Day 161. Hidden Agendas

This isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve been around the block. More than a few times. I’ve worked in industries, and with individuals, who leave you with very few illusions. I’ve thumbs upmet and known and loved all kinds of people. I’ve been hurt. Disappointed. Taken advantage of. Had my heart broken.

Been shaken up. Battered and bruised (not literally, thankfully). Shed some tears.

Yes, I know. Apologies. This is beginning to sound like the lyrics to a song. Shania Twain, anyone? Celine Dion? Leonard Cohen? But you know what I mean. I’m merely saying I’ve learned my fair share of the lessons life can, and does, teach us. And if I haven’t ‘seen it all’, I’ve come pretty damn close.

So I am always shocked when I discover I am still capable of being naive. But clearly, I am:

A couple of weeks ago I came across a blogger asking her readers to say nice things about her blog. And in return she’d do the same for them. Got to admit it took me aback.

Before I go any further with this, let me make myself perfectly clear. I am not passing judgement here. I am just asking a question. Where is the satisfaction in getting compliments you asked for?

But what do I know? Maybe I’m missing the point.

Yesterday another blogger talked about the viewers who ‘like’ all your posts, I’m guessing whether or not they really do, in the hopes of gaining more ‘likes’ of their own. And more visits. And viewers. More followers. More loyalty.

Companies are now getting in on the same act. They’re also asking us to ‘like’ them. For exactly the same reason. For more followers. More loyalty.

They’re asking through the Facebook pages they create. Which, in my not-so-humble opinion rarely give us any reason to ‘like’ them, at all. And often, doing business with them doesn’t either. Which is why I refuse to play the game. If they want a thumbs up from me, they have to earn it.

Seems like everybody has an agenda. Some aren’t even ‘hidden’. They’re right out there, in the open, where we can all see them.

Take lobbyists, for example. They have them. So do politicians. They ‘barter’ to get what they want. Wealthy married men ‘buy’ the affections of single women all the time. Trinkets, rent money, no-limit, all-you-can-spend credit cards given in exchange for “don’t-make-demands, ask-no-questions, I’ll-never-leave-my-wife, whenever-I-want-it” sex.

Disconcerting. All of it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not prissy. Or a prude. Or holier than thou. But I am honest. A straight shooter. I play fair. I have integrity. I don’t want what I don’t deserve. I never say what I don’t mean. I have no ulterior motives.

When I bump into you and say you look fabulous, there’s only one reason. Because I think you look fabulous. When I enjoy a meal you’ve cooked, and say so, please accept it for what it is. A sincere and well-intentioned compliment. Period. I’m not hoping for a bag of leftovers or another invitation.

When I ‘like’ your posts on your blog, it’s because I appreciate what you’re saying or how you’re saying it. Not because I’m trolling for readers for my own blog. When I am compelled to ‘comment’ it’s because you touched me, or inspired me, or engaged me, or amused me or taught me or helped me; and I just wanted to tell you. I had to say something. It’s as simple and uncomplicated as that.

When I ‘like’ and sometimes share status updates on Facebook or re-tweet, it’s because I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read. What’s been shared. And I think it’s worth passing on to others. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Sure, it’s a blast to watch ‘stats’ improve. The number of ‘friends’, contacts and followers increase . Being ‘liked’ more and more often. I just don’t plan on manipulating or guilting anyone into it.

56 thoughts on “Day 161. Hidden Agendas

  1. Well, you know I had to “like” this post, but only because it’s true. I think that keeping one’s personal integrity is the only defense against a society that encourages narcissistic behavior and self-aggrandizement. Don’t be disheartened – there are a lot of people that believe in ethics and honesty – we are just more quiet than the other bunch.

    • From what I’ve read on your blog, I know you only ever say what you mean and like what you really like. And of course you’re right. There are a lot of people who integrity out there; and I’m lucky to know a lot of them. I am being honest when I say I’m naive. People come up with stuff I’d never, in a million years, think up. Not that I’d want to. But it does amaze me.

  2. I liked this post, but that’s because I genuinely enjoy what I read. I don’t give my “likes” lightly and I probably don’t comment as much as I should about what I like, but that’s because I’m still finding my writing and reading rhythm.

    As for the popularity contest aspect of blogging, I’m amazed I actually have followers who have never me in real life. And in places I’ve never even visited (Australia, Ireland). Sharing my posts with those who follow me on twitter may have helped that but I know part of the reason are the referrals provided by you and The Grammar Belle. Thank you.

