Coming Out

photo

NewNowNext covered Connor Franta’s coming out vlog.

Didn’t know who Connor Franta was?

Same.

He’s a YouTube star, and he just came out on… well, YouTube.

This is important to (almost) everyone.

It is important to every gay man or woman; to every brother or sister of every gay man or woman. It is important to every father, mother, son, daughter, cousin, aunt, teacher, friend, boss, colleague and, and, and – of every gay man or woman.

I can’t speak for gay women, but as a guy, I will say this:

It is the most intimate experience that a gay man will trip, in his lifetime, ever.

Yes… including that.

I wasn’t 30 seconds into Connor’s video before the Universe reminded me how momentous that rite of passage was.

Goosebumpcoveredbodywithalumpinyourthroatyounoticeonlyafterwetcheeks will do that to you.

It’s a rite of passage only some human beings have to do, but do – we have to.

Watching Connor’s vlog – 12 years after my pursuant of peace (and forgetting too quickly, clearly) – I was inclined to fake-stifle that ‘really?’ giggle…

Jejune. And vapid, I know.

To Connor, this is his moment.

Like mine was then: a mountainous monotony of perdition, immovable before me.

The ultimate tollgate.

And there is no alternate route to where you must arrive.

You can picnic where you are or pretend you’d actually wanted to veer off and go on some other trail… Whatever! When you’re ready, you must turn yours through the tollgate.

It really is a big deal

It is. So we mark-time while we figure– or try to figure it all out.

As a mature teen an insolate brat, I settled into the following theory:

Why should I have to sit my parents down and tell them that I am gay when my sister doesn’t have to do the same – just because she’s not? She doesn’t have to gather herself before them, hands in lap, chin on chest and clear her throat before murmuring: ‘Mom… Dad… I like boys.’

So? What’s the big deal? Why should I have to?

For the record – it was no surprise. Obviously. But that’s not the point, because it didn’t negate the need for the occasion from either/all sides.

So here’s the thing: I did have to. We do have to.

A hundred years from now, society’s evolution may make this topic a complete nonentity.

I hope so. But we’re not there.

The world my parents grew up in was different to mine. Radically. And thankfully so.

We amortize that gap as we evolve, but that is as gradual as the days are long, so I am living inside of it – still. As is my Mom. As is my Dad. And although I felt like a lone ranger, I now know that I never was.

Everyone close enough to see enough lived/s inside of it too.

So I did have to.

We do have to.

That’s how family works.

Your journey may feel like your own, but you are the best-supporting actor in somebody else’s (and in that role because of how they rate you as a human being). And inside of themselves, they’re going as mad wanting to hear what you are wanting to say ~ and mostly just because they love you so.

That’s how family works.

Sidebar: If your reality involved reactions of the very grave and desperately sad opposite, then know this – they were going as mad wanting to hear what you were wanting to say, only to grant release of the cowardice they cannot command themselves.

Still, you have to.

We have to.

That’s why it’s such a big deal

Everything before it makes Galileo look like a lazy lout and Columbus’ sojourn seem casual by comparison… But it’s all perspective, right?

Ergo… thank you Connor.

Twelve years on and I can safely say: I needed that.

“You can’t not think about it…” he says.

Truly.

You can’t. I still can’t – even now.

It’s what’s called ‘identity’ – and is proof that each of ours is unique to us.

Everything pre– was rooted in isolation, depression and obsession.

Everything after has been varying scales of exhalation, anticipation and obsession.

(Yes. Some things just change shape.)

Connor’s video – brought to his global audience with speed because of the digital devices we’ve embraced, and, whether self-serving or journey – is his intricate installation and to date, the ultimate cultural coup.

Cultural, whether seen by 1 or one billion, because it will motivate, move and magnify emotions – whichever way they may lean…

And for what it’s worth, it is one more story for the very beautiful, isolated and obsessed pre-tollgate human beings to hang hope upon.

G-d knows… I needed stories like that.

And there will never be enough.

So to every out gay man or woman – and to the brothers and sisters of out gay men and women; to the fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, cousins, aunts, teachers, friends, bosses, colleagues – and, and, and – reach out.

We have to. Not because we ‘have to’ …

…but because we have it, to.

My looking back gives me the gut-great grasp of this:

There is a profoundly infinite difference between define and confine.

“At some point, you have to make a decision. Boundaries don’t keep other people out.
They fence you in.
Life is messy. That’s how we’re made.
So, you can waste your lives drawing lines.
Or you can live your life crossing them.”

