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Kiss of Death

Owen Jones

 

Kiss of Death

I’m sure we all have things that annoy us, pet hates and that sort of thing. I know I do, but I am not easily upset, so sometimes it takes months or even years of being troubled by some sort of behaviour that I find annoying, in others of course, before I get angry enough to do anything about it.

Are we all like that? I imagine that we are to some extent. Some people smoulder and eventually burst into flames, while others shout and bawl right away and get it off their chests immediately. I think that doctors agree that it is better to be a bawler than a smoulderer. Something to do with repressed anger.

Anyway, I love the Internet, it gives me a connection with the outside world that I would otherwise not have. I call my WiFi connection ‘WorldWindow’ because I live in an isolated village of rice-farmers in northern Thailand where no-one, and I mean that quite literally, no-one speaks English except me and my wife and she is Thai too, so, well… Let’s just say that conversation is limited by our mutual vocabulary.

And before you say that it is not their fault, and that I should be speaking Thai after being here for ten years, I totally agree with you, but unless you have tried to learn an Asian language, I’m afraid you don’t know what you are talking about. I have spoken seven European languages fluently, but I am really struggling with Thai. It’s the tones, you see, there are five of them.

That’s all I’m going to tell you on that subject today, you can look it up if you like on Wikipedia (it’s not that bad for general knowledge, honest).

Anyway, I am digressing. I love the Internet and I like basic social media like Facebook and Twitter for keeping in touch with my family in the UK and talking about what I am doing, however the annoying thing is that people think that the more followers they have the better they are doing. That wouldn’t be so bad, but in the pursuit of more fans they can make other people’s lives more miserable.

I have 25k Twitter followers and receive hundreds of unsolicited DM’s (Direct Messages) every month begging me to retweet their selfish messages to my loyal band of followers or to Like their Facebook page, or even worse, recommend that my followers Like their Facebook page!

Why should I? I don’t know you and I don’t know what you stand for.

I am in with a bunch of friends who will Like my Facebook page if I ask them to and I will reciprocate, but they are not total strangers. The same goes if I want a Tweet to get around, but I repeat, they are not total strangers.

The kiss of death for me is the Twitter DM that says something like:
‘Thanks for being my friend, I’m glad you like my Tweets, now like my FB at ….’.

There is no offer of reciprocation there. There is no offer of friendship, help or even mutual co-operation, just a blatant assumption that their Tweets are fantastic and ergo I ought to Like their FB.

Well, I won’t, and if I feel like it I’ll tell you so and sometimes in no uncertain terms. Yesterday, one such woman called me rude, but I didn’t ask to be the recipient of her crappy email, so, heed this warning if you don’t like what I’ve got to say:
Don’t send me your unsolicited, arrogant begging letters and I won’t tell you what I think of you or them!

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