Those of you not on Facebook, rejoice - this will not apply to you. I know it's childish to complain about anything that happens on a social networking site, but I've noticed a disappointing trend and it's time that someone said what so many of us are thinking.
Most Likes contests. Who likes 'em? Not I, said... me.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not blaming the businesses. I'm blaming the people that enter the contests and don't play nice. Apparently it's too much to ask that everyone act like adults, especially when it involves free merchandise. Over the past year or two, I've been able to identify the types of people that ruin fun Facebook contests.
1. The Smear Campaign
Some people rally against others in an effort to get votes for themselves. I don't understand it, I don't even have words for it - it's low, it's dirty, it's disappointing. If you can't win on your own merits, don't enter at all. There's no reason to drag others through the dirt because they threaten your chances of winning.
2. The Bleeding Heart
Having a sad rescue story doesn't make your dog deserve to win any more than the pretty purebred dog from a breeder. There are tons of dogs with horrible beginnings - yours is not unique. You can't assume that the other dogs in the running have had an easier time than yours. So please - unless the contest is specifically geared towards rescues, don't use your dog's past as a tool to guilt people into voting for you. Even worse is when this is used to guilt the businesses running the contests into giving you the prize anyway, even if you lose. Note: A subcategory of The Bleeding Heart is The Bleeding Heart + Smearer. The BH+S not only uses their dog's sad past as a way to garner votes, but trashes other dogs in the process. "You people shouldn't vote for that ugly Aussie, it's from a stupid evil show breeder - vote for Scruffy because he's a rescue found in a trashbin!" *
3. The Hoarder
Some people get all the luck. Over and over and over again. Common courtesy... if you win something, it might be nice to let someone else win the next contest. If you win a collar, please don't enter a contest for another collar - from the same company - less than a week later. Share the wealth.
4. The Clean Sweep
Some Facebook contests have more than one winner, for more than one category. Some people enter all categories and get angry if they don't win everything. Greedy much? Share the wealth.
5. The Professional
I understand that if you have a lot of friends, it's easy to win contests that focus on the Most Likes. What I find disappointing is when these "professional contestants" enter every contest they can find and then end up with a ton of free goodies. Meanwhile, everyday pets without professional portraits and "publicists" are being left in the dust. Share the wealth.
6. The Sore Loser
This is actually a blanket category that can - and does - include categories 1 through 5. Sore losers are the worst... newsflash, you're getting something for free. You aren't paying to enter, you have no claim to the prize. Don't complain to the business if you lose - It makes you look childish, and it's poor sportsmanship.
People... this all needs to stop. It's embarrassing, and it puts the businesses in an awkward position. They're trying to do something nice for their customers, and what thanks do they get? Snarky comments and nasty accusations of "not being fair."
Businesses... it might be nice to evaluate how effective these "Most Likes" contests have become. They used to be great, but they've turned into trainwrecks. The contests that really seem to work are the ones that don't rely on Most Likes, but rather the opinions of the businesses themselves.
As for myself... you won't see me enter any Most Likes contests anymore. I haven't for awhile, but not because I'm a sore loser - I just don't like asking my friends and family to vote for my own personal gain. Besides - to date, I have actually won a few Facebook contests, and I'd like to practice what I preach. This is me, sharing the wealth. ;)
* PS - I am in no way anti-rescue. I foster, I volunteer, I transport, I donate. I have two shelter kitties, and a puppy rescued from the streets of Mexico coming home soon. I just want to make that clear.