― Shonda Rhimes

© Dylan Balkind

MTN: Smugly shirking service

Day12You’ve heard this story before… because this is the world we live in.

Monopolised. By mongrels.

However – and the irony is – that which sustains this system is us. The money earners, money spenders, account payers… Sadly though, when that which we are paying for is derailed, our querying and solution-seeking reveals the starkly substandard, defective and senseless approach that brand custodians employ in order not to do their jobs. On a good day and with sense of humour in tact (now absent altogether), I view my musings with MTN like a badly-produced soap opera – albeit far more painful and without the excessive sex. On a bad day, seeking resolution from MTN feels like it would if you were drowning… and someone handed you a baby.

MTN Drowning

Just like any good soap opera, this crisis has more than one storyline running concurrently: Incompetence renders new iPad inept and The Vacuous Value of having MTN handset insurance.

The Vacuous Value of having MTN handset insurance

Monday, 6 October

My iPhone 5S was damaged in an unfortunate car-swapping driveway accident that left it looking like this:

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 10.10.09 PM

I went to the MTN Service Centre in Morningside, Johannesburg to proceed with the claim, where I was advised that it would be better to call 083 123 6084. That they would come and collect the phone from me in order to process the claim and issue me with a loan-phone in the meantime. Sounds great, right?

Try calling that number. The waiting time is longer than Katherine Kelly Lang has been Brooke on The Bold and the Beautiful. Hint: it’s a really long time. She still holds the role she first kicked-off in 1987.

brooke-logan-beautiful

Without a cellphone, I decided it would be a good time to get a new iPad on a 3G contract – so as to stay in contact that way and then have that too once my phone was up and running. Now pay attention, because here’s where the Incompetence renders new iPad inept storyline kicks off – and the two run concurrently.

Sunday, 12 October

Upon completing and submitting my ID that was copied and attached to the application1 – and successful vetting of my details – I was handed a new iPad with a credit card-sized SIM holder and shuffled on my way (it was the weekend and the store was closing). At home, I realised I had been issued the incorrect sized SIM for the iPad… so I would have to go back and get that sorted…

MTN April 13

I work. So doing that is not as easy as it sounds. It comes down to trying during lunch which, coincidentally, is when everybody else is at the Service Centre too.

Monday, 20 October

I went back to the MTN Service Centre in Morningside to attempt strike 2 at the insurance claim and to table their simple-minded-SIM-issue, with the hopes of getting the correct sized SIM for the iPad applied for and issued. There, I also raised the issue of not being able to get through on083 123 6084 for my insurance claim…  The consultant called into the helpdesk from her MTN-issued phone. We spoke to Patrick Mfelang (Patrick.Mfelang@mtn.co.za) who assured me he would email the insurance claim form to me and we could try that route.

After (re)submitting my ID that was copied and attached to the (re)application2 for the correct SIM (but without any apology for the inconvenience of the incorrect SIM issue, nor the time or petrol used to make them aware of their error), I was issued with the correct-sized SIM card for the iPad issued.

Back at the office, I had in fact received Patrick’s email; completed, submitted and received a response apologising for the potential delay, and that I would be contacted within 5 days.

5 days

Monday, 27 October

In the coming days, it was clear that no data was available (on the iPad), even with the second SIM issued. The MTN-SA icon appears in the top left corner, but without a signal and no internet connection available. Based on an application process that was “approved” on Sunday, 12 October – but one that had resulted in a 0% success rate and therefore no usage of said device – it was brutally clear that the employees appointed by MTN who work at the MTN Service Centre in Morningside are uninterested in / incapable of performing their roles.

So I tried the Social Media route:

SM post 1

And… with no Yello from the insurance department, I sent this email, to the insurance queries email address:

27 Insurance Qry

Responses: 0 

MTN April 14

Tuesday, 28 October

With still not a Yello from the insurance department… I sent this email, to the insurance queries email address:

28th Follow-up
Responses: 0 

Wednesday, 29 October 

I try social media once again, regarding my handset insurance claim: SM post 2 - 29 Oct

I also reply directly via my inbox message, hoping to have some luck that way: 29th Follow-up Both

After much, painful answer-seeking, I was told that my contract was on hold for a RICA issue: they needed a copy of my ID to effect the final approval… My ID (yes, still the same one) that they had taken, copied and submitted twice so far.

