Stop Calling People Out

Why Doesn't Anyone Care - The Anti-Social MediaOne of my rules for this blog is I don’t call individuals out. I may make fun of Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Bloggers, and myself, but I don’t like to make fun of individual people unless I feel like they are a celebrity of such caliber that they don’t care what people write about them on the internet. The only exception to this rule is if someone asks for me to publicly review something and I don’t like it, otherwise, I keep my venom directed at services and anonymous developers that don’t have faces.

I may be snarky, hateful, and cynical, but I don’t think it’s worth using this blog, or any blog, to publicly shame a person or business who may have had a bad day and didn’t deep fry my chicken fingers to perfection. I know, this goes entirely against the rules of the internet to sling mud endlessly, but I have standards. Standards that include blogging about bloggers eating each others excrement, but not blogging about a specific blogger eating another blogger’s excrement.

But, while I don’t call people out,  I know many people who will. People who bitch on Twitter when their restaurant service isn’t up to snuff. People who whine when things just don’t go their way. People who will write a whole blog post about how their trip went terribly wrong and that everything could have been done better.

Seriously people, have you not experienced this thing called life where you don’t always get what you want?

I get that everything could be done better, but when did social media need to become the end all be all for customer service? I have 1,300 followers on Twitter, and do you think any of them really care when my order gets messed up at Starbucks? And if I make a stink about it on Twitter, shouldn’t I have just asked the barista and manager to fix the problem first instead of going nuclear and stopping the internet for a truly meaningless problem that has no outcome on much greater events in the world?

We have better problems to worry about than complaining about the trivial episodes of our lives on the internet. Use that energy to do something useful, like earn more money, or buy me presents. We’ll all be happier if we just shut up and deal with it, and I will certainly be happier when everyone buys me presents.


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14 Responses to “Stop Calling People Out”

  1. Jason W June 20, 2011 at 10:09 am #

    Well said. I’m stick of seeing annoying complaints on my facebook feed and hearing that annoying tweet sound on my phone only to look and discover it’s someone complaining about something mundane. I wish people would reserve their complaints for things that actually mattered, or are in some way comical.

    • Jay June 21, 2011 at 11:55 am #

      People are too selfish to see bigger pictures. That’s why I complain on this website all the time.

  2. Morgan June 20, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    While I understand what you’re saying, here’s why I have a different perspective on the topic:

    The reality is, some companies ONLY pay attention to Twitter customer service these days. The only way anything is going to change, is by bitching about it on Twitter.

    It’s not about actually solving the problem, it’s about hearing the customer out. It’s been that way for decades. Customers just want to be heard and Twitter is the new medium in which they can be heard.

    While I understand that they should just get off their butt, send an email, call them or even talk to a manager in person about the soggy fries, Twitter is an easy medium to get the word out about their personal experience with a particular company.

    Company’s reputations are important, which is why when I say on Twitter, “Boy, I sure wish Godaddy’s app for the android was better”, and they respond to me PERSONALLY on Twitter to ask me what can be made better about it, well hot dog! I was just recognized!

    And through this means, the company can then begin suggesting the ideas and hopefully implementing them if they see a need.

    It’s just simply another way to reach people personally through customer service and frankly, I love it. I love to be able to reach a customer about their problem through Twitter and hopefully get it resolved for them. :)

  3. Ashley June 20, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    I think the point of calling out McDonalds or whatever is often not necessarily to bring about changes in the service, but to defame the provider. Some companies do communicate with customers through social media, but I agree that it’s ineffective. I’m all about comment cards and letters for complaints.

    Since Twitter, Facebook and other social media became popular, so many people have developed this perception that if they use these media, they automatically have influence and power. Not so, if you ask me, as it must be earned.

    And venting about such trivial matters is not a good way to earn a following.

  4. Jerome Pineau June 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    Humm, actually yeah I do want to know when your order is messed up at Starbucks.

    • Jay June 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

      All the time.

  5. Deb Ng June 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    Thank you.

    That is all.

    • Jay June 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

      I’m just here to help.

  6. PJ June 20, 2011 at 3:31 pm #

    As someone who has worked in social media customer service, I cannot agree more. I’m sick to death of people who show up on my site with a completely unreasonable attitude and terrible language (and grammar) and threaten to tell all their friends and “blog” about it. I’d wager a week’s salary that at least 80% of them don’t even know what the hell a blog is nor how to get anyone who gives a rat’s fat ass to read it. Also sick to death of hearing the words “It’s not fair”. Uhh… yeah. Life’s not fair. Get. Over. It.

    • Jerome Pineau June 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

      Boy I hope you’re no longer in that line of work then! :)
      It’s an outlet! You need to let those people vent. And then make the best of it when applicable.

      • PJ June 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

        I am out of that line of work. And I do understand the need to vent and use social media as an outlet to do so, however there are a lot of people who go about it the wrong way and rant like senseless lunatics so it’s very hard to help them. For example, the gentleman who came to the site calling everyone in the company liars, cheaters, thieves, and every expletive in the book, was greeted by us with nothing but courtesy and the desire to help him, but would not allow us to help him. He just ranted and swore and said it was too late to help. Makes no sense.

        • Jerome Pineau June 21, 2011 at 1:55 am #

          Well part of the problem is a lotta people don’t know how to go about it the “right way” - it’s not something they teach in high school (yet) :)
          But yeah there’s nutcases everywhere I suppose - Clearly not a job for the faint of heart!

          • Morgan June 21, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

            I totally agree with you, Jerome. Social media is still customer service. If you can’t handle customers, then don’t be in customer service. Customers will always bitch about things in the most uncouth and rude ways. But it’s the customer service persons job to handle the situation.

            Whether it be through Twitter or in person, the concept is the same.

  7. Jerome Pineau June 21, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

    In my experience the uncouth and rude is more of an exception than a rule. Generally people are pretty cool - but I guess it also depends on what industry you’re in of course. I would imagine running community for a government/public sector outfit might be a little, shall we say, more animated, than in the private sector. Not sure…

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