I’m in the doghouse.
It started out innocently enough when I tried to reduce the number of dog rescue posts I was getting in my newsfeed. I started blocking the reposts from rescue organizations. Now it really says something when so many of one’s friends care enough about dogs and cats that they will work so diligently to help find homes for them. You have got to give them props not only for caring, but putting in the time and effort to work at rescuing animals. This is the work of angels, in my opinion.
Social media has provided an easy platform for getting the word out when there is an animal in need. Too easy, as it happens. For every well-meaning soul out there who posts a picture and information, there are at least another half dozen who will repost it.
When I began my campaign to cut down on the amount of animal rescue posts in my newsfeed, I began, logically enough, with the reposts from organizations. But when the rescues weren’t disappearing in any meaningful numbers, I took a closer look. I was suddenly aware of posts from individuals that my dear friends were reposting.
Thus, phase two involved blocking posts from people I didn’t know. I thought I was doing pretty well, but the reality was that they seemed to by multiplying!
I kept at it until this morning when I counted 25 animal rescue reposts, all between 11:00 p.m. the previous day and 8:00 a.m. when I logged on. I had blocked about 15 of them when I stopped and threw up my hands in disgust. It had taken me nearly 20 minutes and I was nowhere near the finish line.
And that’s when I put myself in the doghouse. I had the temerity to complain about the sheer numbers and to tell these folks I was blocking the rescue reposts because I had had enough.
One wise pal reminded me I could do this without them ever knowing….as in, you put your foot in it now….you should have just quietly blocked the darn things. Another dear one took offense and let me have it.
Well, I WAS quietly blocking the people who originated the posts, but then I found myself spending as much time blocking as I did wading through looking for the things friends were actually saying!
I remember in the early days when we spent a lot of time sending Christmas ornaments and such like to our friends. We also got caught up in Mafia Wars and a bunch of other dopey games. When I’d reached the top, they took all my hard earned money and moved my operation to Cuba, where I had to start all over again. Now what mobster goes along with a scam like that? I got out of Mafia Wars.
Now, however we really do communicate more. It’s become a wonderful way to keep up with far flung family members and friends. Italy, Alaska, Mississippi, Illinois, Colorado, Florida, Texas, Ohio, New York, California, Nevada, Arizona, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota…. I value this way of staying in touch. I love the jokes and cartoons. The articles that people share are often illuminating. They are also often strange! Either way, I get to see what people are thinking about.
Some of my friends never say a word. They only repost things: quilt pictures, cat jokes, inspirational quotations, humor, things that get their attention. Others post pictures of the marvelous things they are involved in. The musicians talk about their travels and gigs. Some alert us to their blog entries.
I find all of this fascinating and enjoy seeing what the day will bring. But then someone got the idea that this was the ideal place to let us all know about dogs and cats in need and I thought it was a smart thing to do. I thought it until the day I encountered seven rescue posts in a row. I got a bit annoyed, but not enough to do anything but grumble as I scrolled down. One morning there were twice that number and only two or three actual posts or messages of a personal nature. There weren’t even any pictures of someone’s great dinner! (I admit to liking the food porn.)
By surreptitiously blocking posts, I gave myself a time consuming task that never went away. Rather it mushroomed. Suddenly I was getting rescue posts from folks in other states. I began to appreciate the people who “select a certain audience” and we are unable to “share” their posts.
Where does this leave us? It’s hard. I think the people who are dedicated to animal rescue are doing god’s work. But there needs to be some sort of happy medium. No one should have to spend 20 minutes blocking people they don’t even know in order to avoid well-meaning reposts of abandoned pets. There has to be a better way. I wish I knew what it was.
P.S. The photo is of Simon, one of our SPCA kitties, holding down the tail of his littermate, Charlie.