Further to furnishing the required details for the iPad SIM activation, and only to compound the issues at hand because I am obviously a) nuts, and b) a complete sucker for punishment, I further requested that my iPad contract be credited for the pro-rata charges from Sunday 12 October to when it would come online – for obvious reasons.

Screen Shot 2014-11-02 at 8.33.32 PM
Responses regarding that query? Take a wild guess.

Thursday, 30 October 

Hallelujah Houston! We have a Yello! The iPad situation was resolved – a mere 19 days after the application process began – and thus concludes our Incompetence renders new iPad inept storyline.

30th iPad SIM resolution

Traction seemed infectious. On that same day, I received this (well written) communication from the insurance department:

30th email from insurance about call
I replied, just to confirm (further to a note on the actual claim form and through correspondence on Facebook) where they should reach me:
30th reply with landline number

Sadly… that traction was short-lived.

No response regarding the credit note, and no call regarding my insurance claim have yet been received.

But… then this………

*drumroll*

Saturday, 1 November

I received this message (via Facebook) from Devan regarding my insurance claim:

Phone off

I’m not quite sure what else to say or do at this point. I’ve provided my work number to them three times, knowing full well that they wouldn’t be able to reach me on my cellphone…

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 12.14.40 AM

Thanks to the inefficiency of people who don’t (have to) think further than what they’ll do with their hair on the weekend or how what they do in a role that pays them a salary, affects the men and women whose custom keeps them there, I am now literally at the end of my rapidly frayed rope.

Jules

Ergo, I am smart. I am a writer. And creating work that builds brands is my playground.

So here we go… Today, this blog goes out and its link gets sent to one Paul Norman (to name but a few), Chief Human Resources and Corporate Affairs Officer at MTN.

Let’s see, shall we?

MTN Speechless

Stay tuned for more from this beguiling albeit completely pointless soap opera. Pointless because if consultant #1 had done what they were supposed to do… we would not be here.

1 First time ID was successfully received by MTN
2 Second time ID was successfully received by MTN

© Dylan Balkind

Homo’s, Abortions & the Digital Disdain

A little while ago on twitter, some men were waxing on about women and whether they should or shouldn’t have the right to choose abortion. My opinion on this is to keep whatever it is to myself, albeit if just to say to the blokes: Unless you’re the father of the unborn foetus – you have no place passing your pointlessness to that ‘debate’ at all.

It’s not your womb. It’s not your body. It’s none of your business.

This weekend, Gay Pride festivals happened around the States and most of Europe1. Apple’s CEO took part in San Francisco, the Boy Scouts of America became first-time marchers in NYC, 26 000-strong celebrated in Singapore, and Celebrity Grand Marshal George Takei paved the parade’s path through the streets of Seattle. The occasion for people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity and equal rights has come a long way. Fundamentally, it is one day in the year that each and every LGBT individual has the choice, the forum and the right to be just who they truly feel to be – and do it just how they feel to do it.

All is fair in love and war

Yes, these events will draw commentary from both the pertinent and the peanut gallery, and Social Media gives everyone the platform to air theirs. Most of the time, it sounds something like oh my God they should just get over it and carry on with life. Carry on with whose life? With whose understanding of how life should be? Whichever way the challenging goes, it should be brave enough to engage in dialogue – not simply sprout monologue. 

Biased? 

When it comes to (previously) persecuted ‘minorities’2 – the right to be heard must sit with them, first. This was Black people in an apartheid-era South Africa (and worldwide, still); Homosexuals throughout the ages (worldwide – and still); Jewish nationalities long before and since the Hitler era… and… sadly, too many other horrifying examples to mention here.

Enter objectioning about the need for Pride in contemporary society – by Straight people. This will send some frantic and fiery opinions into deliberation, just as it would were a White person to mouth-off about a Black-perspective on behalf of those who suffered at the hands of Apartheid.

Everyday enmity is a seriously lazy habit.

So on behalf of me and my jazz-hands horde, let me have a shot at why we still need Gay Pride:

With regards to what follows: I have redacted the name of the digital agency concerned – not because I think that they deserve to be sheltered from the naming-and-shaming (because they shouldn’t be), but because there are individuals that have worked /are working there that do not subscribe to the same views. These people should not– and do not deserve to be lumped in with the accepted behaviours of the body.

