Ok, I’ll admit it. I got totally duped on this one:
Christwire has lately reached new levels of popularity, in part thanks to an Aug. 14 column, “Is My Husband Gay?” Written by Stephenson Billings, the piece is a 15-point checklist to help wives diagnose possibly closeted husbands. “Gym membership but no interest in sports” is one warning sign. So is “Sassy, sarcastic and ironic around his friends” and “Love of pop culture.” “Is My Husband Gay?” was picked up on The Huffington Post and mentioned by Ryan Seacrest on his radio show; so far it has been viewed 8.3 million times.
Oh, by the way: Christwire is all one big joke.
Not the readership — which hit a high of 27 million page views in August — but the content, the opinions and the fake authors who write the stuff.
Well played, gentlemen. Well played…
The crappy thing about being home sick is that I actually have a fever, but no one’s around to use the “more cowbell” line on.
Really, I do.
Subtitle: I’m Just Not That Into You
Much has been written about the new types of social situations that arise when using social software. Breaking up over text-messaging, seeing ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends connecting with other people on Facebook, the “do I or do I not friend this person” question, the soon-to-be-finance seeing the wedding ring purchase ahead of time — these all happen because social software has reconfigured what the term “friend” means today, and because social software has turned upside-down our previous notions of public and private.
In our new age of Web2.0 connectedness, going online unavoidably means getting yourself into awkward social situations.
Yet, in the vast research* which I have conducted to date, I have not found anyone writing about the way social software helps us avoid these situations. (*Research question: Do I remember ever seeing this written about? Answer: No. Research, complete.)
What has been under-appreciated in all the hype about the net today is the power of the Ignore button, and its various various forms across websites: The Unsubscribe; The Block; The Remove. These all help us avoid the kinds of awkward social situations we face both on- and offline, by letting the other person know that we do not want to connect. That we don’t really care about what they are doing online, who their friends are, and what their status might be each day.
By hitting ignore, we tell the other person, “Hey, I’m just not that into you.”
And this is OK. Better than OK, because it gets us out of those sticky situations we get into when we have to deal with people that, truth be told, we really don’t like.
You know how it goes. Let’s say you go home, to visit the folks, and you make the mistake of heading out to your local mall. You see someone you knew from, say, high school. Oh noes!!! The conversation you have always has a voice-over running in your head simultaneously, and it usually goes like this:
Me (in head): omg omg please don’t look at me please don’t look at me
Dude: YO DUDE!!! SHIT! How are you? WTF you been up to man?
Me: Heeeeeeyyyyy…..great to see you! Not too much! Same old same old!
Me (in head): FUCK.
Dude: How long’s it been!?!?!? Since high school, no? Hey, you remember that time…
[...this goes on...]
Me (in head): please don’t ask for my phone number please don’t say we’ll get together when we both know we won’t
Dude: Hey, man — give me your number. We have GOT to get together and HANG!!!
You see the problem here? The social protocol in these situations is to pretend that we’ve reunited and bonded, that even though it’s been 20+ years, and we have completely different lives, there is still something that connects us.
Now, imagine this same situation, but played out on, say, Facebook:
You have a friend request.
Would you like to confirm [insert person you haven't seen in years here] as your friend?
See! So easy.
Now your former friend gets the idea — you are just not into him.
This, then, is the power of social media. It’s not to help connect us to others. It’s not developing a “social graph” upon which we can build a “network” of “relationships.” Those phrases might sell investors, and get the news media writing about your product. But it has nothing to do with what social software can do for us, really.
The power of social media is that we can ignore. That we can tell others we’re just not into them, without the messiness of actually telling someone we’re just not into them. We can be an a-hole, but we can be one silently; implicitly…
We can go about our day, secure in the knowledge that not-connecting with someone is only a click away.
NYT, without the slightest hint of irony here:
Doga combines massage and meditation with gentle stretching for dogs and their owners.
Silly me! How could I have not realized the therapeutic benefits of PUTTING A DOG ON YOUR STOMACH WHILE YOU STRETCH.
I fear for the very soul of this nation…
Actual call to 911:
“My car will not start. I’m locked inside my car,” the unidentified woman said.
“Nothing electrical works. And it’s getting very hot in here, and I’m not feeling well.”
The dispatcher asked the woman if she was able to manually pull the lock up on the door.
The woman said she would try, and then, she said, “Yes, I got the door open.”
Today, at a Business Roundtable conference:
MR. PARSONS: So take it down to our industry, the banking business. At its core, it’s a very simple business: It takes funds from depositors and other providers of funding, and then it makes those funds available in the credit markets. And that’s how businesses grow, when people buy homes, and send their kids to college, buy cars, and all that sort of stuff.
THE PRESIDENT: Can I just say, Dick, it hasn’t been that simple lately. (Laughter.) But I get your theory, though.
The chains of the proletarians are slipping away!
If you’ve been accused of being a neo-con, here is a simple test to determine if it’s true:
- If you think spreading freedom across the Middle East is a great idea — and easy to do — you’re a neo-con
- If you’ve ever smelled freedom fries, you’re a neo-con
- If you often use the phrase “history is going to have to judge” when discussing your foreign policy views, you’re a neo-con
- If you’ve often referred to Donald Rumsfeld as “clear-thinking” or “correct,” you’re a neo-con
- If you believe Higher Education can be fixed by ending tenure, you’re a neo-con
Yep. It’s a pretty straighforward test.