Facebook Trust: A Point of View From The Millennium Generation


Jessica robyn_2 One might say that my 22-year old niece Jessica Robyn has “grown-up in social media.” She was actively involved in Live Journal when she was in middle school. She joined Facebook when she began college in 2004. Her 491 friends are truly people that she knows and has allowed into her virtual world.

Early this week Facebook changed the rules of their game I was curious about Jessica’s reaction. Then when Facebook changed the rules back I was even more curious. Jess graciously agreed to an interview for Diva Marketing to share her views.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Why did you join Facebook?

Jessica Robyn: I resisted at first once my college was first added to Facebook since I saw everyone competing for friends, but December of 2004 I caved. Once I joined I saw an outlet to connect with old friends and I could upload photos so that all my friends could see what I was up to. It was a great tool and I could adjust my privacy settings so I knew who was seeing what sections of my profile.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What sort of things do you enjoy most about Facebook?

Jessica Robyn: I highly enjoy being able to connect with old friends and see how they are doing through recent pictures. I got to reconnect with a friend whom I had not seen since I was in middle school courtesy of Facebook. We were able to send messages through Facebook and got to know each other again. She soon after came to visit me while in college, and we still have maintained our friendship since.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What was your first reaction when you heard that Facebook had changed its terms of service and now your content belonged to them?

Jessica Robyn: I definitely felt betrayed. This tool I have been using as an outlet and had control of my privacy settings went behind my back and decided that they would be able to profit off of my picture? I think that is absurd! It was not in the contract I signed up with and I was not formerly informed by Facebook of this change, but rather through a forwarded e-mail from a friend.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What did you think might happen to the hundreds of photos of you and your friends that you posted on your Facebook page?

Jessica Robyn: I honestly hope nothing, but if Facebook can sell them, who knows. They could get into the wrong hands that way and it could be dangerous.

Toby/Diva Marketing: How did that make you feel?

Jessica Robyn: I felt like one of my friends who I trusted changed their entire personality. I did not know what to think anymore.

Toby/Diva Marketing:  Now we learn that Facebook listened to their customers and will go back to their original user agreement. Do you trust Facebook less or do you trust Facebook more?

Jessica Robyn: I trust them less now. They are still capable of changing something so much on the website without giving users fair warning. I think going back to the original was just a cop-out for now since they are planning on re-writing the changes.

Toby/Diva Marketing: When it comes to posting content will you do anything differently on your Facebook page now than you would have say last week?

Jessica Robyn: Absolutely, I feel like now I need to censor myself and the content of "my" page since it is no longer "mine" anymore. I felt very comfortable posting almost anything, but knowing that Facebook could do what they please with it completely disrespects my privacy and trust in them

Toby/Diva Marketing: A little off topic but for my marketer friends., do you ever go to Fan Pages on Facebook that are about brands or products. For example Victoria Secrets has a Facebook page do you ever pop in? Why or why not?

Jessica Robyn: I personally don't since I see Facebook as simple what its name is, face-book. I use it strictly for connecting with my friends. One friend who I am doing some work for asked me to become a fan of their web site and even that I declined since it is not what I use Facebook for.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Do you ever click on the ads? Why or why not?

Jessica Robyn: I honestly do not really notice the ads anymore. I just click through Facebook as I normally do.

Toby/Diva Marketing: One last question to wrap this one. If you could sit down with Mark Zuckerberg what would you tell him.

Jessica Robyn: I would explain to Mark that the reason I use Facebook is because it respects my privacy. I would not be using it if I thought he would use my image or some private messages I exchange for his own benefit.


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Interesting take from a young adult. I agree with Jessica in that I prefer to use Facebook for my friends and family. It's challenging to do, however, as more people use it for business connections.

Posted by: Elaine Fogel on Feb 18, 2009 9:20:31 PM

I have never fully trusted FB as they are a business and at some point they have to make money out of that. I just blame them for they lack of respect regarding customers.

Posted by: Guillaume on Feb 19, 2009 6:13:25 AM

Jessica and Toby,

Thanks for the interview. Great information. I am curious how you utilize facebook for event postings, RSVPs and if you are active on facebook groups vs. pages. So, it sounds like you have never clicked on an ad before. You don't find any of their home page or profile page ads relevant? This is interesting as I have talked to many other people in your age category who love facebook based on the relevancy of the ads and content. I am very interested in continuing the conversation that you had with Toby as we are looking for feedback from users in the 18-24 age range. Thanks again for your candidness!!! By the way, Toby is awesome :)

Dave Williams
[email protected]

Posted by: Dave Williams on Feb 19, 2009 2:58:20 PM


Thank you for sharing your point of view. I understand that Facebook is revisiting but hearing from someone who has used Facebook for thus long with friends and family was quite the point of view.

I am very concerned that they didn't give users the chance to opt out upon log in. That they've made it more difficult for you to trust the service is both a curse and a blessing.

I say this because nothing is safe online and it's an important lesson to learn but you feel like you've been betrayed as well. I hope this doesn't influence you to stop sharing but rather think about sharing a little more deeply. No, you shouldn't have to and Facebook should respect your privacy but the reality is that services online don't.

Posted by: Michelle/chelpixie on Feb 20, 2009 11:19:36 AM

I hope Mr. Mark Z reads this post :)

Just about all the people I know who are on Facebook feel exactly the same way, and they are all qualified IT professionals, some who've been in the industry for decades.

The internet is all about trust.

Great angle for a post!


Posted by: LeoH-IdentifyTraffic on Feb 26, 2009 6:10:40 AM

Thank you for sharing your point of view. I understand that Facebook is revisiting but hearing from someone who has used Facebook for thus long with friends and family was quite the point of view.


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