On my last day of working there – as had become custom – I sent the following farewell email:

Emailer

** Responses: None.

Earlier that week, I’d written a shorter ‘farewell’ message on a window (where people regularly wrote with dry-wipe markers, erased and replaced as/when/where necessary).

** Responses: One.

photo (3)

Is this how an evolved sanity signs off?

Nah, usually not… But still, as a spectator, you cringe before leaning-in closer to see what happens next, right?

Ergo – we still need the Pride parade.

As I left the building with shames, shade, shame-ons and sads, I sent that pic to the company with the subject “PS” – and the body text: “Thanks for the memories.”

** Responses: One.

Email 1

Now… wait— is this a sanity-evolved? Hard to say. And given my own manner for quick-mouthing, I couldn’t suggest this guy hold his thoughts until he’d collected some more. Still, I had hoped for more from someone I’d gotten to know a bit about (who had his own history of hurting as far as human relations go), and that maybe he might have held back a little longer than 24-minutes before so bravely hitting ‘reply-all’ — on a digital platform, at the country’s top digital agency — with such confident closure.

** Responses: One.
Mine – privately to him (yes, I get the irony in that none of this is private anymore).

Email 2

No longer private indeed – and fittingly so. You see, bullies are only brave in a bunch. It was tacitly-thick there and bred like a bonfire. But when expressive about my upset, my deserting doubter said:

“There’s more to life than worrying about them,
and worrying about that shit!”

He wasn’t wrong. But I often wonder if he ever told any of them that, too?

Tally:

  • Responses / acknowledgments (to date of publishing this post) from any of the head honchos? Nada
  • Rash responses: One (above)
  • Outpouring of disgust and dissatisfaction at such distaste from those consulted? Overwhelming:
    • a Partner at Fasken Martineau
    • Seniors at Habari Media
    • a Business Division Consultant/Head at Absa
    • my friends and family – and their friends and family

It’s seriously sad. Especially when I think that I wrote the new mission statement for this agency and how now, it’s safe to say that I went from: This is hot — to — uh… I kinda like it — to — Hold up! I’m a little confused here… — to — None of this adds up?!? — to — What a load of bullshit. 

They’re about to announce their merger with one of the world’s most progressive agencies, and I have to wonder how the small minds will fare among the bigger ones when they Ogle all the different characters they will have to cohabit with… Fact is: the ratios are going to be reversed.

All the best.

And c‘est la vie.

Why?

Because you simply can’t win them all. On a random Monday, you may be forced to realise that the wave of the witless is wide when a complete stranger – so radically outside of my every-gay life – be so upfront in suggesting Pride be unnecessary because Gay people should ‘blend in’ rather than celebrate their liberties:

Screen Shot 2014-06-30 at 8.02.52 PM

…well, no.

That would be a seriously lazy habit.

So thanks Laetitia, but no.

I am Gay.

I am 36.

And I have never participated in a Pride parade or any of the after parties.

But I could do if or when I choose to – and that’s what’s pertinent and poignantly important to me.

Because I am Gay.

It is not all that I am…

…but it is all that I am.

And there are lots of us.

Our differences don’t make us disgusting or deserving of defamatory vitriol or aggressive graffiti.

But it happens. Just like when gullible guys genuinely believe that their opinion on abortion is ace.

It happens.

So…

…with several deep breaths, I can say for sure that I know this: one man’s torment is another man’s tea break, and what’s sore to me may just be satire to you.

So the only merit I see in outsiders’ questions around Pride’s rightful place in contemporary society, is in why we waited to accept this anointed ‘permission’ by the other, just to go on, exactly as we were, with our blood pumping as it always has been?

Parched is the man whose passion to pump blood depends on the permission of another…

…and there lies that fine line between Worrier and Warrior.

Indeed, the occasion for people to promote and proclaim their self-affirmation, dignity and equal rights has come a long way… but it’s not that we don’t need to celebrate what we have always been…

…it’s that we shouldn’t have had to wait to be told when we could.

Word!

Preemptive people are everywhere.

Ergo – we still need the Pride parade.

 

© Dylan Balkind

1 Barcelona, Lima, Mexico City, Paris, Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco and New York City.
2 Not always in numbers, but often by an imbalance of power.
 
 

Open letter season: Here’s mine to Jani Allan

Jani Allan. Until last week, few people my age (and around) knew who she was. My parents recognised her name. They’re in their mid sixties. Allan is 62 so the shoe fits. On the 14th April, 2014 however, Allan entered the Oscar Pistorius fray with an open letter on her blog.

