The requirement for reading this blog post is to read 101 - entitled An Open Letter to Art Guilds, here.
Okay, here we go. I have a simple recipe for creating a dictator in one easy step.
That one step is simply to create a Facebook Group.
This recipe comes with a bonus recipe, or the "frosting" for your dictator - and that recipe is for accelerated Lord of the Flies style anarchy, detailed below.
Now don't get me wrong - I love Facebook Groups. I really enjoy many of the ones I'm in. The platform is very good, offers lots of tools for moderators (not nearly as good as forum tools, but decent) and it's free.
However, it's a breeding ground for dictators.
What happens is, someone sets up a group that is publicly joinable and discoverable (essential for hatching your dictator - it's like plant food.) Let's say the purpose of this group is to share a love for Beanie Babies. Everyone loves Beanie Babies. How could anything but love and harmony result from a gathering of like minded BeanieBabyHeads?
Well, along comes an up-until-this-moment-innocent person who makes a terrible, terrible error in judgement, by deciding to post a cute picture of an adorable Beanie Baby next to a cup of coffee. For some reason, this enrages the group's creator, and a document is started in the files section of the group, entitled RULES - YOU MUST COMMENT WITH "AGREE" TO BE A PART OF THIS HAPPY-GO-LUCKY-BEANIE-BABY-GROUP-WHICH-IS-JUST-FOR-FUN-AND-SHARING-A-LOVE-OF-BEANIE-BABIES.
The document rapidly grows to 48 pages long, detailing every conceivable transgression a Beanie Baby-loving human could ever commit inside the group, and this is followed by the equally long list of consequences that will ensue should said behavior occur.
People who join the group are bewildered when that their first Beanie Baby posts are deleted, possibly because the group has decided that yellow Beanie Babies are no longer allowed, because of "some incidents" that happened with yellow Beanie Babies in the past.
Now it's time for the bonus recipe. The anarchy. The person who posts the picture of the yellow Beanie Baby gets 200 comments on their very first post. The first ten are helpful comments suggesting that the person remove their post before the poor poster is droned at their desk by the admins of the group. The poster asks, innocently, why they would be droned for posting a picture of a Beanie Baby in a Beanie Baby group, which activates what I call the Omega sequence.
The next ten comments are darker, wherein people dredge up the original "incident" and begin fighting with each other, beating their plowshares back into swords. Then there will be the obligatory Michael Jackson eating popcorn meme photos. Then come the conspiracy theory comments, wherein members speculate that the admins don't support the military. There's name-calling, and cursing, and accusations of hate crimes. Then, the one person in the group who had been waiting to post a picture of himself nekkid comes out of the woodwork with style, panache, verve.
With the increase in anarchy, there is a correlating increase in the length of the rules document, and also in the number of admins that are required to run the group (dictator seedlings) because of the specificity of the rules. Entire boards are formed, which then require meetings, minutes, and a separate rules document governing the meetings and the minutes, the end result of which is usually an all-out boycott of Beanie Babies.
To some extent, I get it. I run an online community, and you do have to have rules in places where, for example, financial transactions are taking place, or people are paying for advertising.
And unfortunately, these days, for some reason, it is necessary to tell grown, adult human beings to be nice. I'm not sure why that is, but it's a fact. And they often don't listen.
But most of the art or cooking or interest groups I'm in on Facebook have some dictator-y rule-y overkill, and I see people arguing about INSANE things daily. And I'm truly amazed that groups that start with such a fun common LOVE of something turn into the Lord of the Flies so quickly. Yesterday, fights over truly insignificant things broke out in both an art and a cooking group I'm in and I just had to write the topic down for a post.
Human behavior is rarely improved with a deluge of rules.
In my opinion, there's really only one rule every group should have.
Anyone who isn't nice should be droned.
Most behaviors fall under this rule and do not need to be detailed. Say, for example, you were in the Beanie Baby group and you posted that you were selling "Greenie Babies" which were your own homemade Beanie Babies made out of gluten-free soy coconut rice aminos but they were better for the environment than Beanie Babies. Well that falls under the heading of "not nice" because you're trying to sell something in someone else's group, and your dissing the common interest.
This does not need to be explained in a 48 page document. I cannot help it if your momma didn't teach you this. It also does not need to be explained or justified to the other members of the group. You will be droned, no explanation necessary, and the rest of the group can continue to live in harmony.
Humans are so interesting. Almost as interesting as cats. But not quite. And you notice I am NOT saying that cats do not become dictators, because they do. But that's for another post.
Have you set your countdown timers? Because the holiday mini catalog is live in 4 days! I have zero patience for that though so I'm stamping with all of it.
This week, I decided to combine the TIPPY TOP AWESOMEST set - Ghoulish Grunge, with Cookie Cutter Christmas because I thought the brick wall worked perfectly as an igloo!
Seriously - how cute is that? It's an 8 minute card, and I love it. Wait until you see how many things the matching punch does. Here's a quick video of this card, along with my dental floss tip. If you saw one of our recent Crafty Chats, I talked about this tip and Jennifer asked me to video it, so her wish has been granted! I'm always surprised when people haven't used this trick before - it's a real life saver! As a person who makes a lot of gluing mistakes, I can testify to its usefulness.
Peace, love and beanie babies.