Actually, it's because of a response I got on the topic I'm about to discuss- the myriad of "re-post/share if you like..." garbage that showers down on the heads of FB users like ash from a sulphur-belching volcano. Now, I'm not against the "share this" posts per se. I am against a very specific style. But in trying to get that point across, I discovered that many FB users just aren't willing enough to listen to get this very simple concept.
Here's my bitch. How many times have you gotten the "97% of my friends won't re-post" posts, or the "if you really care about x, you'll share this" posts? Most of the time, I just scroll right past without a backwards glance. I only share stuff if it comes from one friend who might not be connected to another one, and the other might apreciate it. I don't do these "guilt posts", and I resent seeing them. So yesterday, a friend of a friend (or friend of a relative, or some such permutation) shared a post where the "speaker" asked Santa Claus to fly to the Middle East and bring all our soldiers home, and then said, "Share this to show respect for those who won't be coming home." At this point, I have no problem with it.
But then it ends, "If you don't share, I understand. You can't take six seconds out of your life to support our soldiers."
WTF? How DARE you say I don't support our troops because I won't play your silly "share" game??!! So I posted a comment instead.
ME: You know what, I share what I feel like, and resent seeing these "you are a bad person if you don't share " posts. Maybe I just don't feel like sharing every little thing that comes down the pike. The people who produce these things may have good intentions, but have no reason to JUDGE others.
Now I thought that was pretty clear. But minutes later, someone posted this:
THEM: Where does it say that "you are a bad person if you don't share"?
First clue that someone was reading just what they felt like. So I replied:
ME: "I understand. You can't spend six seconds of your life to support our soldiers." Dont presume I don't support the soldiers. DO try to read the entire message.
Somehow they skipped over not only what I said about "guilt posts" but over my reply as well, and proceeded to lecture me:
THEM: Hey, because of those soldiers we still have Facebook! Do try to get the meaning of the message, and your FREEDOM to do what ever you want to with Facebook posts and no one really thinks anyone is a louse for not sharing. That is the point...I for one do not have the gonads to be a soldier, so I am sharing if I choose to, or not. Everyone has the FREEDOM to keep scrolling....
True enough, but missing my point entirely. So I returned lecture for lecture:
ME: Well why not support the troops without being INSULTING to those who dont choose to play the share game? Every one of us have got those posts that start "I know my friends won't re-post this..." What does that prove? Is your point to support the troops or make people feel guilty? I have no problem when the post says share if you agree. I have a big problem with those that say, "you dont think enough of the soldiers/cancer victims/ what have you to share." And Dianne if you look at your last comment you are saying the same thing- "you dont apreciate the troops because you dont like sharing." This has NOTHING to do with the troops or with people who share. This has everything to do with people who create these posts just to guilt people. Do you like being told "Our soldiers aren't worth 6 seconds of your life"? I don't. That is ALL I'm saying. THINK before you share "guilt" posts.
This apparently either sank in, or they found something better to do. Probably a good thing, because my next step would have been something like, "Your reading comprehension leads me to believe you must have voted for Obama."
Later that night, a friend shares another post, that ran:
So, since I didn't re-post, I don't love God- and God knows it? Okay, I know that I shouldn't take this drivel serious. But why, if you are going to the trouble to send a noble message, whether it be about your faith, our troops, or the little kid someone knows who's fighting cancer, why CHEAPEN YOUR MESSAGE with the guilt trip?
I was trying to think of reasons why the posts' originators might add the guilt thing:
1- they are less about the message and more about "let's see how many likes I get";
2- They have a fixation with causing guilt in others and/or demeaning them;
3- if you have a good email system, you'll often see this:
"Some images in this this message are not shown. Images that link to external websites are blocked to protect your privacy." This means that scammers have the means to read your location- and thus a foothold into your data- through images. They can use you connecting to these images to send all manner of junk to you, as well as target advertising for what they glean from your info. I think a LOT of these guilt posts are just that- getting gullible people to share and spread there spam across the internet like- well, like ash from a sulphurous volcano.
Let me give you another example. When you try to share, say a news story off FoxNews, it will ask you if you are willing to let Fox have your data from FB. If you say no, it gives you a ration of crap until you say the heck with it. If you say yes, it has permission to scour your posts to get info with which to send targeted ads and such to you.
So yeah, I didn't just "scroll on by" yesterday. I got mad, first because I don't HAVE to share to love God, support my troops, or anything else. And second because people are so naiive that they think it's okay to spread their messages by guilt and insult. But does it matter?
Soon later I saw the now-famous re-post of the dipshit who held up a photoshopped lottery ticket, claimed he was a winner, and told people he was going to share it with random people who shared the post. Almost minutes after he put this up, it was all over the internet that it was a scam. Yet one of our friends re-posted and commented "God bless you." I shook my head and said, "Chris, they are a bunch of sheep. All out their going "Baaaa!" and having no more reason or meaning.
So I shall try one more time to make my point clear. If you want to share and/or re-post on FB:
-Read carefully what you are posting. If someone came up to you on the street and said it to you, would you be offended?
-Does the entire message convey what you want it to?
-Do you trust the message? Have you checked to see if it is a scam or just flat untrue?
-If someone comments on it, UNDERSTAND what it is they are saying. Don't just turn on your selective hearing.