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 met 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.