#80 Live Edits - The Everyone Wants to Help Effect
Sharing a revised version of an earlier draft, including editing feedback.
I wrote a post yesterday about an Internet phenomena called The Everyone Wants to Help Effect (TEWHE). I submitted the post for editing and, today, I thought it would be helpful to share the feedback for my readers who are also writers. Or for anyone else who may be interested in how the sausage is made.
If you didn’t read yesterday’s post, no worries. Scroll down to the bottom of this post to read the better, revised version.
Thank you to Minnow Park and Sam Houghton from Foster for their feedback.
The structure of a nonfiction piece is really important. Each sentence and paragraph must take the reader on a journey through a story that builds on itself.
My first draft needed structural changes. With the comments that I received from my editors, I came up with a small outline that includes an introduction, three ideas, and a conclusion. I also added a personal story and section headings.
What is TEWHE? An Internet phenomenon caused by the behaviors of online friend collectors.
Who are online friend collectors? Similar to real world friend collectors, they are people who use others for personal gains.
Add a hook.
People who display TEWHE borrow their manipulation tactics from door-to-door salespeople and kidnappers who lead with a sweet offer.
Unsolicited help is an invasion, permeating LinkedIn and Twitter.
On LinkedIn, the armpit of professional networks, spammers & friend collectors invade your inbox offering you boilerplate pitches or useless software.
On Twitter, spammers and friend collectors will tweet about job opportunities.
Share personal story about my job search and first-hand experience with TEWHE
Describe the character of friend collectors
Friend collectors are people who play the short-term ephemeral game of chest-puffing and vanity metrics.
They are selfishly satisfying a personal unmet need —to feel important and wanted— helping no one, other than themselves.
Friend collection is not an authentic way of being — online or in the real-world.
Authentic relationships require time and energy. Friend collectors are always too busy. They end up bopping around from ‘friend’ to ‘friend’, checking the interaction off their to-do list, while planning the next best thing.
Don’t pollute your life with friend collectors who spread TEWHE
Instead, consciously focus on nurturing quality relationships with people who actually care about your needs.
I observed an Internet phenomena called The Everyone Wants to Help Effect (TEWHE).
The phenomena is caused by the actions of people who are friend collectors.
Friend collectors are an invasive online species, with roots that stem to the real-world. They borrow their manipulation techniques from door-to-door salespeople and child kidnappers who lead with an offering, like a sweet “deal”, candy or cookies. On the Internet, friend collectors may lead with a “sweet” job opportunity.
TEWHE permeates social media, particularly LinkedIn —the armpit of professional networks, where in lieu of a membership fee, users pay for strong deodorant to fend off solicitors.
The Everyone Wants to Help Effect — on Social Media
Unsolicited help is a nuisance at its best, and an invasion at its worst.
On LinkedIn, TEWHE shows up as people who vehemently send spam messages with pitches about their boilerplate company or useless software. They make a false assumption, with little to no evidence, that you have a problem, and they’re just the person to swoop in and fix it.
Twitter has a stronger spam filter for direct messages than LinkedIn. So people on Twitter have found novel ways to manipulate others and spread TEWHE.
A friend collector’s Tweet will say something like this:
Hey Twitter, my company is running an experiment to better match people with jobs. Send me a DM [direct message] and I will help you!
I have noticed Tweets like this over the last few weeks, as I have been publicly looking for a job. People in my network have been gullibly sharing these Tweets with me, in an honest attempt to help, however, not understanding what is TEWHE.
In order to test my hypothesis about TEWHE, I decided to DM four people who tweeted something like the above tweet.
I did not hear back —not even once.
Ploys like this one intend to manipulate vulnerable people who are looking for work. They are written by online friend collectors —people who are playing the short-term ephemeral game of chest-puffing and vanity metrics. They are selfishly satisfying a personal unmet need —to feel important and wanted— helping no one, other than themselves.
It’s not an authentic way of being —online or in the real-world.
Authentic Relationships Require Time and Energy
Authentic relationships require time and energy.
Friend collectors are always too busy. They end up bopping around from ‘friend’ to ‘friend’, checking the interaction off their to-do list, while planning the next best thing.
John Lennon said it well:
Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.
The Internet is full of friend collectors who invasively spread TEWHE. You can spot these people as “helpful strangers,” but be cautious. Friend collectors are nice on the surface, but underneath this icing is their own agenda.
Don’t pollute your life with friend collectors. Instead, consciously focus on nurturing quality relationships with people who actually care about your needs. When they offer their help, it’s because they actually have the knowledge, resources, and good intentions to help you.