Fixing Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg declared his intention to fix Facebook, explained how he’s going to do it, and Facebook shares lost 4% of their value in a single day.

How is that relevant to personal development?

A lot. Facebook’s business model is about catching your attention, keeping that attention, and then selling that attention to marketers. This made them a $500+ billion company. Now, think about it. This is how valuable your attention is. And you’re donating something that precious to Facebook.

What could you create in your life, if you directed your attention to something productive instead of donating it to Facebook?

My Personal Experience with Facebook

Facebook is a great product for people who have friends and family all over the world. It’s a great way to stay in touch with those connections. The downside of Facebook is its news feed. That is a huge time waster without adding any value in return.

Unlike many people who quit Facebook in the past, I never quit Facebook. My connections on Facebook are too valuable for me to do that. However, I have quit reading the news feed. I just check the notifications once in a while.

If everybody used Facebook like I use it, Facebook will be out of business soon, because their business model is based on engaging people with their news feed and selling advertisements on the news feed.

Stock Market’s Reaction

Mark Zuckerberg stated his plans to emphasize posts by friends and family in the news feed and their shares lost more than 4% of their value in a single day. This is something I don’t understand. They have been doing that all the time and it’s actually good for the business.

If you ever run a Facebook page, you know that the only way to get in front of the users is to advertise your posts, i.e. pay Facebook to distribute your post to users. That only makes sense if you’re a business monetizing its posts. That’s why I’ve quit running Facebook pages. So, this will not change anyway.

  • Why does the stock market overreact?
  • Do they not know that this is already the status quo in Facebook?
  • Do they not know that this is good for Facebook’s business?
  • Do foreign government’s Facebook advertisements make the 4% of Facebook’s income?
  • Was Facebook’s stock already overpriced and did the market use this news as an excuse for a correction?

If you have an explanation, please let me know. To me, the last scenario seems to be the more realistic than the rest. However, don’t take this as an investment advice, I have quit working on individual stocks. I’m happy with the S&P500 index funds. (Don’t take that as an investment advice as well.)

Summary

Your attention is so valuable that it created multiple multi-billion companies, including $500+ billion Facebook. If you’re spending any time on any of the social media channels, you’re donating something irreplaceable to the businesses behind those channels. What are you getting in return? How could you use your attention for something more beneficial to yourself and to your loved ones?

Disclosure

This post is for information purposes only and not intended to be investment advice.

Burak Bilgin
Software developer with a Ph.D. and 15 years of experience. I write daily on personal development and life lessons. Sign up to my email newsletter to receive a weekly overview of my latest content on personal development and life lessons.

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