Antisocial Media


MEERKAT (Photo credit: paddynapper)


This post is for The Ride: a record of my thoughts, fears, ambitions and experiences of blogging an unpublished novel.


For posts of the actual story – Fare Game – see the next post down, or click on the ‘Recent Posts’, ‘Archives’, or ‘Categories’ links to the right of the page and down a bit.


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Antisocial Media. That’s what I was calling Facebook for a few days this week. There was teeth-grinding, jaw clenching and eyebrow harvesting. Particularly eyebrow harvesting.  It’s what I do when I’m confronted with a problem I can’t fix. Or at least, it’s what I’m told I do, by my wife and two daughters. And If I look in the bathroom mirror, it is pretty clear my right eyebrow just stops about two-thirds the way along its proper course. Where the final third of eyebrow should be, there’s a kind of facial hair desert.


My girls didn’t lie to me about that. My girls wouldn’t lie to me, particularly if it relates to a further deterioration of my physical appearance that makes being seen in public with me even more painful for them. Their objective when out in public with me is that I seem invisible to people of their age. But a gross facial deformity such as the lack of the outside third of a right eyebrow renders you visible in the most embarrassing way. It’s something I’ve just got to deal with.


I will admit that the mess I’d landed in was my own entire fault, but it shouldn’t have been so hard to fix it. I’m back talking about the antisocial media Facebook problem now, not the eyebrow pruning.


This was the problem: I had originally created the Mcphoenix Ink Facebook business page as a separate, unrelated page to my personal profile. Ignorant, right? Worse than that, to my considerable frustration it rendered the Mcphoenix Ink Facebook page pretty damn self-centred. Pretty antisocial. People could like it, with its preening, purple-winged phoenixness, but it had no interest in liking other people. Or other pages. And without the ability to like other people or pages, such as The Reading Room, First Tuesday Book Club, Readings Books, Dymocks Books, The Wheeler Centre … (if you’re influential and I’ve left you out, please let me know!), I was severely limiting my potential reach.


My mantra for this exercise of blogging Fare Game is: It’s not enough to write well, I must also promote well.


But it’s hard to promote well when my purple bird couldn’t get out and socialise.


So I posted on my personal FB wall: How do you enable a Facebook business page to like other Facebook business pages? Does anyone know?


Auntie Shauna said beautiful niece Kathryn would know. Now Kathryn’s from Perth, where entrepreneurship is in the water instead of fluoride. She’s an Oxfam social equality warrior, social media devotee and loyal follower of Mcphoenix. But would she help me? After all the mischief I had partaken of?


When she was little, she was over east for a holiday with her family and, on a trip to the Melbourne Zoo, I told her a shameless fib about Meerkats. With an uncle-like earnestness I explained that the upright and inquisitive posture of Meerkats was on account of the fact that all the original Meerkats had to get up on their tippy-toes to see out the spaceship windows. Because they all came from Mars on spaceships that landed in Africa. And as the spaceships were getting closer to Earth, after they’d entered our atmosphere and were orbiting about looking for a good place to land, being so little they had to get on their tippy-toes to see out the window to be able to steer well enough to land the spaceships safely.


There were some Meerkats that weren’t sufficiently curious and didn’t get on their tippy-toes, or were a bit too confident for themselves, or were so short that even on their tippy-toes they still couldn’t see. Unfortunately, every one of the spaceships carrying those Meerkats zoomed through space, over-shot the Earth and were lost to us forever. Only the curious, modest and just-tall-enough Meerkats safely made the landing in Africa. And that’s why all Meerkats are exactly the same height. And that’s why all Meerkats stand on their tippy-toes with an incredibly inquisitive look on their faces at every opportunity.


“That’s Darwinism, for ya,” I said, with a glib shrug of my shoulders.


Future social equality warrior Kathryn believed me, too. The Darwinism bit confused her since we were at the Melbourne Zoo, but she believed me about the Meerkats.  Not just at the time I told her, when she was little, but way, way after that. She stopped believing in the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus before uncle Mick’s explanation of the origin of the species Meerkat.


But she’s very forgiving. And she’s a loyal Mcphoenix follower so she listened with sympathy and a minimum of sniggering to my tale of stupidity … actually, come to think of it, she did let me string out that story for a looooong time. Hmmm.


Anyway, she knew the answer instantly. Go here, click that, type this and it’ll all be done. Mcphoenix Ink will be cured of its antisocial tendencies. And it was. The Mcphoenix Ink Facebook business page is now much more social. It’s sharing the likes. But it’s still a little self-centred. It wants everyone out there that it likes to like it back.


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