February 21 2008 by Ellen Roseman
My two sons have been on Facebook for ages, but they said parents weren’t welcome there. So I stayed away. But now I have a Facebook profile and 23 friends.
“Welcome to Facebook where our generation is still rather thin on the ground,” Ottawa mystery writer Barbara Fradkin, a high school friend, wrote on my wall.
So, why do I need to be there? It’s hard enough keeping my blog updated, let alone writing daily status reports on Facebook, as some people do. But since I’m teaching a financial basics course at George Brown College for young people age 20 to 35, I thought I’d set up a Facebook group.
Still haven’t set up my own group yet (I’m waiting for my son to show me how), but I’ve been exploring other groups and noticing how many were trashing big corporations. I’ve already joined Air Canada Blows at the request of a reader who sent the following request:
Right now there are several groups on Facebook dedicated to issues with Air Canada.
1. Air Canada Blows (Hamilton / Toronto based) – 72 members;
2. Air Canada Blows (Calgary based) – 232 members;
3. I Hate Air Canada – 70 members;
4. I would rather walk than fly Air Canada – 1,720 members; and
5. Air Canada screws me – 1,004 members
If I can get them to consolidate, the total membership would be 3,000+. Could that be a story? Or is there a story in the fact there are so many groups & people who are frustrated with Air Canada?
Do other companies also have enemies congregating behind a wall on Facebook, safe from Google searches? I started checking and found groups of dissatisfied customers of the usual suspects — Bell, Rogers, Premier Fitness, Bloomex, ICICI Bank and Indian call centres in general.
Some anti-corporate groups are set up by former employees with their own beefs. That makes sense because Facebook kids often work in customer service jobs while going to college or university. I look forward to reading what they have to say.
But there are fan groups, too. Starbucks Addicts, Toronto, has 967 members. The Tim Hortons Coffee is Like Crack to Me Group in Toronto has 284 members. Lululemon Lovers, a global group, has 4,689 members. And there’s also I Love Girls Who Wear Lululemon (2,814 members).
Calling all Facebook members. Tell me about your favourite groups, especially those where you trade horror stories about corporate arrogance. Will these forums become a force of change? Are companies listening to the conversations? If you bitch about a firm and later apply for a job there, could your Facebook rantings come back to haunt you?