What do you think when you visualize a couch in a coffee shop? I think of the tv show “Friends.”
Friends ran for 10 seasons, ending in 2004.
In 2003, Mark Zuckerberg, while a sophomore at Harvard, built a website he dubbed FaceMash which compared female students attractiveness, “Hot or Not?”
Let’s not forget the origins of Facebook. At the time Zuckerberg unabashedly wrote in his diary at the time. “I like the idea of comparing two people together.” (Wikipedia)
While FaceMash became Facebook, and “Hot or not” became “friends,” the silence of computer screens in cafes around the world replaced the buzz of human interaction. It was an end of an era. But that’s another story.
In parent groups I led offline, building community on Facebook always failed. “What’s going on?” I asked. The general consensus was, “Facebook is not a safe place to share personal stuff.”
Facebook is a phenomenal rolodex and advertising platform, like no other, but it’s not where we should be building intimate communities.
And Facebook is not trustworthy. They change algorithms willy-nilly that affect our ability to stay connected to our “friends.”
Friendship is built on trust. Facebook is a business. Mark Zuckerberg is about making money and does what he wants to make that money. He’s not our friend.
In the end, I want control of the world I create. I want to make sure those of you who join the Parenting You First Community feel safe 100% of the time. Also, I don’t like, not one bit, that Facebook owns all the content published on Facebook and Instagram.
Zuckerberg doesn’t own the digital space, like Edison doesn’t own the light bulb, or Henry Ford the car.
Do I sound angry? No, aware, thoughtful, intentional. For my business to succeed I have to create a safe place for parents to meet. A place you trust. It’s not my home or coffee shop or office, but it has to feel like it is.
I was struggling with how to build a virtual community outside of Facebook that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg.
Then I found Mighty Networks.
Everything you need to create a safe, private space for your people that’s all yours
Four months ago I began building the Parenting You First Community on Mighty Networks. We’re almost ready to open our doors. I’m excited.
What will I do with Facebook? My page and my group? I’ll keep them going for now and see them as a way to introduce PYF to parents. But I will always tell you about my private community. That’s where the couch is, the coffee, and the conversation.
Trust takes time. But first you have to create a safe place to meet. You need good leadership and boundaries. You need to know that when you show up, there’s value for you. You’re welcomed. Your words matter. You’re seen and heard.
Building the Parenting You First online community feels like the most important work I’ve done since building my family with my husband. I take it that seriously.
In the end, Facebook is what it is. And it’s amazing for what it is. But I never forget that it’s a business worth $62 billion dollars.
True community is not a business. It’s a relationship commitment.