    • You’re welcome. And I don’t mean to make everyone defensive. We should all continue to ‘like’ freely. When we truly enjoy something. It’s not my intention to make everybody think twice about it. I’m just talking about the few among the many who don’t get it. I love the ‘geography’ as well. Some days I have to pinch myself because I can’t believe all the places my blog is reaching! And yes, referrals always help. But if people didn’t like what they were reading on your blog — or anyone else’s — they wouldn’t be there. Nor would they return. So accept some credit for that.

      • I just came back for the twist! haha (of my own volition too!)

        I’ve come to the conclusion lots of people are more idiots than anything sorry to say. And inelegant about the whole thing too. Amateurs! πŸ™‚ I ignore the whole issue now mostly, it’s not personal.. I’ve written about it, many times in many different forms, about people being whores in a manner of speaking. We know it goes with the territory in the blogosphere, but in the general zeitgeist too.

        I used to think it was much more sinister. Again now I come down on the side of it being more dumb and a “time-robber” (to use a biz term) than anything! πŸ™‚

      • Love your twist :). Agree with everything you’ve said. They are amateurs, time robbers and inelegant.

      • I guess I ask, “to what end?” I don’t see much of a positive end to what I see others do here. It’s like the literary journals I’ve mentioned in the past that have no readers. Why?

        I read blogs and writers I enjoy and comment cause I want to and like posts cause I want to. People can do on mine whatever the hell they want! πŸ™‚ I don’t think of my blog as a social network at all although enjoy my small cadre of regular folks that I read and read me, and of course give love because giving love is nice, my focus is on my writing. I don’t really think much about the greater blogosphere in and of itself anymore.

      • I guess the world (including the blogosphere) is filled with insecure people with fragile egos who are desperate to be liked. And who haven’t figured out yet, you really can’t buy it. And worse, they haven’t figured out that it doesn’t mean anything when you do.

      • I think a blog is most compromised that’s most aware of its readers that’s just how I see it. But my opinion is well known on the subject haha I think artists performers and writers who do what they do with an audience in mind sacrifice their authenticity. But that’s me for me other people can do and believe what they want. It can always be said I do what I do for my own reasons haha

      • I agree. And you’d think (and hope) that a blog is the one place where one could be true to oneself. But maybe I’m just being naive again.

        I have always been known to speak my mind and tell it like it is. Could explain why I’m in hot water a lot of the time, too πŸ™‚

  3. It’s great to know that there are still real people out there. I’ve never tried to be fake, and in most cases it has made life more difficult for me than if I had just went along with whatever or did and said things just to be popular/ well liked. My opinion is my opinion and that’s why I do product reviews. I give my honest opinion whether it be positive, negative, or a mix of both. Kat

  4. Pingback: Day 161. Hidden Agendas « caryl beach

  5. This is so true. If you ask for a compliment or for likes, where’s the satisfaction? I can see why companies do it, they’re great big corporations who’ll do anything to snag more money and consumer loyalty. But bloggers? I thought blogging was about sharing something with people, connecting, and writing…or photographing or filming depending on the kind of blog. Getting a like or a comment or a follow is simply made even better by knowing it was because that person enjoyed what you had to say, and not because you asked for it.
    And as for being naive…I suppose it shows one can never know everything or expect everything…I try to take comfort in the fact life would be exceedingly boring if we did πŸ˜€

    • I know. Over a blog! That’s what I can’t believe. And when did it become a contest? Sucks the fun right out of it. This is supposed to be enjoyable.

  6. I think you hit a nerve here. A few weeks ago, I stumbled on a blog with an interesting post that I enjoyed. There were already 25 or 30 comments so I just “liked” it.There wasn’t anything new I could add to the commentary. I was chastised for “liking” and not “commenting.” Haven’t been back since. Sometimes I “like” a new blogger even though their grammar could have used spellcheck (isn’t that automatic?) or they have misspellings. I do it to encourage and because the topic was creative if not completely well written. I prefer posts that make my fingers itch to put down my two cents without any solicitation. Those are the best! However, I can be bought with a mocha latte from Starbucks!

    • I can’t believe you were chastized for not commenting. I’d never go back to that blog either. Mocha cappuchino, huh? I am making note πŸ™‚

  7. Good one, Fransi!
    It’s an old cliche, but I think it holds true in this case as well: “birds of a feather…” I would think, the people asking for ‘likes’ and comments, are going to attract the disingenuous. And what’s that worth? Nada. Unfortunately, this also happens in the publishing world as well. People are paid to write reviews on books they’ve never read.

