Fake Friends Forever

Let”s have coffee sometime and catch up.”  “Yeah. We should do that.”

And as my friend walks away, we both know,  it’ll never happen. Time, kids, older parents, volunteer work. It all gets in the way. We’d like to be better friends, but when? We just did all the “catching up” we wanted to do  in the grocery store, standing between the toilet paper and toothpaste.

It used to be you knew your fake friends.

Even that has changed:(and we like to examine change….)

Welcome to the Twenty-first Century’s
Fake Digital friends.

Twitter is the worst. Need a popularity boost?

  • There are 20 ebay sellers and 58 websites where people can buy fake Twitter followers.
  • The average price of buying 1000 followers is $18
  • A Dealer can earn as much as $800/day for 7 weeks of selling followings if they can control  20,000 fake accounts. (You’re rethinking your day job, aren’t you?)

Why do people want fake friends? StatusPeople.com explains it like this, “People buy

Twitter 6x6

Twitter 6×6 (Photo credit: Steve Woolf)

followers in a vain attempt to build legitimacy. They are essentially trying to game the system.

A search in the WP forum shows this can be a problem for blogs, also. Out of nowhere, a blogger get 5 -10 new subscribers a day for several weeks. The Help Gurus say no harm can come of it and never mind that the followers have suspect names, or link back to a blank page or even a Wikipedia page.

What can you do?

For Twitter, you can enter your handle at Status People  and  discover the number of fakers you have.

For WP:  There’s nothing you can do if fake friends want to follow you. They’re autobots. They won’t comment. They won’t pump up your popularity.


Maybe it’ll help us remember to cherish and take some time with the friends we really do have.


Why Church Groups Are Going the Way of the Typewriter

courtesy zmescience.com

A few weeks ago, I posted a recipe from a church site.  Of course, I linked, gave them credit and said a few warm words about the organization. Done and done.

I’d hoped to drive some traffic their way. I think we’re all in this together. A group doesn’t have to be Lutheran.  The more we get the word out about our projects, efforts, trials, and solutions the more helpful it is for everyone.

And then, I tangled it all up.  I called the organization to let them know, and asked permission to use the  recipe. Well, actually, I emailed a request to the generic address on their site.  I received an email back from the group’s secretary,  who told me to call the president and gave me a phone number.

Uh-oh.  Didn’t this church group ever meet? Pass along information?  And didn’t the president have e-mail?

Turns out she didn’t. Nor did she know what a blog was.  She didn’t even know they had recipes posted on their own site.  And the member whose name was listed with recipe? The president had never heard of her. (Probably died long ago)  The leader kept interrupting my explanations, her questions becoming pointed and tinged with what sounded like ticked-off  suspicion.

Gaaaak! I should’ve use angel food, instead.

My tender little deed was degrading faster than an open container of guacamole. Nope, she wasn’t interested in checking out this blog, or even her own group’s site. “No,” she said sternly, “I will not give you permission to use a lemon cake recipe.”

Oooooo-kay.  Darn. I can’t even help grow traffic to another organization. I was beating myself with the thought:  Why did I even ask? And this is why older church groups are dying off.

 I understand the classic response to blind fear.  When something is unknown, strange or foreign, the immediate knee-jerk reaction is to block everything. I get it. I’ve done it plenty of times.

But it’s so worth our time to update ourselves to make a decision. We may not like change, but it’s here whether we appreciate it or not. According to Beloit’s Mindset List, the  two million young people heading to college….

  • have never worried about a cold war missile strike. During their life time, Russians and Americans have always been living together in outer space.
  • They’ve never even used phones with cords.
  • Few students know how to write in cursive, and latest generations seldom if ever use snail mail.
  • Caller ID has always been available on phones
  • IBM has never made typewriters
  • The Hubble Space Telescope has always been eavesdropping on the heavens.

(See entire list at: http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/2012)

  • Consumers are able to customize most everything in their personal life: cars, phones, TV schedules (using DVRs) and for goodness sake…of course, their music.

A plain backpack?  YUCK!  Your Twitter handle makes your water bottle, pack, or jewelry one of a kind and increases your social media branding.

Not just teens, but several generations have grown up using technology. They employ it both as a statement and a personalized style.  They understand it. They feel comfortable with communication at their fingertips.

Hopefully church groups will make the effort to learn about their own websites. Perhaps they’ll even have virtual meetings in chat rooms someday.  Or start a world wide discussion under #tweets. Maybe we can even link and support each other?

Because the best way to overcome fear of change is with education.   It’s time. There aren’t many typewriters around anymore.

(And if you’d like to be exposed to other cultures, lifestyles and mind-broadening experiences, check out. Lesley Carter’s travel site)