Did you know that the average American spends over thirty minutes a day on Facebook? We think that’s not too bad if what you’re doing is checking to see any updates on the Postconsumers Facebook page! In truth, we also don’t think that it’s so bad if you’re spending your time interacting with friends and family. But because tons of us spend so much time on Facebook these days, we should be aware of the ways in which we’re getting media messages about consumerism and the “need for more” on that website.
How Many Companies Have You “Liked”? Every time you “like” a company, it’s almost the same as telling them that you want to receive email or junk mail. That company now has a direct line of communication to you (and information about your demographics) and they can encourage you to buy more, spend more and do more right on your Facebook wall!
Facebook Ads: Of course there are ads on Facebook. After all, it’s free for all of us to use and the company needs to pay its bills somehow. Just remember that those ads are still ads. Even if they read more casually than an ad in a magazine or seem more targeted specifically to you, you should just become blind to the spots on Facebook where you know there will be ads!
Games: Games on Facebook all have advertising goals. Take the popular Farmville, for example. In July, Farmville was advertising for Cascadian Farms, an organic product line owned by General Mills, by giving users a chance to plant “organic” blueberries in their Farmville farm. The message? Buy Cascadian Farms products! The method for conveying that message? One that many people didn’t even really notice as serious advertising!
What’s our advice? Well, certainly people aren’t getting off of Facebook any time soon (us included). Just be sure that when you’re on Facebook you’re doing the same things that you do in the rest of your life and being diligent about paying attention to advertising and messages that you receive!