It all started with a simple misunderstanding. A friend was launching a new business and added me to her private Facebook group in which she was advertising the sale of gently used baby clothes and offering other mums a chance to do the same. I wondered why she hadn’t asked me if I wanted to join the group, but I figured I could just ignore the posts and messages, if I wanted to. I assumed that being a member was no big deal.
But when she started posting over 30 times a day, it started to get annoying. See, Facebook was sending me a notification every time someone posted in the group. I didn’t know how to change the setting so my inbox would fill up with notifications for things I didn’t want. Even if I didn’t respond to the group, the notifications kept coming. Naturally I considered leaving the group, but I didn’t want to hurt my friend’s feelings, nor did I want to appear unsupportive of her latest endeavor.
When the posts started arriving with even more frequency, I figured out how to hide them. I wouldn’t see them, but my friend would never know.
And then she started a second private Facebook group. This time the group was designed to give her mum friends a place to resell furniture, home goods, and anything else that didn’t fit into the description of her first Facebook group.
Again, the notifications kept coming and coming. This time, I was less patient. I hadn’t asked to be in either of her groups. Yet, why did I feel like I was hurting her feelings by asking to be taken out? So I simply opted out and hoped her feelings wouldn’t get hurt.
And then another mum friend from my kid’s old preschool put me in her private Facebook group, in which she was hoping to sell skin care products, part of a multi-level marketing company.
I didn’t know this mum well, nor did I have a need for her skin care line. And yet, the invitations to skin care-themed events at her house kept coming and coming and coming. There were regular sale alerts, skin care themed meet up invitations, and constant postings and messages about her new business.
This would all have been fine had I actually asked (or been asked) to accept an invitation to be part of the group. But since I was randomly put in the group, I grew annoyed and angry. I might have been inclined to support a friend’s new business even if I didn’t need her product, however, being added without being asked to join her group made me want to opt out entirely.
So budding entrepreneurs I say this with the utmost respect and kindness: Stop trying to sell me sh*t on Facebook. Don’t put me into your private group without asking me. Don’t assume I want to hear about someone else’s used baby clothes or that “miracle” skin care cream you’re trying to unload from your basement. If you want my support, be respectful and conduct yourself like a professional. If whatever you’re selling is that good, I’ll be interested and supportive based on your enthusiasm, not because you filled up my inbox with constant messaging and endless party invites. Truth be told, I have no time to attend your skin care parties or baby clothes swap meet-ups, I’m too busy deleting all those messages you sent me that I never actually asked to receive.