Monday, September 09, 2013

If You Loved Me You’d Swallow That

Bill and Ben hot sexTempting as it is to wax lyrical about the old Bill & Ben joke of which the title of this post is a quote, today’s subject is actually less amusing but nevertheless still leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Quite often on Facebook various quotes get bandied about and published on people’s timelines. They’re kind of like little badges; little sound-bites that people publish and then, if you happen to be "friends" with them, they appear on your FB page too so you can all see what sort of bandwagon we are all expected to jump on today.

This is fine. I don’t mind this. Sometimes these quotes are darn clever. Or just funny. Or actually have a point to them beyond entertaining the web user for a couple of nanoseconds. Yes, I’ve sometimes been freaked out by the thought that FB is on occasion thought provoking or spiritually enlightening but then I calm down and realize that it all depends on the calibre of one’s FB friends. FB just isn’t going to be a religious experience for everyone.

Sometimes though these badges get my goat. They get me riled and peed off.

I’m talking about the ones that attempt to hold your morals hostage. The ones that attempt to emotionally blackmail you.

And they work in the same manner as a chain letter. Only rather than some unspecified disaster befalling you and yours, you merely pronounce yourself as being a very uncaring person and not a true friend if you don’t go along with everyone else and “share” the badge on your own timeline.

You know the type of thing I mean, I’m sure.

“Let’s see how many of my true friends will take a stand against cancer by sharing this…”

“Only real decent people will have the courage to share this and help end child abuse…”

“If you are a selfish uncaring scumbag you will just ignore this and go on about your day without a care in the world while hundreds of babies dies because of your nonchalance BUT those of my friends with a beating heart will join me in publicising this to the great unwashed FB masses…”

Etc, etc, etc.

I’m happy to nail my flag to the poles of cancer treatment research, ending child abuse, bringing world poverty to an end… but as soon as I read that accusing, mock offended tone that presumes to point the finger without even giving me a chance to think, well, I’m afraid I do then ignore the propaganda and go on with my day. I go on with my day feeling slightly irked and sullied but go on I do.

I think what annoys me most is the recognition that when people are foolhardy enough to stick these snide bits of propaganda onto their FB pages that is about as far as their moral righteousness takes them. They don’t go out campaigning for these causes. They don’t head down to the charity shop to make a donation or get on the telephone to pledge some money.

They hit “share” on FB and consider it job done. Task for the day: responded to a moral knee-jerk reaction – tick. And now onto a funny picture about a half-naked cheerleader being photo-bombed by a yampy looking dog.

And nothing changes.

Except the individual’s perception of their own self-righteousness.

Well, I have my own perception of that… and, in my opinion, the currency has severely dropped in value.



22 comments:

Marginalia said...

Twitter's even worse. We've replaced thought with a reflex. Action with verbosity.

A little modesty is much to be desired.

Steve said...

Marginalia: I agree. Silence might not always be golden but I'd gladly pay for it.

Löst Jimmy said...

I know the bollocks you speak of, I see them on my timeline, they are for the most part photoshopped fabrications and at best spam. I never respond to them, and certainly won't share. The one's I particularly detest are the those beginning "you probably won't share this but if you care about cancer (or some other terminal ailment)..."

Steve said...

Löst Jimmy: yes, indeedy, that is precisely the bollocks of what I speak. And it makes me grit my teeth so hard they are in danger of shattering. Spam of the worst kind. Passive aggressive criticism and blackmail.

John Gray said...

I love you for this post
The cinematic version of this are those bloody child abuse charities that show a child actor looking all upset backed with morose music

Steve said...

John: thank you. I feel like I have written something of worth this week at least.

the fly in the web said...

Heart on sleeve stuff...pity the hand inside the sleeve doesn't do more than click on a badge to assist whatever good cause is being so badly promoted.

Nota Bene said...

I ignore them all.

Being Me said...

It riles me too. As if it is holding you hostage and if you don't ("like" or "share" or "leave on your status for one hour to show you care"), you know there's a little part of you that has disappointed the "friend" who has done the sharing so it's appeared in your status stream.

What has the world become?!

no, don't answer that... I think I know..... Petty??

The Sagittarian said...

I hear you brother, and if you really cared about me you will blog about this as well - stupid insurance companies!!

Steve said...

The fly in the web: yes. In a nutshell.

Nota Bene: did you say something? ;-)

Being Me: I fear social networking is becoming the metre stick by which we measure our behaviour and conduct. Should the conversion be complete the world will be well and truly fucked.

Amanda: if had a "badge" I'd be posting it and wearing it.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Such desperation to make people jump on a bandwagon. "I'm not going to share this, so kiss my hairy arse", would be my reply.

Alex Walsh said...

Armchair activism: a way for lazy people to feel good about themselves without getting off their jacksies and actually supporting a cause.

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: I'd like to employ you as my official spokesman.

Alex: damn right. Welcome to the world of the anonymous e-petition.

John Gray said...

As always

Steve said...

John: you're very kind. ;-)

Keith said...

My facebook page got hacked with some rubbish about raspberry juice diet and I can't access it now until I take part in some weird sort of identity parade of people I foolishly decided to friend and now don't actually recognise. And I thank the raspberry juice diet for ridding me of the unwanted weight of it all.

I don't miss it. Not one pip.

Keith said...

As a Bill'n'Ben top'n'tail aside...

I saw the original model of Chorlton from 'Chorlton and the Wheelies' while I was in Manchester.

How cool is that ?

Trish Burgess said...

Agree wholeheartedly. The knee-jerk, hit the share button reaction drives me bonkers. I'm forever telling people to just check on Snopes before they pass on their 'warnings' too.

Steve said...

Keith: do raspberries have pips? As for Chorlton... that is damned cool. Even cooler if the witch was there too.

Trish: you're a woman after my own heart, you are. Gawd bless yer!

Keith said...

She was.

Steve said...

Keith: OK. Now I'm jealous.