park episode, because it’s a biting satire about the ways that Facebook and life begin to become inexorably intertwined.

When you start a profile on Facebook, you enter into a new level of relationship with your “real world” friends and business connections.  They begin to expect you to actually read and respond to them. It’s a time commitment that can start to feel like you’ve been sucked into the Matrix and no longer have time for the Real World.

Adding the wrong friends can diminish your status–or cause your higher profile friends to “unfriend” you. Forget to check “in a relationship,” and it will inevitably lead to offline drama with your girlfriend.

And if you neglect to “friend” someone, they’re sooooo offended.  Especially people you don’t want to show your profile to, like Grandma.

“Friends shouldn’t be some sort of commodity for status,” says Stan, wisely, but it’s too late. He’s trapped in the Matrix of Facebook, where everyone (even Grandma) expects him to respond to their pokes — and Facebook won’t let him delete his profile.

Published by Gisélle Bisson

I am a storyteller. I am a bridge between the worlds of high tech and high touch. The main communities I build are between thought leaders in Technology, Entertainment and Sustainability. (Kind of like a TED conference.) These are the early adopters, risk takers and super connected connecters who can set your ideas on fire! As a veteran Silicon Valley tech PR executive and product launch visibility expert, I have launched more than 30 paradigm-shifting products and consumer technology companies in my career -- products that changed your life and are used by tens of millions of consumers. I was on the teams that introduced major innovations we now take for granted -- like email, video editing, ink jet printers and mobile devices. I've promoted products that reached 5 million to 40 million customers -- paying customers, not eyeballs. We did this almost 100% with free PR and social media -- not paid advertising. Increasingly all business must be social, sustainable, sharable and conscious. And I believe social media is the catalyst of this conscious convergence and shift. I've learned that it's not just about "content" or "engagement" -- it's about creating authentic communities around an event that share your news and spread the word for you. I combine social media with press relations, speaking engagements, events, social ads, email lists and street teams to generate waves of awareness that catapult your launch and sustain it. Move forward, into the future. I can help you make a Visibility Shift.

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