I’ve often said that any decision can change the direction of your life forever. I usually use the scenario of a hall of doors one can walk through or forks in a road one has to pick from. Every action has a consequence, good or bad. Success (maintaining it) is the result of many good decisions. Failure, decline, etc. is the result of bad choices.
What about social media? Well, the same principles apply. For every decision there is a consequence. In social media it would be a disaster if there were no consequences. Someone that talks a lot about the consequences of start ups is Mike Arrington. This week he talked about the Facebook Burger King campaign drama. Burger King was giving out free sandwiches to Facebook users who dumped 10 friends – and the friends were notified they were being dumped, which goes against Facebook’s policy. Arrington said:
Facebook consistently tell users they can’t do things in the name of privacy, despite the fact that those users know full well what they are up to.
Now let’s go back a minute to what I said about actions having consequences. Burger King was the one who initiated the action of going against Facebook’s policies. If you don’t like the rules don’t play the game. In other words, don’t use Facebook. It’s really that simple. Since Burger King decided to ignore the rules Burger King should be willing to take the consequence – close the application until the friend notification part complies with Facebook’s rules.
If Facebook allowed Burger King to circumvent the rules, what is to stop other application developers from doing the same? One of the “promises” for Facebook users is that the friend will not be notified if he/she is removed. That’s a two way street. The person removing is free to remove people without the ex-friend being notified of the removal. The person being removed will never open their inbox and have that potential humiliating feeling that their “friend” removed them.
It’s a two-sided promise.
But I guess the receiver doesn’t matter, huh Arrington? No, of course not! Only the person sending the notice matters! Yes, that is sarcasm because it is nonsense.
People were willing to dump “friends” (most likely people they don’t know, don’t really care about but accepted to be nice but who knows?) for a sandwich. Self-pleasure for the win, right? As Swoozie’s video points out, every action has a consequence.
It would be poetic justice (karma) if someone who dumped a friend ended up having to go for a job interview and the person they dumped as their friend makes the hiring decision. Or he/she falls in love and the best friend of the person he/she fell in love with is the person they dumped for a sandwich.
Because odds are, the person who dumped the friend (depending on the depth of the friendship) will forget who they dumped. The person dumped however, due to the way it happened, might not ever forget.
And up comes that forgotten consequence….