Last week I got an email from Groupon, that they would be conducting a discussion group in Chicago to better understand what I think about them. Well, ok. I’d like to think I’m one of their biggest fans – apart from the VIP party invites and comped weekend @ Camp Groupon, I buy a bunch of vouchers to boot . So, I filled out the survey and waited to hear back. And waited. Nothing. But I realized that their non-response shouldn’t surprise me. The Groupon of today isn’t the company I adored 5yrs ago. And so I thought I’d share what I would have shared at this little meetup, in the hopes that someone there will happen to read this (hint: I know they will).
It’s my opinion that the Internet, and more specifically services like Facebook, have done more to raise awareness of the selfishness of people than anything else.
Now, while I’m not a prude, I do feel that there is a time and place for “artistic” nudity. And that place isn’t on a social network where kids 13yrs and up reside. Yes, I’m one of those folks who do Hide, Mark as Spam, and even Report as Abuse photos and comments that don’t seem to me as appropriate for an audience that wouldn’t be allowed to see a movie with the same content.
So when my News Feed alerted me that a relative had updated their cover photo with artwork consisting of a female nude, I was not happy. Why? Because my first thought was whether my teenage boy was a friend of theirs on Facebook, and would see this. So, I Hid the photo from my news feed and sent them a private message expressing my concern that a) the photo probably shouldn’t be on Facebook, and b) express my concern in a way I felt they would understand – that their teenage nephew could possibly see this.
The response I got was not what I expected. Basically, it’s not their problem. Wow. Ok. Wow.
Granted, we are not the closest – our branches of the family tree are through marriage. But I’d hoped that they would understand and respect my request as being reasonable.
Sadly, I’m sure I am not alone in realizing the futility of wishing common sense and reasonableness would somehow be infuse the collective consciousness of the Social Public. The reality is that everyone (including myself) tend to find social networks an empowering soapbox for expressing ourselves, while hiding behind the virtual expanses of the internet.
So, partly because of the harshness of their reply, partly because I don’t feel the need for Facebook Drama, I unfriended this person. And, I’ll make sure my teens aren’t their Friend on Facebook. At least until their 18yrs old.
Don’t ask me why, but right before drifting off into a fitful sleep last night, the thought came to me about the often heard declaration made by companies that they “eat their own dog food”. Symbolizing the process of using the tools/processes/products they market to others internally, as a way to demonstrate their understanding of the problem and ability to solve it. Most of us would aspire to be considered a great cook in our own home. But it’s only when we go out to a decent restaurant that we realize how close or how far removed we are from our potential. There are a few companies I’d love see take a 100 of their employees and for 30 days subject them to using their competitors products solely. Then, their “solution” for 30 days. Alas, I think many fear the outcome and would rather spend the effort on marketing instead. Continue reading “Eating your own dog food? Pfft. Try mine, then get back to me.”