Saturday, 18 February 2012

Chain Letter, Chain Posts, Repost This

As an avid user of various social media pages, I am finding a disturbing increase in people posting crap to my wall. 

It used to be mostly religious stuff:
  • "repost if you believe in God"
  • "repost if you need a prayer"
  • "repost if you have the courage"
  • "repost, because if you don't God won't know you love Him"
First off, my religious beliefs are none of anyone else's business. Like most people, there are many people I only vaguely know, or have met through a friend of a friend of a friend of that guy who used to walk his dog on Tuesdays. While I'm sure all these people are lovely people, my private life is just that -- private. I don't need the potential axe murderer knowing what church I take my kids to, or when I might be home alone, because I have to post it to appease the masses.

However, it has become far more than just religious. Now they have reposts for everything:
  • "repost if you are going to vote for so-and-so." Guess what, I'm Canadian I can't vote in the American Presidential Election, and who I vote for is no one's business.
  • "repost if you support <fill in the blank>" Who and what I support are who and what I support. I don't care what you support.
  • "repost if you don't support <fill in the blank>" How do you know that I don't support that? Maybe I DO support some cause that you are dead set against, how do you know that you haven't completely offended me by telling me not to support something I fully believe in? Like gun registration, or criminal background checks for the ice cream truck driver.
  • "repost for Google/Microsoft/Facebook to send you one million dollars" Do you even realize how ridiculous this makes you look? Honestly?
  • "repost to keep the powers that be from shutting down your computer remotely from their super secret lab where they have nothing better to do."
  • "resend this IM to keep blackberry from deleting your contact list"
  • "If you don't forward this within 5 minutes of opening you will be cursed with 200 years of really bad luck" so if I mark that message as 'unopened' does my timer restart?
The worst one I have seen lately, was an incredibly graphic picture of a very clearly abused animal. Not to get into too many details, but not only was this animal previously abused, I'm sure the abuser took the picture immediately after said abuse to post on his or her wall. 

Don't get me wrong, my heart went out for this animal immediately. I don't understand how anyone can be so cruel. But I don't need you posting it on my wall.

As many of you know, I have a small child who is very much interested in technology, and it was only by the slimest chance of luck (probably because I reposted about needing some guardian angel to watch over my technological journeys) that she didn't see it.

I am glad that you don't support animal abuse. No one should, but you know what? 

I don't support people eating burgers made out of live otters, but do I put pictures of baby otters struggling in vain to escape a bun up on your wall? Nope.

I also don't support child pornography. Do I post terribly explicit pictures on your wall, and ask you to repost them if you also don't support it?

No. No, I don't.

And why? Why wouldn't I do this?

Because some things are not appropriate. And putting a graphic depiction of you "not supporting animal abuse" on MY wall, where MY child could very easily see it and more than likely want to know exactly why that puppy is lying in puddles of ketchup is not appropriate. 

I noticed that when you posted this disgusting picture on my wall, you did not include a contact number where my children can call you for an explanation. I can see how in your righteous passion for getting the word out on what you do and do not support you may have over-looked this. But to refuse to provide me with this when I ask for contact information, screams of band-wagon jumping at its finest.

If you want to support (or not support) something, and you want other people to follow along behind you after visually bombarding us with your support-this or anti-that propaganda, you better have the chops to actually put your name on it. That means that you will put actual references to places that we can volunteer/donate to/call for more information. That means I can call you or email you or IM you for more information, and you will be more than happy to answer my questions and those of my children.

If you aren't prepared to do this, then perhaps you should stick to posting stuff on your own wall.

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