10 counter-arguments to get your Luddite boss on Facebook

Excuses, excuses; help me persuade my editor to join the world’s biggest network.

Excuses, excuses; help me persuade my editor to join the world’s biggest network

I haven’t met anybody who isn’t on Facebook—except for my editor.

I know exactly what you’re thinking: How could someone who deals with social media for a living not be on Facebook? Oh, trust me, she’s got a list of reasons. And if you have a boss (or 95-year-old great-aunt) who is reluctant to join Facebook, you’ve probably heard most of them, too.

As a communicator, you should think about encouraging your anti-Facebook boss to enter the 21st century. (Editor’s Note: Hey, wait a minute! I’ve got a cell phone. Granted, it’s rotary…)

My goal: I want her to join Facebook for one week. If she doesn’t like it she can, to paraphrase the Bard, shuffle off this networking coil with this virtual Kevorkian.

So, here are her—and others’—flimsy objections, along with my incisive rejoinders. (If you have any other convincing arguments, please write them in the comments section, and I’ll send them along to her—via mule mail.)

Facebook is ridiculous. If I want to talk to someone, I’ll do it face to face.

Spoken like a true communicator. Nothing wrong with going Old School, but see, Facebook is just another way to converse. You won’t stop exchanging ideas with your friends, family and co-workers if you join. Plus, there are a lot of ways people talk to one another—e-mail, telephone, LinkedIn, Twitter. Or, in your case, telegraph.

Why bother? It’s just a passing fad.

Indeed. So was electricity. There are 175 million people who log in to Facebook each day. You don’t want to be left out of a party that big, do you?

I’m worried about my privacy.

Privacy…what’s that? It’s pretty much gone the way of “objective journalism.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says privacy doesn’t exist anymore.

Well, maybe privacy’s not completely gone; to safeguard yours, you’ll need to be proactive. That means clicking on a few buttons to make sure your account is limited to people you know and trust. Read more about Facebook’s privacy settings here: http://www.facebook.com/policy.php

Keep in mind, your privacy can still be compromised, even if you’re not on Facebook. Remember last year’s holiday party, when you danced on a table at the Billy Goat Tavern? Well, I’ve got full-color evidence on my Facebook account. Too bad you can’t un-tag yourself from a photo. Zing!

Why would I want to post messages? People don’t care what I have to say.

If you don’t have anything interesting to say, don’t post an update. Besides, you don’t have to broadcast your entire life on Facebook. That’s what Twitter is for.

What can Facebook do for me professionally?

It’s a way for you to connect with your audience, past and current co-workers and other industry leaders. You’ll learn how to write a “wall post.” Most important, it’s a great way to stalk our summer interns.

What if people I don’t want to be in contact with see my profile? Like that freelance writer who wrote in fragments? Or my ex-boyfriend?

First of all, isn’t Chuck still serving time at the Centralia Correctional Center? He probably doesn’t have Internet access yet. Anyway, if someone tries to friend you, you can always decline. Or just have the friend invitation linger in Facebook purgatory. They’ll probably move on to someone else, and so will Chuck. (Hopefully, you will, too—someday.)

I don’t want my professional and work life to mix. Does this mean I’ll have to set up two separate accounts?

Good news: You’re only one person. So, that answer is no. We’re living in a world where work and life get blurry, and there’s no reason (or way) to separate them. Hey, aren’t you organizing that happy hour after work today?

Isn’t Facebook addictive?

Well, yes, so are French fries. But you managed to kick those, right? (Editor’s Note: Well, actually, only shoestrings. Great, now I’m jonesing for steak fries…Damn you, Levco!!) You’ll probably spend the most time on Facebook in the beginning, setting up your profile and posting a few pictures of yourself. Once you’ve established a presence, you’ll learn how to incorporate Facebook into your life.

I keep hearing a lot about Farmville. I live in a city. Why would I want to own a digital farm?

You don’t. And there are plenty of other annoying applications. Skip the “Where I’ve Been Map,” “Mafia Wars” and “Super Fun Mega Wall,” too. If you join Facebook and barrage me with this cyber-tripe, I’ll de-friend you in a Plaxo minute.

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