The people artists may need most won’t see them on Facebook.
Whoever you are, if you even care about this right now, you’re probably overwhelmed and overloaded. I’m not going to insist that you spend a ton of time learning new systems or evangelizing. If you’re already spending time cultivating a community, publicizing events, and trying to build connections with people who can help you in your mission, though, then it might be a good idea to consider limiting yourself to traditional social media is going to give the best results.
If you’re already avoiding Facebook and want to persuade others, this post is designed to help you do that.
Other people have written about the ethical issues.
There are definitely some benefits to the social media landscape. There are huge problems also. That’s been covered extensively, but here’s an extensive list on Wikipedia that still doesn’t cover dependency risk, management succession risk, or social skills losses.
Selecting out non-FBers is selecting out a lot of people.
According to a Pew Research article I found with quick Googling (so, not very rigorous), in Feb. 2019 72% of US adults used at least one Social Media site. That’s a huge amount!
That leaves 28% of adults who didn’t use social media back then. 58 million people. Even if the number is half of that now, it’s a huge number.
According to this article, daily active users on Facebook even went down slightly in 2020, during the pandemic.
It’s tempting to just throw numbers at this issue and step away — it’s fast, easy, and people have a hard time arguing against numbers — but I don’t believe decisions should be made based on mere numbers. So:
The people not on Facebook are your audience.
Historically, arts supporters skew retiree.
Selection bias in the performing world
You know about selection bias, of course. It’s reasonable to suppose that there are certain groups of people who are more likely not to be on Facebook. They might be both more educated and less educated than what seems to be the mainstream, and they might be both less creative and more creative. All of these groups are important.
But, if everyone an artist or a theater connects with and works with is on Facebook, they will almost inevitably have no idea that …
Here are some stories
If you search this page for “Greg Dart”, you will see a photo of my absolute favorite person from my Second City Music Improv class.
He made me feel wonderful in every scene. He was amazing to watch, he was different, and he was incredibly selfless, empathetic, and kind. I met him the day of auditions – he invited me and the other auditioners in our group to hang out right after our audition, and we ended up at my apartment, just talking. This is a guy who cared about people and cared about creating a feeling of friendship. He was always wonderful to talk to.
I still hope to have him on a team with me someday.
He was one of three people in our class of 14 who was not on Facebook.
I was the second.
The third was a lad under 30 who had cut himself off from most social media for his own mental health. He was a very sensitive, sweet person (still recovering from his own heartbreak) who I met in the IO music program. He was also always happy to be part of a group, and a very outside-the-box thinker. He’d started his own content posting company posting Twitter content for companies, and then later started something called the Dangerous Club where he led people who joined to do things like attend the SC Music Improv Jam and talk about niche books. He was willing to sit with me and two other people, and come up with a group name based on combining our favorite phonemes (I miss all of them).