This could actually be subtitled: Things That Annoy Me. I am glaringly aware that my opinion of these things changes nothing and that said opinion holds no more weight than anyone else. However, the ability to put fingers to keyboard to express myself leads me to enumerate a few “truths” according to me.
I beg those of you with a tendency to take offense, please refrain. Nothing here is targeting anyone specific or judging how you choose to interact on social media. You do you. If we are friends we will still be friends and your choices are equally as valid as mine. For every person that wants to be a good guy and signal to the tribe that they are open and accepting, there is a person like me who is also signaling to their own tribe that I am cynical and believe it is healthy to be so. Just accept this as the ranting of a borderline curmudgeon.
1. Influencers – who made up this word and gave it wings? Who deemed that someone still wet behind the ears was my go-to person for, well, anything? I’ll tell you who. That subset of people that need to follow the flock; eat what the flock eats, do what the flock does. I’ll let you in on something, I’m a contrarian. If I see my fifth post in the last hour with a young woman seductively chomping on snack-sized pretzel sticks while making the little box dance across the screen, I have just determined that even if those pretzels are the closest thing to a deity I will ever encounter, I will NEVER buy them. I know the little darling has some deal with the pretzel company and that she’s been filling my feed for weeks on end. On the plus side, I guess she is influencing me…to scroll by and never buy what she is pitching.
2. Click-bait addicts – click-bait itself is a scourge. But, I have even more issues with those addicted to answering every question posed by a “poster from Sri Lanka” and commenting on every “RV to the lucky commenter” post that appears. (BTW…listen up, RV post is a scam. Shocking, I know.) You see, every time you comment or like this drivel the Facebook algorithm shows it to me because we are friends. I take the several seconds to block the original poster. Every. Single. Time. I really don’t want to know you have found the one number that is different from all the others because no one has found it yet, well, except the 1.7K people that have already commented with their finds. If you want to be challenged climb a mountain, do a jigsaw puzzle, or solve the puzzle of why the owner of the page “American as Apple Pie” is in Cambodia.
3. Prayer emojis – OK, I feel hackles raising through the computer screen. I do not denigrate or challenge your faith in any way, nor do I disparage prayer, but if someone asks for prayers for someone or something, why don’t you just pray? It seems disingenuous to just throw some emojis on a screen, especially since there seems to be an unwritten rule that the more emojis in a line the more sincere the poster is. It’s like one image of palms pressed together isn’t even trying; it is necessary for the next poster to up the ante by 3, 5, even 10 to show they really mean it. I have heard of, and give credence to, the power of prayer. I remain dubious about the power of emojis.
4. Everyone has their hand out – as an author, what I want is people reading my books. If they like them I hope they tell a friend, knowing if they don’t like them they most certainly will. I made the decision when I produced my first novel to not try to go the traditional publishing route and I have not regretted that choice. However, a consequence of that choice is it can be hard to get the word out that there are books of mine to be read. But, I am irritated at the number of writing and book-focused pages that offer to “recommend” my books or offer them for a giveaway for a “small” fee. As a reader, I would rather have the recommendation of someone who actually enjoyed a book than one who was paid to enjoy it. In addition, $120 to be put on a list of giveaways? I just ran a successful giveaway from my own page and will certainly do it again without greasing anyone else’s palm. I get, it, everyone needs to make a living, but you have nothing to show me that your followers have any interest in what I am writing, you are just selling a list. Thanks, but no thanks.
5. Cloning and hacking – these curses can happen to anyone, but if you volunteer info about yourself (see #2), accept friend requests from people you don’t know, or set every post you make to “public”, the odds are not in your favor. Finding “Your Leprechaun Name” when name #1 is the month you were born, name #2 the day you were born…well, you get the drift (I hope). And again, you ask why I care? Because I am inundated with friend requests from people that aren’t really you, the people I actually like, and it seems to happen to the same people over and over. I don’t like to hear about this stuff happening to anyone so is it too much to ask you to be a little discerning?
Time for a deep breath…rant over.