Don’t take the (click) bait: a note on Social media interactions

I tried to browse urban dictionary for an appropriate definition of “click bait” that I could post, but there was none, so I will simply define it in my own terms. Click bait can best be defined as a blog post, or news article aimed at nothing more than increasing traffic to a website in the attempt to generate attention,  clicks, and subsequent revenue. And when you are a person who makes his/her career based on people reading what you say, you’re going to do that a lot. One of my major pet peeves about social media is that it can turn anyone into a keyboard pastor, teacher, coach, and psychiatrist and if you get enough people who agree with you, you can become a celebrity. But, I’m writing to them, I am writing to you, the potential audience.
     There is a certain Internet writer who has a large following with many of my friends, and while I can understand why, I will simply say personally that I value his use of the First Amendment to express himself and the vigor with which he writes, and leave it at that. But, there are several people who are so opposed to this person that they not only send him scathing messages and comments, they write vitriolic reactionary blogs filled with righteous indignation about how wrong and awful he is and what a pathetic excuse for a human being he is, thinking that this will stop him or change his message. The truth is, what they are doing is worse, much worse. Not only are they stooping to the level of this person, by repeatedly mentioning his name and referencing his posts in their rebuttals, they are increasing the number of hits, Google searches, tweets, and notoriety. All of which puts money into this person’s wallet, and gives them more attention. So, they are glad to let you troll on and hate blog on, because they will as T.I. brilliantly stated “let [you] hate, and watch the money pile up.”
   Now I know what you’re thinking, these bloggers just are totally clueless and are saying some crazy stuff. And that may be true, but of you want to put a stop to them, there is a simple solution. Do. Absolutely. Nothing.  Remove their name from your feed and timeline, hide any post you see, refuse to comment. Don’t take the bait, because it’s simply a trap. A lot of TV shows that people thought would be seriously controversial ended up being non issues because they were so bad that no one watched and they faded into oblivion. The same thing will happen here. Some people may still talk because they feel like they have something to say, but if the audience is not there, then they’re saying nothing, because the people are what give them their voice. So, just like that awful stand up routine you went to at that nasty bar back in college, instead of being a heckler and ending up in the act, just walk out, and as you see a group of folks on their way in, say “try another spot tonight, there’s nothing going on in there. “

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“I don’t accept your apology”: An open ended letter to my friends with children.

It seems like almost every mom blogger has a post that apologizes to her friends without children for something. Be it a messy house when they come over, conversations interrupted with reminders to put that down or explaining you can’t ride the dog in the house, not being able to go out at night and last, or for being a bad friend because when your child free friend called to invite you on an impromptu girls weekend out of town, you bailed out because you couldn’t get a sitter on short notice. You explain to us you still love us and miss us and promise that you will try and do better, and beg and implore us to hang in there with you. Well, as a child free friend, consider your apology not accepted. I am not accepting it because I am a hateful, bitter hag who hates you, I am not accepting it because you have nothing to apologize for. Why are you asking for forgiveness for something you’re supposed to do, take care of your family?
       We have been in your corner since day 1, we stood by you on your wedding day, helped plan your baby shower, and shed tears at your baby dedication. We’ve bought toys and clothes and come to birthday parties looked at baby photos. We love you and your children. We understand they are a part of your life now, and one that takes up a lot of time if you do it correctly. It’s not the end of the world to me if you miss my night out in the city “just because”, but if you missed your baby’s first steps or first words because you were at Macaroni Grill enjoying a martini it would break your heart. And I know how much you love me, I see it in the FB posts you like (because you don’t have time to comment chasing little ones) or those texts out of the blue I get during the kids nap times (I especially appreciate those, because you should be getting some rest then too, and instead you’re talking to me). Or when you visit me for a girls pamper day at our favorite nail place (normally a baby sitter is “date night” material, not a trip to get a pedicure). And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt when I marry, you will be by my side, and when I have my own little ones to look after, I can come to you for advise and help when I am overwhelmed.
     So, stop apologizing for being a mother. Those babies will be with you 18-25 years, I’m here for life. I’ll wait, heck, I got the better gas mileage, I’m on my way over. I’ll help with changing and feeding when I get there.