Do As I Say, Not As I Do: Confessions of a Social Media Hypocrite

by Ken Mueller on July 18, 2012 · 35 comments


Growing up my brothers and I would cherish those moments when we would catch our parents doing something they told us not to do. I can’t remember specific examples, but invariably my dad’s response would be:

Do as I say, not as I do

Which, of course, never satisfied our need for justice.

Of course, now that I’m a parent, I do know that there are things that I do that I wouldn’t want my kids to do, so my dad’s response was, at times, justified. (Sorry, Dad. I’m not gonna let you off the hook completely).

I tell you this as I have a confession to make:

When it comes to some aspects of social media, I’m a hypocrite.

Yep, I said it. And I feel much better getting it out there.

Earlier this week I saw that a local Vietnamese restaurants was running one in a series of daily Facebook contests to celebrate their anniversary, giving away a free meal. In order to win they just wanted you to comment, like, or share their post. This presented a real problem for me, and I actually sat there and debated what to do. You see, the contest they were running was clearly a violation of Facebook’s terms of service. Facebook has very strict rules about how you can and cannot implement a contest or promotion on their platform. Most importantly, contests must be done through third-party apps, and they cannot use commenting, liking, or sharing, as the means of entry.

What was I to do?

I happen to love Vietnamese food, and in particular I love this restaurant. In the past as I’ve seen these types of contests I have silently scoffed at them and turned the other way. Even appending their contest with “This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook” doesn’t get them off the hook.

But I caved. I liked. I commented. AND I shared. I tell my clients that under no uncertain terms should they run this type of a contest or promotion on Facebook, and yet I entered one. I supported something that I quite often rant against rather loudly.

In short, I’m a hypocrite.

Oh, and my hypocrisy gets worse. I often spend a lot of time ranting against Klout and their claim to be “the standard of influence”. You see, I’m not convinced that influence can be measured in any real meaningful way, at least not in the aggregate, the way Klout does it. I hate Klout. I don’t like what they stand for, and really dislike what I believe is the blatant wrongheadedness of their approach.

But unlike my friend Danny Brown, I have not opted out of Klout. I haven’t deleted my account. I’m still there.


Not because I care about my score (which has been taking a bit of a swan dive lately), but for one reason and one reason only:

I like free stuff

Yup, I’m still on Klout because I want the rewards without fully playing the game. I love to see what sorts of Klout Perks I’ll be offered, in hopes that some of them will actually be worthwhile. More often than not, they aren’t, and give me further evidence that Klout is Klueless. But, there are a few decent perks in the mix. To date, here are a few of the more interesting perks I’ve been rewarded, some of which I’ve claimed, and some of which I’ve ignored:

  • A 4-piece wine set (corkscrew, etc) from Bing with a $10 gift card – I don’t drink. Period. But the wine set is actually kind of nice and we used the gift card to buy groceries.
  • A number of books and e-books – most of which don’t interest me and I haven’t read.
  • A set of business cards from MOO – which I claimed, but haven’t used yet. I think they are sitting in a drawer somewhere.
  • Free samples of a specialty instant iced tea – which really wasn’t all that good, and certainly won’t replace my home brewed sweet tea.
  • Early access to a number of social networks/platforms – I’ve checked them out and I have zero interest in any of them.
  • Some free golf balls – I don’t play golf. I don’t watch golf. I don’t talk about golf. But I claimed them because, well…they were free!
  • A gift certificate for a free lunch combo from Chili’s – Free food? Heck yes. Claimed this the other day.
  • Some kind of Axe hair spiking gel – which definitely speaks to my condition as a 50-year old guy…And, yes, I claimed this one, but I had my reasons for that…
  • Discounts at various online shopping venues – some of which I claimed, others I passed on. None of which I’ve used. Yawn.
  • Free Mike’s on the Rocks T-shirt – again, I don’t drink and don’t generally promote alcohol, but I claimed it.
  • Various Red Bull items including their magazine – no thanks. I hate Red Bull, so why keep offering me their stuff?

So while there have been a few useful items in the mix, most of what Klout offers me is useless and not appropriate for me. Yet I’m still there. For me, since I don’t take Klout seriously, I’m just there for the free stuff. I’ll continue doing what I’m doing online, without giving Klout any thought, until I’m notified of a perk, which I may or may not claim. I still really don’t like Klout and what it stands for, so I’ll keep badmouthing them while claiming my free goodies.

So, yes. Do as I say, not as I do.

I’m a hypocrite.

In fact, I just entered another contest on Facebook, a photo caption contest, that is also a violation of Facebook’s TOS. It’s on a friend’s business page, but I won’t name any names…

And the original Facebook contest I entered earlier this week, despite my misgivings? I won, and they announced it to the world. Way to make me look bad!

But, I’ll suck it up and claim my prize.

I have met my Pho, and it is mine…







  1. […] I continue to take Klout perks when offered? You bet! But it’s all a game that’s waiting to be gamed. It has no […]

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