Do We Really Need an Embarrassing Facebook Photo to Complete Our To Do List?

5 years ago

Listen, I get it.  I am the queen of good to do list intentions.  I have twenty open projects all happening at once, and some of them don't get completed.  At least, they don't get completed in any reasonable amount of time. (For instance, if I finally finish my daughter's scarf, I shouldn't get accolades at this point because the yarn has been mid-stitch for two years running.)  I sometimes need a hard deadline in place to make sure that things move off the to do list.

But even I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around Aherk, the social media embarrassment tool which will light a fire under your bum by posting a mortifying picture to your Facebook account if the task isn't completed in time.

This is how it works: you tell Aherk your goal and the deadline.  Then you upload an embarrassing picture of yourself that will be posted to Facebook if you fail to meet that goal.  But this is the worst part: even if you say you completed your goal, your Facebook friends get to vote on whether or not you really met your goal in time.  If you've friended a bunch of jerks who want to see a compromising picture, they can vote that you didn't complete your goal and Aherk will upload the picture.  So the message here is to make sure you only friend people who truly have your back.  Or choose a picture you would have posted anyway.

Aherk has noticed this problem with their set up and responded in their feedback section:

You’re right – this has been a major concern from a lot of prospective users.

We have been aware of this issue since before launch but felt that the peer-pressure side of Aherk! would be well served if we stuck with the “one Facebook friend, one vote” approach. Such approach is also harmonious with the obvious “humorous” tone of the service.

And I guess that's where Aherk and I differ: the word "humourous."  I don't see embarrassing yourself publicly (or having your "friends" embarrass you publicly) humourous.  That could be a statement about my age; I have seen the way poor choices in social media can end up having a domino effect in your face-to-face world, including the work place.

To me, social media is about being social.  Being social means being non-combative and non-malicious, since communication can't thrive in that sort of environment.  We've already seen the damage that angry words in a Facebook status or blog comment box can do to a relationship offline.  I'm not sure we need to now start adding in more negative layers to social media such as embarrassment.

Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned self-motivation?  The sort where you don't need an Internet connection in order to goad yourself to complete things?  Are we going to lose the skill of self-motivation in the same way that we worry that teens are not learning face-to-face communication skills due to all the time they spend online?  And once we lose those skills as a generation, how will we relearn them, or access them without an Internet connection?

What do you think?  Would you use Aherk to motivate yourself, or are you going to use the existence of the site as a reminder that you should really get off social media for a few hours and finish your to do list?

Photo Credit: Share via Shutterstock.

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.

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