    I really like this, from Pete Armetta’s comment: “I think artists performers and writers who do what they do with an audience in mind sacrifice their authenticity.” Concise!

  8. I really did like this post, and I really do agree with you on people needing to be more straightforward and honest. I would never hide behind a facade, that’s not what us squirrels do…..

  9. I am also a little naive, I seen bloggers out there who do that and it always makes me question their motives. I thought the whole idea of a blog was to express yourself and talk about things that you love, not turning it into a social media show. I am so very proud to actually be someone you genuinely like Fransi, and me in turn think you are a fantastic person.
    I’m glad you put that post out there, maybe some of those people out there trying to achieve more than enjoyment from blogging will think twice before they randomly “like” every tom dick and harry out there.
    Have a fantastic day, you’ve earned it.

  10. What’s the point of a compliment if you must ask for it? IMHO, the number of “likes” on a page is by no means a true reflection of appreciation or enjoyment. I’m afraid a request to like a page probably means I won’t be back. On the other hand, I often do click “like” to let a fellow blogger know I was there and enjoyed the post, even if I haven’t left a comment. We soon recognize where the sincere clicks come from!

    • Oh I often ‘like’ without commebting as well; and for the same reasons you do it. And yes, it doesn’t take long to identify those who are sincere.

  11. Wonderful responses, I’m speechless well not quite I guess, in the written word I’m “wordless” must compliment Julie for “stealing my thunder” she (Julie) said everything I would have said if I had not already read her (Julie’s) reply. Great minds eh!

    • They are wonderful responses. I love the ‘conversations’ that follow postings. Very interesting and enlightening. Great minds, always :). Thanks.

  12. I must be naive too – I laughed when I read this, I would never have imagined asking for mutual ‘likes’ and comments just for the sake of it! People can be strange creatures can’t they? Earlier this evening I was having my own little rant about the blatant advertising on facebook (“share this post and you can get a discount 2nd milkshake when you buy a full-priced one”) and how I feel somehow sad when I see my friends getting drawn into it. I can’t pinpoint why that bothers me, but it does.

    • It bothers me too. Just like those advertiser Facebook pages bother me. It is fake. I would rather poke my own eyes out than ask for ‘likes’ etc. I just don’t get it and don’t want to. It’s just about ‘appearances’. No substance. Nothing means anything. What are you supposed to believe?

  13. I “like” a lot of posts without commenting. So far I haven’t been chastized for it, but it’s just a matter of time. haha! I could never ask for likes on my blogs. I started them for my own enjoyment really. Well maybe except for my food blog, I started that to help others who also have wheat intolerance. My writing blog? That one was for me. I get surprised all the time how many nice people say they like my writings. Amazes me sometimes. Does that make me naive also?? If I am I am in great company! πŸ™‚

    • I don’t always comment. I don’t think anyone does. And I don’t think every blogger is self-serving. Some are and I am certain the majority are not. Just as in life, itself. So please don’t mistrust all the likes and comments you get. And don’t be afraid to like and comment on other blogs. I believe those who have agendas soon reveal themselves; as the blogger I found did.

      • Oh I’m sure very few bloggers are self serving. As for the few that are, I avoid them. I don’t mistrust the likes and comments I get. I enjoy them all! Just surprises me sometimes is all πŸ˜‰

    • Ahh, the downside of going away. All the work waiting for us. Take your time and you’ll get through it. Hope you had a great time. Glad you liked this.

  14. Amen, sista!! I do believe in promoting other blogs that I find interesting or linking a particular blog post that I thought someone might find interesting, however, that blogger is a little out there. In the end though, I’ll bet you and me are the “happier” bloggers because we have real people to talk to and those random bloggers start to turn into friends πŸ™‚

  15. You are also brave. It takes guts to be a person of integrity in this world. I work in a business where honesty and integrity used to be important. Now it seems to be about whether or not you can make patients like you. Lately I’ve seen outstanding nurses penalized because they had the courage to tell a patient/coworker/boss the truth. I’m so disheartened by this new reality that I’m ready to give up, curl back into my shell and embrace apathy. Your post reminds that there are still brave people out there, willing to take a stand. How can I do any less!

  16. Love this post. I totally agree with you. I think you should allow people to like your post because they find what you write interesting and not because you ask them to because some will click the like button without even bothering to read the article first.

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