When Your Friends Become the “Experts”

With the vast array of information filling my newsfeed lately; my friends selling everything from weight loss wraps, miracle cure “experiences”, makeup, skincare regimens or hosting online Tupperware parties and virtual events, it is no wonder I almost feel like I’m “virtually” walking through a strip mall on a questionable part of town every time I get on Social Media (of any avenue). 

I understand why we use social media this way and I am guilty of it myself. Where else can we reach so many people with information from a single platform and we all have our OWN little stage!? And I understand why people sell products or sign up in multi-level marketing companies; what a great opportunity to earn extra income… I mean help other people (sorry I forgot how everyone cares so much of their fellow man)! But this is where I want to issue you a caution, a “friendly” warning concerning these products (no matter their nature). While I am sure some are great products and others are completely questionable; that is not the point of this post.

The point of the post is to warn you that the PRODUCT that said persons are swearing by is not the point. The point is that these companies are “marketing” companies, even says so in their classification: “Multi-level marketing”, “direct sale marketing”, etc.

Take a look at the Wikipedia definition for Multi Level Marketing:

Multi-level marketing (MLM) is a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they generate, but also for the sales of the other salespeople that they recruit. This recruited sales force is referred to as the participant’s “downline”, and can provide multiple levels of compensation.[1] Other terms used for MLM include pyramid selling,[2][3][4][5][6] network marketing,[5][7][8] and referral marketing.[9] According to the US FTC, some MLM companies constitute illegal pyramid schemes which exploit members of the organization

You are being targeting by MARKETING. Not that there is anything wrong with that per-se. What irritates me is the façade that comes with marketing.

Check this out:

14-why-the-bleep-do-people-join-multi-level-marketing-1

No where in there does it say anything about “helping others with products”. The only mention of the actual word “product” is for discounts for the seller.

The PRODUCT is secondary to MARKETING.

I know people that have been working very hard to lose weight for quite some time, going to the gym and eating right-seeing results this way too, doing it the most sustainable way-naturally. Someone SELLS them on a product and then all the sudden ALL of their progress is because of that product and all you have to do is sign up with them and you too can see the same amazing results-just use this product and sign up your friends so you get yours free! Marketing, marketing, marketing and the pyramid grows-people make MONEY and people SPEND way too much money. Those selling surely don’t mind that you’re buying their products, it’s padding their pocketbook but what about YOU? Can you actually afford whatever it is you are purchasing? Or are you being pushed by someone that is maybe a fast talker and a little more mentally savvy than you into something that you don’t understand? I see this a lot and I see it in my friends. It makes me worry.

I will give you an example.

A good friend of mine starting taking a lifestyle product and then very shortly after starting selling it as well. Posting all over social media about how amazing the products are and how they are changing lives. I didn’t say anything to this person about it because when I have tried to approach others about it in the past and ask some reasonable questions I would get immediate anger and I have actually lost friendships over questioning certain things. So I said nothing.

A few months later this friend is off the products and finally asked me what my opinion was. I preceded with a “please do not get upset” before I even started on my personal opinion and thankfully my friend did not. But when I started breaking down the label of the what was in the products and asking questions my friend was dumbfounded and immediately shocked. My friend could not believe what was in the products…and this gave me great pause.

How could my friend be so unaware of something that they were so passionately swearing by just a few short weeks ago? It is puzzling to me. And this is my 3rd word of caution. Your friend selling that amazing product that they think is so amazing…do they really know exactly what they are selling you? I am willing to bet they don’t. You can’t expect to believe that someone that has no dietary experience or nutritional background to all the sudden become an expert on what is good for you, can you? Or on the flip side. You can’t reasonably believe that someone with no previous skincare experience to all the sudden be the expert on what is going to make your years of sun damage magically disappear.

All I am saying is this:

You want to take something, buy something, sell something: MORE POWER TO YOU.

HOWEVER, make sure whatever you are selling, buying or taking is something that you understand, have done research on and are willing to use yourself and have been using yourself for quite some time before you start leading others to do the same.

Take responsibility for your actions towards your body and hold others bodies and minds in the same high accord as you have for your own (or at least you should). And so help me-DON’T LET SOMEONE SELL YOU JUST BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN SOLD.

Remember, some friends will be there when you really need them and other “friends” that are only there for their need of you (r) *cough cough… money and sometimes it is hard to discern someone’s true intentions.  

One thing about it, I’d rather be poor and still be your friend.

 

Thinking About YOU not what I get from you.

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Liz Jackson

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One thought on “When Your Friends Become the “Experts”

  1. Even if it was only hasiolerf-us, I can’t think of a more paternalistic attitude than “I want artists to have to suffer because I think it makes their art better”

    Like

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