I surrender

18 Mar

surrenderOK, I’ve taken a great and momentous decision. From now on I will NOT be commenting on anyone who reposts stupid stuff on line without researching it first. When I was younger we used to have to spend hours in something called a ‘library’ to check whether something was true or not. Nowadays it’s simple to check on Google.

Now, you’ll notice a parallel with an earlier announcement that said that I’m going to ignore grammatical disasters and misplaced apostrophes. While it will still make me twitch, you’re on your own, grammar wise.

Yet, as someone who used to run big email and networking services, it irks me to see so much crap filling up my newsfeed and going everywhere and back again when there’s so much really great stuff that I DO want to see. I want to hear people’s news. I want to be inspired. I want to laugh. There’s some amazing stuff out there.

What I don’t want to be is to be buried under posts that have their origin in fear. ‘Your food isn’t what you think’ (OK the horsemeat issue was true – but I feel sorrier for the pork found in halal meat, to be honest). ‘There are scarier critters out there than science ever guessed’. ‘Facebook is trying to steal your data.’

But, honestly, I haven’t got time any more to write back to everyone that reposts stupid things without checking. I want to spend more of my time creating great stuff, writing blog posts, recording programmes and sharing some of the awesome things that are going on in the world. And dancing. And keeping fit. And having fun. And spending time with my friends. And falling in love. And splashing in puddles. And creating wealth. And listening to my heart and its resonance with the Universe. And being happy.

So here’s some things you’re going to have to work out for yourselves….

1) Anything that asks you to do something complicated for someone else to protect their privacy. Just bonkers. Privacy is actually pretty simple. Contrary to popular opinion, Facebook are not stupid and they do have controls in place to protect your privacy. Set it to ‘Friends Only’. Simples.

2) Photographs of ridiculously sized animals are probably fake. This includes very big spiders/snakes/creepy crawlies. Just think whether these things would actually function under Earth gravity. The same goes for pictures of very small animals. If it looks like a normal sized cat made very small by Photoshop, it probably is.

3) Crazy offers for stuff from web pages that have only existed for two days yet promise to give away hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of kit are almost certainly false. (If you just tell them what colour you want. Oh, and fill in a ridiculous questionnaire to give away your personal data so they can spam you or steal your identity.)

4) Ridiculous claims about margarine/ onions/ chicken nuggets are actually patently untrue – if we just checked.

5) Denzel Washington/ Lady Gaga/ Jon Bon Jovi are not dead. Just check before writing that tearful obituary…

6) Posts claiming that Facebook/Microsoft/IBM/Amazon/The Red Cross will donate money if you like a post are complete tosh. That heartwrenching photo of some poorly child got used without their permission… so don’t perpetuate the misery.

7) Did you see what she did in public? video clips really ARE there to steal your data.

8) Pictures that ask you to like them or comment to ‘see what happens’ will, in fact, shock and stun you by REMAINING EXACTLY THE SAME.

9) Comments that this month is special because of the number of Mondays/Fridays/ Saturdays and won’t occur for another 823 years can be easily debunked by consulting a calendar.. where you will (surprise surprise) find that they occur every couple of months.

While I’m here, and I don’t see why I shouldn’t loop off on a tangent, I’m also personally irritated by ‘share to win’ offers that clutter up my newsfeed. I want to see interesting stuff, not find out that someone wants to win an ipod/corset/holiday. Do we really want to do people’s marketing for them? I don’t want to see these and I bet you don’t either. Give me some stuff that’s interesting.

Heretical moment: I also get a bit frustrated with the constant petitions for Starbucks/Amazon/Tesco/ whoever to give some of their money back in taxes because they are paying it somewhere else. We should complain to a government who allows this sort of tax loophole, not try and shame companies who are trying to make a profit and keep people in jobs – and, believe it or not – actually trying to follow the rules and then wake up to find the world has turned against them because they (shock horror) tried to maximise their profit. Because – and be honest now – if you could save tax by doing it… you’d do it too. OK, rant off.

Oh. And posts that trade on other people’s misery. Just cause they are in a video doesn’t mean they’re not real people with real feelings… just cause they’re overweight or lack ‘normal’ dress sense doesn’t mean we can just photograph them in Walmart and laugh? Does it?

So here’s a couple of sites that you’ll need, in my absence.

a) FaceCrooks.com

b) snopes.com

c) hoaxslayer.com

d) thatsnonsense.com

Do what I do. Assume it’s crap first and then challenge the internet to prove me wrong. Especially if it sounds as if it’s based on fear. If you’re going to repost it, for heaven’s sake check it out first. Surely?

So what DO I want to see? Well, if we can get rid of all that junk then I have loads of time for you to tell me what you had for breakfast or the fact that you’ve just had coffee. Really. Make it funny and I actually AM interested!

But especially send me

1) Pictures of cats doing funny things. Big cats or small cats, I don’t really mind. Or dogs. Or monkeys. I’m not speciesist.

2) Heartwarming stuff. Photos that make my heart sing.

3) Inspirational stuff. Videos that make me think. Quotes that make me ponder a bit. Stuff that interrupts my thought patterns. Beautiful pictures of amazing places.

4) News. I like to know what you’re doing, if you think it’s important enough to want to share it with me.

5) Interesting ‘oh my god that’s amazing’ stuff. Clever ideas. Science that takes my breath away.

6) Things that make me laugh. Or cry. Or both at once.

7) Witty pictures involving coffee. Or cake. Or both.

I’ll look forward to seeing your good stuff. The rest.. well, just think before you post it. Check before you post it. Please!

And let’s use this amazing, incredible technology to spread a little love and happiness.

TimSignature

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One Response to “I surrender”

  1. glynn roche March 19, 2013 at 12:14 am #

    Tim

    Great post. We think alike.

    Although that ipod/corset/holiday sounds interesting. Where do I book?

    G

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