So a week ago, I asked you to participate in a fundraising event in which I spared you from the guilt trip of asking you for money. Instead, I promised to give away my own money in proportion to how much you helped to inflate my ego by subscribing to my RSS feed or following my Twitter account.
Kind of like those emails that say Bill Gates will donate money if you forward them. Only this one was real.
I gave you a week, so that news of my good deed would spread far and wide and everyone would have a chance to let themselves be counted.
One week later, here are the results: The number of Twitter followers has gone from 3,816 to 3,854, an increase of 38. Subscribers to my RSS feed haven’t changed, and could possibly have even declined.
So my grand total to be given to charity, under the generous formula I set, would have been $38. Enough for a family of four to … have dinner at a McDonald’s.
Seriously? I can’t get you lazy bums to do something as effortless as hit “follow” or “subscribe” even if I’m paying for you to do it? At that rate, I’d wonder if you’d even remember to breathe if there wasn’t an unconscious brain function that forces your lungs to expand and contract. What do I have to do, deliver a pizza? Show you porn?
Look, I know, lots of people already follow me, and not everyone has more than 3,000 Twitter followers. Well, I’m not everyone. My extended family (which includes a lot of those aunts whose sole purpose in life is to initiate awkward converstaion) thinks I’m some sort of Internet superstar, and my attempts to dissuade them of that notion are interpreted as false modesty, which only makes it worse. Put simply: I have a reputation to build, and such a piss-poor participation rate in a yearly charity exercise is embarrassing. Like a reader poll that only gets two responses.
And if those great aunts stop believing in the legend of Fagstein, they’ll move on to even more uncomfortable questions, like wondering why I’m not married and don’t have kids yet.
So you know what? Screw it. Screw the whole formula. Screw the “subscription challenge” and counting Twitter followers like some narcissistic douche.
The Gazette Christmas Fund is getting a cool $1,000 from me this holiday season, which will be used to write eight cheques for $125 each to families in need. And I’m not going to put something like “on behalf of Fagstein readers” as the name that goes on that list of donors, because you had nothing to do with it. If you couldn’t care enough about these families to even get off your ass and setup a few hundred fake Twitter accounts to follow me with, then you don’t deserve to be associated with this donation in any way.
You want to make Christmas brighter for someone, you’re going to have to do it with your own money this time.
That is, except for the 38 new Twitter subscribers. To you, I thank you from the bottom of my ever-expanding credit card balance.
To the rest of you, you can all go to hell.