During the second semester of my sophomore year of college, I roomed with an awesome girl named Kerri while my best friend was studying abroad. We loved living together and hanging out with our other friends on the floor, including our friend Jason. One afternoon I was sitting on my lofted bed while Kerri was working at her desk when we heard a knock on the door. In walked Jason, who asked Kerri out to dinner and a movie while I watched amused from my perch. She said yes, they went out, and then we all went back to being just friends.
Until I married Jason four years later.
For the record, Jason never asked me out to dinner and a movie. One day while sitting at Whataburger enjoying white gravy and toast I told him that we were a couple. He smiled and said that sounded great. A year and a half later he asked me to marry him, and a year and a half after that we were married.
Every now and then I remember that he asked my roommate out on a date and he tolerates some mostly-in-jest harassment. Twelve years and two children later, it’s a non-issue. But you can imagine that it was off-putting to witness my future husband ask a friend out on a date.
The first thing that I do when I receive a request to connect/watch a video/check out the LIFE CHANGING WOW YOUR READERS WILL LOVE THIS link sent to my @ on Twitter is go to the feed of the account sending me that tweet. When I see the exact same tweet sent to twenty mom bloggers in rapid fire, this is the message I receive:
1. You believe that spray and pray is effective PR and that the technique translates to social media. Tip: It’s not and it doesn’t.
2. My readers and I are of no genuine interest to you. You simply forcibly put your information in my @ reply stream because you purchased a list of influencers and my name was on it.
3. You don’t believe in following the rules of acceptable social media engagement. Spam is your friend. Responding to you and eventually working with you means that I should expect more of this disrespectful behavior.
4. Despite your use of the word connect in your spammy tweet, you have no interest in connecting. Instead you’re hoping I will retweet your link and somehow miss that you’re a Spammer McSpammerson.
I got over the fact that Jason asked Kerri out in front of me because what I witnessed that day was a gentleman doing gentlemanly things. I was smart enough to wait an appropriate amount of time and then snag him for myself and am now married to the best man I have ever met.
Brands, when I go to your feed and see you spamming my friends, I have the opposite reaction. I want to run far away from you and take my friends with you. Maybe it’s time for this practice to finally end?