Shine Like a Lighthouse

Let Your Light ShineNothing shines brighter than a light house, well… except maybe the sun. But a light house is bright.

I work on social media, facebook, twitter, linkedin, and a few others, but my primary job is social media marketing. And I’m really good at it… If I do say so myself!

So, the last few days, with my computer doing it’s crash number 1, 2, 3, AND 4. I worked primarily on my phone. It works. It isn’t maybe the best option for social media, but in a pinch… It’s amazing. And I have all the apps on my phone so there’s not much I can’t accomplish on social media given the need to do so.

Today was one of those amazing great days of accomplishment where A B S O L U T E L Y nothing got done. Not one single thing that needed to be done, got done, except whatever I could do on my phone.

Stress was doing an overtime number and I was already maxed out from the computer crash and not getting the things done that needed to be done – plus… I realized that if I did it LAST Week, I had to do it again. Everything that got done, was lost in the initial crash and I have to redo it. How do YOU spell STRESS?

Yeah…

Then I got the first message via private messenger on facebook. Someone who had never messaged me before sent me a bogus link to some crazy content on Wikipedia and suggested I ‘figure it out’. I’m reading Wikipedia on my phone for about two and a half seconds. Then I realize that she’s sent me another bogus story about an incident that happened several years ago.

I sent a message back to her asking why she had posted that link to me, and she said, “I was on my phone so I couldn’t post it to the wall.” After several messages back and forth, she finally informed me that she didn’t like the discussion on my wall and thought everyone who read my wall should get “a load of the message I wanted to share” instead.

I publish a lot of political discussion on my wall, articles, content, chatter, and the like – sometimes, I even get involved in the chatter and share my opinion. And I’ll be honest here, I’m quite capable of spewing a solid conversation over my own opinion, and I rarely need any assistance to explain what I want to say. I don’t usually roll a sailor in my language, or hesitate to tell the world what I think, either!

I took a deep breath and let it out slowly before I responded to her, “Not a fan of fools who spam my wall, and they don’t last long on my friends list. Thank you for the warning!” I hit send, she was typing a response and I BLOCKED HER.

Before anyone goes gaga on me over blocking a ‘friend’ on facebook, I want to explain here. 

Trolls and Scams are popular on Facebook and other social media. It isn’t unheard of to have someone add me as a ‘friend’ who is also a friend to 30 or 50 other people on my list. Many of them in a group of friends, where this person ‘fits in by virtue of profession’, so they appear to be REAL. Many of them even interact in groups, so you become familiar with their names. They interact with your friends, and you may actually notice some ‘distance’ between the people interacting, like they don’t quite trust this person, but more often than not – the troll will have found a way to ‘connect with friends’ and there will be a comfortable ‘comrade or friend feeling’ in the group setting. But in an individual setting the troll will remain somewhat distant other than random comments. Usually those comments will appear to be ‘out of place’.

More often than not, it will be a while before you realize the person is a TROLL and by the time you do, they will have ‘won you over’ and you’ll be thinking they are your friend. By then, you don’t want to ‘unfriend’ a friend. So, you let them remain on your wall, talking to your friends, making more friends, and eventually they’ve moved in on your ‘friends list’ added a lot of your friends to their wall and they start ‘spamming your wall’ with their message. This can be their products, their books, or their content shared from scam sites, and at first, you may delete them, thinking “Wait, I don’t want that on my wall.” And then they’ll figure out how to get it on your wall at a time when your friends comment and you’ll leave it up, because there’s comments on there already.

Then, this person may start asking your friends for money, using YOU as the ‘reason’ they’re asking.

Not all graduate to this level, but some do. In fact, many do.

There’s a story here… 

About six months ago, I had a friend online who had met one of these people, and became personal friends with the woman. She kept getting closer and closer and one Sunday afternoon, my phone rang. (Yes, my number is available on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I WORK online.) I answered the phone and the voice on the other end had a strong accent I didn’t recognize. The number was a recognized state, and the name on the caller id was Carol.

“Jan, is Carol, I have talk to you. Important. Can you talk?”

It’s Sunday, I had family over, and I was busy with grandkids, but I slipped into another room to talk.

I need help. I here. I visiting Jennifer and she sick. I take her to Dr. but he say she need surgery right away. I have some money, not enough. Can you send me $2000 right away? She gonna die.

Jennifer and Carol rang a bell. I had a friend named Jennifer online who had recently be interacting with a woman named Carol on her facebook page. I’d seen it, noticed that Jennifer didn’t seem as ‘friendly’ as Carol did, but wasn’t really thinking about that part, when I was on the phone.

I asked questions, got last names, and slowly I was picking up the story realizing the phone id was connected because she’d CALLED me through Facebook. The sickness that was killing Jennifer if she didn’t have surgery immediately was Phlebitis and she had it in her heart. And Jennifer’s last name was pronounced WAY wrong. While I’m talking, I texted Jennifer on Facebook in a Private message and asked if she had company. She did not.

I told her about the call. We both reported Carol on Facebook, and within minutes her account was removed. But she’ll show up again with a new name.

I knew what to do. I recognized the names, and started remembering the connections, then made the direct connect so I could contact the other person and ask, but most of the time, that connection never happens. Most of the time, you’re left wondering if your friend really NEEDS your help.

Always follow your instincts!

More and more often, things such as this will happen as more and more illegals, and random criminals are online, with access to your information. Identity theft is REAL. This isn’t a game to them, and they’re out to get your money.

Don’t let them have your money. Don’t let them have your identity. And don’t fall for their brand of crazy.

When you know something is wrong, shine a light on it. Light makes the darkness go away. If you don’t know how to shine like a lighthouse, shine like a candle, or make a flicker and contact someone who does know how to shine like a lighthouse. Find a friend who does know what to do when you’re contacted by something that ‘isn’t quite right’ and ask. Ask for help. It’s important that you NOT deal with these crazies alone. ASK for help.

Seek assistance. And shine your light. Don’t hesitate to shine.

Remember, if you can’t shine like a lighthouse, shine like a candle. Bring on the light!

Jan

 


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