Currently Uber Popular Status Update Phrases: Forwards About Religion, Politics, and Knowing People

You think email forwards are so 1998?  Think again.

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who constantly send email forwards and those who are annoyed by them.  Of course these days, email forwards have morphed themselves into a more relevant version- by showing up as the offender’s status update on Facebook and/or Twitter.

It’s hard to be cynical about status updates that tell you to repost if you know someone who has had some kind of sickness or disease.  There’s nothing funny about that.  Then they are the ones telling you to repost if you believe in God, are a Christian and proud of it, etc.  Next are the ones telling you to repost if you support the military.  Then it starts getting really generic… repost if you have a family member (like a brother or mom or cousin).  Or if you’re proud to be from the South.  Or if you realize that it’s okay not to like President Obama anymore and you want him out of office.  If all else fails, make your status update a forward about gas prices- because man, that’s truly original.

I guess the question is, at what point in the downward spiral of all-encompassing status update forwards is it okay to be annoyed by seeing them?  I can’t be annoyed about finding a cure for anything; that’s a given.  We all want to find a cure for all diseases in the world as we have all been affected by the loss of someone close to us.  So I’m okay with that one.  And I guess I’m not supposed to be annoyed about the “proud to be a Christian” ones, because I’m not ashamed to be a Christian- but I would be ashamed to post “I’m proud to be a Christian and if you are too then you should repost this”  as my status simply because I’m the kind of person who is annoyed by email forwards:  I’m ashamed of forwards, not my beliefs- whether they’re religious, political, or whatever.

But I think it’s okay to be annoyed by the ones about having a cousin.  And the political ones.  And definitely the ones about gas prices.

To do my part, I am sharing my current Facebook status update with everyone:

‎- Please copy and paste this as your status if you know someone, or have heard of someone who knows someone. If you don’t know anyone, or even if you’ve heard of anyone who doesn’t know anyone, then do still copy this. It’s important to spread the message, even if no one knows anything about anyone. Oh, and the hearts. ♥ ♥ ♥ For goodness sake, don’t forget the hearts. ♥ ♥

Effective Immediately: New Facebook Game- I Am Now Deleting Friends Who Complain About Monday’s

The rules:  A) You complain about Monday’s, I delete you.  B) You never complain about Monday’s, we continue to be facebook friends forever.

case of the Monday'sThere are so many tempting games available for facebook users these days. Farmville is the main one that comes to mind.  But after blocking Farmville on my facebook feed, I didn’t have to worry about it anymore.  I’m in the mood to start playing a facebook game now, however.  The thing is, I invented this game. Here’s how it works:

Anytime I see any of my facebook friends complain about Monday’s, I will immediately delete them.  There is a reason behind this.

In a time where not everyone is fortunate enough to have a job, I don’t want to hear anyone even jokingly complain how about having to go to work on Monday. Because when people whine about Monday’s, they are ultimately complaining about having to get out of bed, go to work, and get paid.  Not all of us have that option.

Just to be sure, I will delete anyone who uses any of these phrases or anything close to them:

“I got a case of the Monday’s!”

“Ugh…Monday!”

“Darn you, Monday!”

“Dear Monday, I could sure live without you!”

There are a few exceptions of people who I will not delete for complaining about Monday’s.  I have a collection of guy friends that I cyber-bully regularly.  After reading this notice, they would probably complain about Monday’s just to despite me and to test if I am serious about playing the game.  So if you are one of the following dudes, you are immune to my game.  I will not delete you just to spite you:

Ben Wilder, Jarred Johnson, Kenn Snipes, Brian Winkles, and Dave Stanley

Just so everyone is clear on the rules, I will not delete anyone for celebrating the coming of the weekend. That’s not the same as complaining about Monday, which again, alludes to whining about having a job to go to in the first place.  If you have a job, thank the good Lord for it.  Even your boss is a jerk, you hate your job, and/or your job doesn’t pay enough money.

If I delete you for complaining about Monday’s, the only way you can be welcomed back in the fold is by submitting a 200 word essay explaining why I should accept your friend request.  Bribes are encouraged.

This is an open game.  Anyone is welcome to join.

Being Down to Earth, Yet Never Really Touching the Ground: My First 10,000 Hits

Thanks for 10,000 hits.

I am not a writer who consistently relates to mainstream readers.  People have to find me here in the back corner of the Internet.  It’s because I want my writings to speak louder than me the person.  I make a point to avoid shameless promotion.  Because the way I live my life, I say if a product is worth buying or trying, it travels through word-of-mouth and that’s what leads to a solid following.

Not everyone “gets” my writing.  It’s not for everyone.  Because not everyone is in touch with their “weird side”.  But the weird side is the only side I’ve ever been on.

I write for people who space out like I do.  People who stay to watch all the credits roll after the movie is over.  For those who don’t think Dane Cook or Larry the Cable Guy are funny.

It’s not an exclusive club.  Everyone is welcome to this hideout.  But not everyone wants in.  Not everyone wants to come back.

I want to be perceived as “down to Earth” but I know I’m a little too abstract to actually be.

Just like Dexter (the fictional serial killer) has a certain code he strictly follows in the first two seasons of the show (he has to always be one step ahead, he only kills murderers, he only kills people who he has proven guilty), I have a certain code for the way I write.

My code is inspired by a book my wife got me a year ago for my birthday on how to write professionally. It helps keep focused and hopefully from sounding like I think I’m cool just because I have a website.

Now that scenicroutesnapshots.com has received its 10,000th hit this week, as a thanks to those who keep coming back, I will share my secret code.

Nick Shell’s Code of Writing:

1)     Avoid the use of the word “you” and the phrases “you know what I mean?”, “now I gotta tell you”, and “think about it”. There’s an importance of maintaining a balance of both a professional distance and a personal connection.  This is a non-fiction commentary on life, not a campy sitcom like Saved by the Bell.  Therefore, don’t break the 4th wall by talking directly and casually to the audience.

2)     Avoid using the phrases “I think”, “I feel”, “I guess” or “my opinion is”. While everything posted on the website is an educated opinion, don’t make it obvious.  Speak with authority.

3)     Avoid putting the unnecessary details of your personal life in the writing. This isn’t a reality show or facebook.  There’s no reason to list the full names of people close to me in my life or to make a habit of inserting pictures of my personal life unless it directly relates to what I am writing about.

4)     Avoid profanity. I’ve heard it said before, “If you have to curse to get someone’s attention or to get your own point across, then you need to find a way to be more creative”.  I don’t go around using “awesome” or “stupid” in every conversation, so it’s just as lame to overuse curse words.

5)     Avoid referring to the website as a “blog”. Blogs are for people still using MySpace who are stuck in 2006 or that are obsessed with facebook status updates.  I write.  I put up new posts.  I even write articles.  But I don’t have a blog.

6)     Be edgy but not controversial. There’s no need to preach about abortion or turn my website into a breeding ground for debate.  Finding ways to use the certain words  in the majority of what I write tends to give me the edge I need.

7)  Write about weird stuff but make it seem normal. Or is it more like the opposite?  Write about normal stuff and make it seem weird.  A mixture of both.  That’ll work.

8.) Find somewhat unusual pictures to integrate into the writing material, giving the reader a sense of reading a magazine article. I, for one, like cool pictures to look at while I read.  It’s a way of adding another sensory feel to the experience.

9)  Write an excessive number of posts every month. They won’t all be awesome, but it’s often the ones that I predict won’t really connect with readers that  are the ones that really do.  The more I write, the better I’ll be, and the better I’ll know how to connect to readers.