The internet is a noisy place and it is going to keep getting noisier. Yet here I am on the internet adding to the noise because that is where the people are.
I’m talking a lot about trying to make a career out of being a writer. So far I’m doing well at making a hobby out of being a writer because I’m not getting paid all that much to do it. The most important part of the equation is getting people to read what I’m writing.
It’s hard to do that when the majority of information that people see in their Facebook feeds is Buzzfeed quizzes and Upworthy videos.
That isn’t anyone’s fault, you understand, that is the algorithm that Facebook uses to make money. It is annoying, yes, but we are using a free tool and that means we have to live with their rules. I’m trying to game the rules a little bit, though.
Here’s advice I can give to you if you enjoy my (or anyone else’s) stuff. When we post it to Facebook, like it. Even if you don’t read it. Like it. The more people who like something, the more people will see that thing in their news feeds.
As Facebook slowly transitions away from a site where people say meaningful things about their lives to a site where people post the results of various buzz feed quizzes that report on important personality traits like your alignment (I’m chaotic good), what Firefly Character you are (I’m Luke Skywalker), how long you would survive a zombie apocalypse (I died of a heart attack when I saw the report on television) or what kind of ladder you use to change a lightbulb (a badly balanced stack of used video cartridges).
The most popular quiz for the last few days has been a 100 question quiz on how privileged you are.
Before I go any further, I’m going to ignore the fact that everyone taking the quiz should have scored at least a 20% because of the fact they had the free time to take a 100 question quiz on the internet. Right there you are doing a lot better than most.
So I filled out the quiz and my score was 68 out of 100. It seems like I’m fairly privileged. I was surprised, though, because as a straight white male with some amount of financial success, I expected I would be swimming in privilege. About the only way I don’t have privilege is because I’m an atheist and I am not part of the wealthiest 1%.
I probably would be if I sold those video cartridges.
OK, those National Park Rangers just don’t want to let tourists have any fun! I mean, why are we going to Death Valley National Park if not to engage in science experiments that…don’t work?
Turns out that you can’t just fry an egg on the pavement. It isn’t quite that hot. You could do it if you have a frying pan and the video that is inspiring all of this failed egg frying even mentions that it doesn’t work without one but facts are unimportant when you are trying to do science!
Cleaning up after yourself is also, apparently, unimportant. Better to just leave eggshells and unfried eggs all over the place because you were too stupid to follow directions.
The message here is clear: don’t tell people how to do cool science experiments because they will probably just fuck it up.