I slog off to work most days with remark for Dexter and Comet’s benefit, that I have to go earn biscuit money. In comparison with many parts of the world, these dogs and their humans are very fortunate. There was a time decades ago, when man and dog lived on a meager budget and in a two-room apartment. Air conditioning was a small fan wedged in a window. Before the Internet and smartphones were available to chronicle our narcissistic indulgences, computers cost too much and were too slow to be afforded by most people.
With cell phones in everyone’s pocket from Azerbaijan to Abilene, the ability to take a selfie or cute dog picture and share it with the world is easy. Until I started blogging on WordPress, Facebook had been the only social media exchange I had regularly visited with pictures, opinions, and anecdotes. But perhaps it is time to broaden my horizons.
is Facebook becoming a cur?
Though FB had been both a perpetrator and victim of political shenanigans in last Presidential election cycle, billions of people still use it. Yet last week, in a single day, Facebook suffered a twenty percent decline in stock value. Was this the fear that advertisers were going to feel FB umbrage at being used? Was FB the best I could do for my own goals? I have been using Facebook to promote business ventures in health and fitness, and soliciting readership of my blogs. In the last months, Facebook has been somewhat helpful. Other social media has had better results. I initiated a charitable donation campaign via a FB option for my birthday. With three hundred “Friends”, and billions of users in the FB world, it wasn’t doing all that well by the time it expired. Maybe folks just saw my request as another annoying Facebook advertising page.
the making of Sausage
Social media has been used effectively to rally support to a cause. Protests on tariffs, Brexit, and both pro- and anti- environment, immigrants, refugees, and college speakers – have created Internet celebrities within days if not hours. Yet I never knew there was a dog that was a celebrated “muzzle” of anti-government rioting. When the Greek economy was in shambles six or seven years ago, people rioted; a stray dog, Loukanikos (Greek for “Sausage”), became an Internet celebrity during that time. This Athenian was hardly in one camp though. He was pictured sometimes with the cops, and sometimes with the rioters. A symbol of anarchist resilience? When the dog died in 2014, the former protesters and the world media mourned his passing.
Unfortunately, I think Comet and Dexter will get more appreciation in the blogosphere than among Facebook faithful. For Facebook is increasingly – at least by most I interact with, a place to share moral, political, and emotional outrage. To a lesser degree, it keeps families in touch with other members – baby pictures, birthdays, and vacations. And I think much less effectively, a portal to inform and enlighten.
So I had better learn new social media tricks. When you write stories about life, humorous times, general interests, and canines, it bears leading the pack, not trailing behind.