Monday, September 10, 2012

The Facebook Manipulation

I hate peer pressure.  Actually, I hate any kind of pressure.  It gives me a headache and ruins a good scotch.  However, more than peer pressure, I hate it when people try to manipulate me into fitting into their box.  I have no problem with people who believe strongly in something and are vocal in that belief.  I can even respect and admire them for taking a stand in a world of apathetic fence riders.  However, when you resort to social media manipulation you have entered the high school arena of life again.  This makes sense with some because by their posts it’s obvious they never left and soon I expect to see pictures of tongues sticking out and middle fingers sticking up going back and forth in my newsfeed.

I can understand being proud of your mom, son, daughter, and even your Jesus.  It’s great to support cancer, special education, gay rights, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.  It’s even great that you want your friends and family to feel as strongly about these things as you do and help kick Obama out of office while keeping Romney from getting in.  I have no qualms about political posts or even religious updates, though I do tend to ignore both.

It’s the wording that I find both insulting and manipulative.  There’s one that starts out sweet.  “Will you do me a favor?”  Okay, you’re hooked.  You like your friends and you are the type of person that doesn’t mind helping as long as it’s not during a football game or an episode of Glee.  However, it goes downhill from there.  “I know only five of you will care enough to do this and I know which ones you are.”  Well, I’m not one.  Delete.  And if you knew only five would do it and which five, why didn’t you just send the message to those five?  Why the guilt trip to the rest of your friends?

It may be something sweet, like post this if someone you know has been hit by cancer or has heart  worms, but  they lose me with the “if you don’t do this you aren’t really my friend” bullshit.  I promise you most of us don’t think, “I better copy and paste this or Mary Lou won’t think I’m her friend.”  I'll just prove I’m not a friend and unfriend their ass.

I once made a status update that said, “Copy and paste this status if you don’t copy and paste things people tell you to copy and paste and wish they would cease telling you to copy and paste their crap.”  Several people copied and pasted it.

The religious community is just as bad, but I’m somewhat used to being manipulated by them.  As I said, I don’t mind seeing the Bible verses or the inspirational pictures, but to tell people that they don’t love Jesus or God or Buddha because they don’t share a picture is a form of cyber bullying in faith.  “You must not love God if you don’t share this picture of a cute puppy or Mother Teresa.”  Sharing a picture doesn’t prove you love God or are taking a stand for Jesus.  Any heathen can work a mouse.  Prove your love of God by ministering to your fellow man and get off the damn computer!

It’s the same with those picture sayings that read “If you love your son or daughter with your entire heart click like and share.”  I love my children with all my heart and what proves it is I haven’t killed them, yet.  I spend time with them, have sacrificed for them, and put up with their shenanigans.  If I don’t share that picture it doesn’t mean I don’t love them.  It means I’m with them and not on the computer pressuring others to share pictures so I don’t feel guilty not being with my kids.  I also think my parents are the greatest and I love my sister, but if I share that picture everyone gets all mushy and I’ll never hear the end of it.  Now, get off my back and stop pressuring me!

I don’t mind sharing things through social media; I do it all the time.  Usually it’s a funny picture or a story or some mean comment aimed at people that annoy me and aren’t even on my Facebook.  However, I also share things that are dear to my friends’ hearts.  I do it because I want to, though, not because they tried to make me feel bad if I didn’t.  Unless you’re in high school, leave the teenage tactics out of your posts.  You may find you have more supportive friends than you thought.

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  1. You got it, Robbie. I have gotten to the point with certain friends that I simply hide their feed. I never copy and paste, I only share what I truly like and I stay out of religion and politics!! The latest thing I've been bombarded with are the petitions for abused animals. Anyone who knows me already knows I'm a huge animal rights supporter but enough with the gory photos of abused creatures. This reminds me if the chain letters we used to get in the mail with the doomsday predictions of 10 years bad luck if you broke the chain. Then again, it could explain much if my life's disasters!! Lol Great post again my friend.

    1. Thank you! I just don't appreciate having friendships manipulated that way. If I won't do it on my own, I am not going to do it because you gave me a guilt trip...I am too guilty in other areas...LOL!