Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hello. Who Are You……Really

I have to say I enjoy Twitter and Face Book immensely but I am finding my FB experience is marred by a disturbing trend. For those of us who mix our community service and advocacy in with our on line social lives we walk a challenging line.

A Genuine Connection

Since most of the people I interact with are as passionate about their advocacy and staying current with what is happening in the world  as I am, it is not unusual to have FB friends share links and articles and things that are pertinent to the work we do in the course of our everyday lives.

These posts are alongside our Birthday wishes to each other and our garden photos. Through this I feel a genuine connection is made. I honor what people want to share with me and  I feel honored to have it filter through my small page in cyberspace. We connect in good times and in bad.


If There Is Nothing To Hide, Why Hide

However, I have noticed an increase of new FB friends or FB friends in groups whose profile pictures, FB pages and photos are only "stock photos" and SPAM. They show no name or any indication who this person is. Along with those individuals who do not even use a name but a title of sorts that relates to the "cause of the day" are the people who are genuinely offering a friendship or a partnership in advocacy for a joint cause.

Months ago I closed my page to people other than friends which I felt really sad about. It used to be open to friends of friends which was alot of fun as we built what felt like a community. As the influx of the "friends" who don't share their names or real photos escalates it becomes apparant to me that because the pages they share only contain what I call industrial SPAM, my experience is diminished and a feelig of community suffers.

I'm an outgoing but private person. yet I put myself out there with honesty and with a thoughtfull respect for other people's time on social networks. For many it is their only leisure time and is rare. So when people don't show who they are and hide behind fake FB pages and then bombard me with posts that usually are to raise money for themselves, it insults me and it should insult you too.


I Appreciate the Opportunity to Be in a True Community

I am grateful when a fellow advocate, friend, family member or friend of a friend gives me the opportunity to help financially with their cause if I am able to do so. I want to know about their passions and I do what I can to network the information. When an unknown entity that does not even want to share their basic identity, or fills my timelines with an endless parade of the same posts pleading for money (SPAM of the worst kind) I draw the line. I cannot allow them the same space as those truly wanting a real connnection and an honest sharing of information.

I ask:  be real, be present, show who you are. Join a true community and be as respectful of me as my intention is to be of you. Please don't hide behind a FB facade as a means to blast people or scam people without accountability.  I have seen it on the comment sections of articles - many quirky names that are attached to the same person, and it is like watching Sybil as an advocate on steroids.  Each different name has a different perspective, many nasty and they are all the same person.  It dimminishes us all.


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