Everyone is entitled to their opinion. In the world of blogging, social networking and other forms of personal publishing, anyone with a computer, hell anyone with access to an internet cafe can broadcast their opinions near and far for the low, low cost of free. This is fine by me. Sometimes people write really interesting, thought-provoking, insightful things. Other times, they write blithering, bigoted garbage. Sometimes it’s just boring and irrelevant. All of this, is fine by me.
What I cannot tolerate and abide by however, is the improper use of other people’s online social mediums to sell their shit. Without permission! To sell their ringtones, their weight-loss videos, their workshops, their bloody hipscarves. This really irks me, and in Facebook land anyone who has the audacity to advertise their crap on my wall gets blocked real fast. No questions asked. Only assholes pull that, and I don’t need any virtual asshole friends, thank you very much.
But this is not what triggered this post. No. Something even more insidious, and apparently much lower and more time consuming inspired this little rant.
Driven to read someone’s blog post about Brothers and Sisters through the “Freshly Pressed” listings on the WordPress home page, I found myself wandering through the Fibromy-Awesome blog… the author’s tag line on her blog is “Yes, I take 25 pills a day. Boom.” Interesting. ‘Why, pray tell, do you take 25 pills a day?’ I found myself asking. The “Hey Dude, How’s Your Health?” page seemed like it might answer my little query, so I navigated hence. I read her post about what conditions she suffers from, written with humanism and humor. I always like reading people’s comments as well, I find it to be kind of like a social thermometer, when low and behold BAM! Spam attacks.
Some jerk thought this woman’s personal telling of what she suffers from on a daily basis would be a great place to advertise her stupid, new-agey, gimmicky book. This asshole thought that it would be totally fine, within the range of basic human courtesy and potentially profitable for her to post a comment detailing the book that she authored “through my 6th sense.” Yeah. Awesome. Sign me up for a copy! No wait, sign me up for 10 so I can give them to all of the flakes in my life.
As if this hadn’t sufficiently commandeered the blog for her own profiteering purposes, this person then proceeded to reply to no less than FORTY-THREE (count them! 43!!!!) of the people who had commented to the original blog, commiserating and relating their personal struggles with all sorts of life-long health problems and diseases. In her replies, Asshole claims that her book can heal everything from depression, to Celiac to auto-immune deficiency. Riiiight. All from buddy’s 6th sense.
It’s a free world, and a free market so if some touched lunatic wants to publish his or her rantings, well, they’re allowed to. While I understand that cyberspace does not have the tangible built-in boundaries that real, physical space does, I would have thought that human decency and discretion would step up and delineate where it is and is not appropriate to advertise.
Apparently, I have once again given humanity too much credit.
Rant concluded. You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.