You Need Kibbles for Your Pet Peeves?

Telling others they’re doing it wrong must be the world’s oldest hobby. Bloggers have raised it to an art form, “Liked,” shared, and re-tweeted around the world a hundred times. I’m not about to quibble with Mitch Mitchell’s “9 Things People Do Wrong On Social Media” – I agree with most of them! – but I’m going to add that as #10.

Someone once said, “If a person is determined to go to Hell in a handbasket, the least you can do is help them pick out a niceΒ handbasket.” Half the fun of blogging is trying things – you know, throwing posts and plug-ins up against the wall like spaghetti to see if they stick. Those 9 things may be Mitch’s pet peeves, but my #1 is cookie-cutter, bland, boring blogs that follow a “proven formula” for success. Half the time, I don’t think those bloggers would know what success looked like if it sneaked up and bit ’em on the behind.

For all the talk of “success” and what you must and must not do, there’s precious little talk about what “success” might look like or whyΒ most bloggers are just chasing their tails, posting posts that will never gain traction in the marketplace of ideas. Without that traction, there’s no building a sizable readership, and without a sizable readership, there’s probably just not that much happening on the business front. And if you’re chasing your tail but not much is happening, it can’t be that much fun – so there goes the last reasonable reason to be on social media in the first place. Fun.

Before you can do anything “right” on social media, you have to know why you’re there at all. A few reasons I can think of:

  • All your family is there, and none of them even own a landline anymore. Half have “gone off the grid” and power their internet connection with solar panels or a tinfoil antenna hat. It’s the only way you’ll ever find out what your great-uncle Bob is up to, these days.
  • Most of your friends are there. You can regale them with exciting tales of your trip to Aruba without ever having to go to Aruba – hell, you don’t even have to get dressed and leave the house. With enough imagination, originality, and storytelling prowess, you could travel around the world in 80 days – just have Amazon Prime Now deliver food to your doorstep, and you can hide out at home while being the envy of all your friends on Facebook.
  • You heard that social media was a great way to make money in your sleep. Ever since being turned down for that six-month NASA sleep study, you’ve been looking for a way to supplement your meager income while (literally) dreaming of a better life.
  • You have your very own products or services to sell.
  • You like to write. You really just want to combine “journaling” with “exhibitionism” in a socially accepted medium.
  • You’re just there for the popcorn and the peanut gallery (be sure to wash your eyes out with soap after reading the comments section of any major media outlet).
  • You’re really into Candy Crush. Or Pinching Pirates. Or Slap the Nose on the Elephant. And it gives you a little passive-aggressive joy to pretend you don’t know your request for sugar-hammers, gold doubloons, peanuts, and thumbtacks is going out to all your friends who’ve threatened to unfriend anyone sending them game requests on Facebook. Because you know they’re secretly playing, too, and they’re still three levels behind you. They won’t dare unfriend you, lest you out them to all their friends who claim they’re not playing games.
  • You like to write and you have a product to sell. (Shout out to all my author friends!)
  • You want to tell everyone they’re doing it wrong.

If we listed all the ways people are “doing it wrong” on the Internet, we’d be here till 2028. By then, they’d have come up with a few more. “Right” is whatever works for you, but that depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. For example, if the goal is to dominate the no-niche niche and annoy Mitch, I’m crushin’ it right about now.

Pet peeves are like Tribbles: they’re trouble by the trillions. Petco doesn’t sell food for peeves, and you’ll find them slithering around the back of your closet with the moths, gnawing holes in your good wool suit. They’re hard to kill and thoroughly unlovable; you won’t find the ASPCA or PETA knocking down your door if you abandon your pet peeves along the road, and most people have enough of their own they’re not likely to fall for your peeves’ ugly mugs and take them home. They might hitch a ride on some unsuspecting stranger’s back, like a mangy monkey. If you let them breed, you’re probably stuck with them; like rabid chickens, you can drop them off in the next state, but they’ll always come home to roost. Best to starve them by crowding them out with gratitude and a spotlight on all the things you’re happy about.





Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at For more information on her children's books, please visit
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18 thoughts on “You Need Kibbles for Your Pet Peeves?”

  1. OK, that was too funny! I almost canned, speaking of pet food, my Facebook page last week. But my faithful few followers weren’t happy about that. So, I learned all about creating a 1500 banned word list, instead. But Mitch had a lot of helpful tips, and I appreciate that. Thanks for giving us the bait: You led me right to him! By the way, I published my first freelance piece about a month ago! I’m still glowing, but working like heck to get more gigs πŸ™‚ I appreciate the tips, Mitch. And Holly, thanks for smile.

    1. Wait, what? You can make a naughty words filter for Facebook? (Are you talking about that Facebook Purity thing Mitch keeps trying to talk me into trying?)

      This could explain why no one’s reading my Facebook posts, lately. 1500 words? Laura, that exceeds the total vocabulary of about 1/3 of the world’s adult population!

      I made that statistic up, by the way, but I’m pretty sure I nailed it, +/- 19%.

      Have I mentioned, lately, that math and faith in my fellow man are NOT real high on my skills lists? (Math is somewhat lower, actually, than faith in my fellow man – maybe, oh, something on an order of magnitude of 12.)