It’s hot topic – Oscar and the trial he’s on for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, so it didn’t take long for what she recorded there to go viral. It was what any blog (including this one) presents: opinion. Hers however leveraged its newsorthiness with the juggernaut allegation that Pistorius has been taking acting lessons for his courtroom appearances in order to deliver a testimony by-design, to both advocates for and against him – Barry Roux and Gerrie Nel respectively.

It’s hot topic because, as is the case with any celebrity, we feel they are ours. His wrong is a wrong to us. He abused his power… he is reckless… he is a monster… whatever. I’m not here to defend Oscar Pistorius. He stopped irritating me a while ago. Jani Allan has taken that place and, I put it to you, she has had you all on.

Wikipedia lists Jani Allan as a South African columnist, broadcaster and animal rights advocate. She became a household name through her work at the Sunday Times (1980 to 1989) and, at the height of her fame in 1987, commissioned a Gallup poll to find “the most admired person in South Africa”.

She won.

Her open letter picks up the story and depicts her as ‘the other woman’ in Eugene Terre’blanche’s life whilst his was falling apart. After much tumult and an assassination attempt on her life, the most admired person in South Africa decided to go west and, from 2001, found a new vocation in the PR and restauranting industries in the States. She also tried her hand at astrology, but you knew that already, didn’t you?

It’s now being said that Jani has returned to the media frame. But… in all fairness – and just like me here – the Internet gives anybody a voice. Ergo, eight full days after her blog went viral, she is still tweeting the clincher from it with links to equally authoritative media leaders like Perez Hilton and UPI.com – under a section called “Odd News”.

Odd. News. Indeed.

Jani Twitter 1

Do you remember 2009’s MTV Awards? Where one Sacha Baron Cohen – dressed as Bruno in just a thong and angel wings – flitted from the ceiling and landed, ass-all-exposed on Eminem’s face? Three years before that, the same actor was stopped by Secret Service personnel at The White House, when he attempted to invite George W. Bush to the screening of his then movie ‘Borat’ in an effort to promote ‘Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’.

It’s called a publicity stunt, aimed to garner fever-pitch interest and do work for your brand that paid or owned media – with the same amount of time – could only dream of achieving. Want a success story? Think Felix Baumgartner’s edge of space jump to earth for Red Bull. Jani Allan’s story? Not so much.

Online, this seasoned journalist is quick to highlight / remind / reprimand re: her viral success and commits to statements like this for her brand:

Jani Twitter 2

We all have. Clearly. But post slumber, have a listen to her speaking to Fox News here.

It was the interviewer’s question at around 04:48 that really woke me up, but it’s her cavalier response that makes me think perhaps she and Oscar got a two-for-one special at this acting coach she knows so well. And “…when the steel horses came down…” – as she puts it – she professes innocent simplicity in her motives and that her open letter was just opinion.

No. No it wasn’t. It was a cheap shot by someone hanging on to the ass-end of their fifteen minutes who has plans to release a memoir. The clincher? Society has handed her the Soap Box she was so angling for and now, apparently, even her opinion on Oscar having a new girlfriend is deemed worthy of the forum?! Who are you Jani Allen, when it comes to adding value to a case that has our nation in a catatonic state? You were the other woman to a man our history is embarrassed to include.

May you have an opinion about Oscar Pistorious? Yes. Is the link between that opinion and your experience with Eugene Terre’blanche tenuous, at best? Yup. Is this a PR stunt to drum up rent-a-crowd interest before your book “Just Jani” (…sigh…) is released? It most definitely is. You could have saved us all the hassle and added a badly lit, homemade sex tape of you and who-cares-who to the carte du jour available already.

If that’s how the righteous, hardworking nobility like Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian had to sweat it out to get their genius got, who are you Just Jani to think you can fast track your way to a best seller? I’m not buying it.

And I’m definitely not buying it.

1987 was a lifetime ago. Reinvent yourself Jani which means boldly letting go of that most admired person in South Africa title. Spoiler alert: you’re not it.

I’d think that, with all the stamps in your passport and the lessons that life should have taught you, you’d have gone about this with a lot more wisdom and finesse than you did.

Move along. Nothing more to see here.

 

© Dylan Balkind

 

Social media making you sick?

Originally written for and published on BizCommunity.com.
For engagement details, click here

We at Help For Hemorrhoids hope you’re sitting happy in the traffic. Like our page and tell us about the worst sit-in you’ve ever sat-in.