      I’m glad this post led you to Mitch. πŸ™‚ (See, Mitch? It wasn’t just to tweak your nose and run away laughing! I sent you real reader-people!!!)
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…Cowgirls Don’t Scare Off Easy!My Profile

  2. Well, you picked on me but also sent me a visitor; the benefits are in my favor. πŸ™‚

    Actually, over the years I’ve written a lot of posts about people writing bland blogs and copying exactly what someone else is saying or doing. It might have been early last year on the year before when I called someone out and you said… oh wait, you didn’t see it:

    On your one point near the end about people needing to know why they’re on social media… I’m thinking they already know why “they’re” on; they might want to know why others are on. That’s what you covered; I’m betting it illuminates a lot of points many people never thought about.

    Time for lunch lol

    1. I’m really not convinced most of them know why they’re on! This might make for an interesting study… seriously, I think there are a number of people who hear, “You should try blogging. I hear you can make some money with that!” and they go, “Oh, okay, cool!” and they figure out how to start a blog, then someone says, “But you need to PROMOTE it, or you can’t make any money with it!” so they get on social media and “promote” the heck out of it. Only they still don’t know why they’re there, beyond some vague concept of “you can make money if you have a blog.” They have no product, no particular strategy, just some vague and aimless sense that there are pennies falling from the sky, through their blog, onto their laps. Only it doesn’t happen that way. Not really. So they either abandon the whole thing and get a job in fast food, or they keep slogging away, wondering what they’re doing wrong, chasing their tails with all the suggestions on how to “be more social” or whatever, and spending $474 on some wealth system, only to find out the only way to make any money at that is to join the pyramid and sell the “wealth system.” Back to square one, because if they’d had any skill selling in the first place, they’d probably be selling cars or houses and not shady “wealth systems” on the Internet.

      And then there are people on social media who really just want to be sociable – they are the customer. Their wants and needs are generally roundly ignored by everyone but the big retailers who wouldn’t BE big retailers if they didn’t already have a bit of a clue what they’re doing or know how to find expert consultants. When it comes to all the hucksters hawking their wares on the Internet, these folks mostly just want to be left alone!

      And you know I only “pick on you” because you’re a good sport and I have the best of motives (like sending readers your way). It’s not my style to just rubber stamp everything in the blogosphere. πŸ˜‰
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…You Need Kibbles for Your Pet Peeves?My Profile

      1. Still, the examples you used above shows us that people do know why they’re on social media… at least initially. To make money, to be sociable, to know what’s going on… no one just falls down and ends up on social media lol

    2. BTW, being somewhat better at spam prevention than you are (apparently) I do actually allow regular commenters to leave a link or two in comments. I think you’ve passed the threshold of trust, there, so next time go ahead and leave the whole link, so I can just click it. Because I’m lazy. And I trust you not to leave spammy links. Which is more than you trust me, I guess…
      HollyJahangiri recently posted…I Never Said That! #FridayReflectionsMy Profile

    3. I was looking for a way to disable ALL comments on Facebook. I’m not good at the moderator thing. When I realized how much time I was spending agonizing over my Facebook page comment section, I decided one of us had to change and that it probably wasn’t going to be me. So I did a Google search and found a post with a list that you can copy and paste into the “words not allowed” section. I’m the only one who sees the comments unless I decide to unhide them. But I probably won’t do that because I don’t want to spend the time on decision making. Here’s the link:
      Laura Routh recently posted…Surferbird News-Links, 54th EditionMy Profile

      1. The link’s fine! I was just telling Mitch, once you’ve earned the ability to leave a link in comments here, I trust you to act like a responsible adult about it. πŸ™‚ I’d rather have a useful link in comments than vague instructions to google it or half a link I have to copy and paste. πŸ™‚ I just don’t welcome spammy or fraudulent links, but you’d never leave those here!

  3. I’m using it mostly as a feed for my blog posts and other news that resonates with my followers. I seriously thought about unpublishing the page, but it’s the only way some followers view my posts. πŸ™‚ I’m a strange one, I am–sensory overload.

    1. As long as you actually have followers that get their links there. It’s odd, but at least there’s SOMETHING social. Most would have a hard time getting enough followers there, without some personal interaction, to bother! I was just laughing because you’ve never struck me as someone who couldn’t moderate a forum, but I get the “sensory overload” and you do what’s best for YOU – nothing worse than trying to “keep up with the Joneses” on all these social media platforms when it’s driving you batty or your heart’s just not in it. (I, for instance, will never understand Snapchat and can’t work up enough give-a-damn to figure out how it might be useful either as a social media playground OR a marketing venue! But I know people who LOVE it. They get it, they can have fun with it. More power to them!)

  4. The advantage of having a blog is to do it YOUR way. Then readers have the option to do it THEIR way, and vote with their fingers if they don’t like your posts.

    I don’t have that many readers and followers, but I have a bunch – and so far someone reads my posts, and I get a little internet conversation, so I’m good.

    It hasn’t led to huge fiction sales, but I do have a few of what I can only describe as members of my tribe waiting for Book 2, so I’m writing away for others as well as myself.

    It’s an odd business, this writing thing.
    Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt recently posted…Side Effects: the dark side of medicinesMy Profile

    1. Count me among those waiting for the next book! (But enjoying the guilty pleasures of our conversations – guilty because I know they take away from your writing time and energy, but I selfishly enjoy them.)

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