This is not social media. This is stupid. If you’re saying/doing/tweeting things like this, then you deserve the trolling noise you’re sure to have, and – just for breaking the Internet’s heart – your nether regions should be infested with a thousand little Julius Malemas.

Kitchen Roll TwitterWhy is it that every brand flapped forward to the frontline of social media and created a fan page and/or a twitter account anyway? Sure I’d have to be an absolute twit to contend the value of this platform outright, but for every single brand? Seriously? Kitchen towel is your friend in the kitchen. Let us know if you keep yours in a cool, dry place?  Shan’t. Because I’m too busy smashing my device into pieces for allowing ‘suggested posts’ like this into my life.

What happened to our focus on the studiously researched science of placement? Just like you wouldn’t put a funeral parlour in a shopping mall, why be compelled to create a social media presence for your brand of kitchen towel, hmm? For a promotion-period, sure… But for everyday frivolity? Just because 51% of active Twitter users follow companies, brands or products on social networks, doesn’t mean you have a captive-receptacle ready to blithely bait whatever you tweet them. They can and eventually will choose what they are going to stick around for.

But take note, because there are those getting it right! Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is one such example. This Facebook page has 1 492 201 likes (and growing). Why? Because macaroni and cheese. And because you know you love it. But not everyone has a sleeper hit like this; the equivalent of winning the social media lottery doesn’t come easy to the lazy.

The slacker social media-ists

They’re everywhere. You can recognise them by their savvy tricks to lure you in or baffle your brain with hashtags. They hope for miraculous social media reach and activity with notoriously catatonic updates ending with a really lame question. Or… they believe their brand should prove its prowess with a tweet about #worldclass #synergy for #effective #results that drive #consumer #awareness for #global #brandgrowth across a #commonthread that #leveragesUSP for #clientlove. If your audience really wanted to engage with content that made absolutely no sense, they would just watch the eNCA.

Personalities wanted

Owning a company and representing its brand shouldn’t compel you to become a drudging, commonplace and wearisome bore. People like and want to connect with those very human aspects and characteristics of your brand. All of social media is a stage and you are a leading player on it. Build your character (from many facets) and infuse feelings that people can actually connect with. Sure, that 02h43 drunken and misspelt rant about your boss’s saggy bum won’t deliver the golden parachute (so make sure your spelling is correct, at least), but a little of the heart behind the heat sheds light on whom, why and what builds the brand – on a daily basis.

Tweeting for the team

Consider a forum for additional voices that are recognised as part of it. So you are not @CocaCola, but you are @CocaCola_RuthD_CFO_Europe, or @Shoprite_Jenni_TalentScout. Granted, it’s no Ipsos Measurement or a theory that Millward Brown may list, but these personality sentiments will return exponential growth in followers because of the fly-on-the-wall nuggets of information being shared from behind the scenes. Interesting = more talkability. But really interesting; not how-many-squares-on-our-kitchen-towel? interesting.

Get to grips with this forum and watch it work for you.

If you are tweeting as the role that is behind the brand:

  • Write as you – but responsibly
  • If it’s boring, bin it
  • Steer new conversations
  • Evoke responses that add value
  • Prompt thoughtful, engaging, ongoing discussions from your own voice
  • Retweet your colleagues’ tweets
  • Make the circle bigger

And then, once you’ve got this down pat, remember: just one small cap is enough.

I knew you were trouble

The moral of the story can’t be based on morals because none of us have many left, and the ones who do wouldn’t agree on the mix anyway. Case in point: I was troubled (again) recently as I came across this App ad, promoted to my feed:

Sneakr

Just because a guy likes a little Wizard of Oz in his playlist and was (just once) called a sexual predator by the French Rugby team, doesn’t mean he wants your creepy App that does this, okay? Show me a gay man that wants an App to help him sneak pictures of men to share with the friends he doesn’t even have, and I’ll show you a guy who belongs in the same ‘category’ of people who choose to be fans of kitchen towel or cooking oil on Facebook. We call this ‘category’ an asylum which is where we’re all headed if we don’t watch the cerebral value of the content we a) issue, b) engage with or c) all of the above.

Remember: Social Media should ultimately make us smarter in how we can access more information and from being better connected to each other than ever before.

Get connected with me @DylanBalkind.

Thanks for reading!

© Dylan Balkind

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