Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Tip Jar

No, no no - I am not about to tell you that I have put up a tip jar icon on my blog. I would rather work at 7-Eleven, Home Depot or McDonald's before lining my pockets with money I begged for or put out a virtual tip jar to receive funds. Don't get me wrong, I accept donations for good causes and also donate to good causes. I see nothing questionable about that type of donation if on the up and up. That money is not for me, or for the others collecting it; it goes to the good cause - like the donations that were collected and used for the Soldiers' Care Packages. I do have a bit of difficulty understanding the whole concept of virtual tip jars through which bloggers expect to get money to put in their own pockets and then to spend on themselves as if someone tipped them for doing a good job. It is about those, the virtual tip jars you see on the sites of many bloggers that I have questions.

Someone please tell me - what is it that compels so many bloggers to place a 'tip jar' donation icon on their blogs? Do they expect that some multimillionaire will take a fancy to their writing and throw them a bone - a really big bone like on the old TV show -
The Millionaire? Or is it that they think they are writers of great worth and their readers will take it upon themselves to channel money to the bloggers as if they were preachers at Sunday meeting who just gave a bang-up sermon? Maybe it is that they are poor and need the cash but refuse to come right out and ask for it - point blank. Of course, I guess it could be a joke too, maybe the icons don't even work or maybe they do not really expect anyone to donate. Then again, maybe some take any donations they receive and send them to charity. I suppose they could have other reasons too but I just don't get it.

I guess I don't get it mostly because I cannot believe any blogger really has the nerve to expect anyone to donate to them (but apparently they really do have the audacity). I also find it hard to believe that people fill the tip jars, so to speak, but my guess is that at least some must throw something into them now and again - otherwise why are the tip jars so popular! I mean do these bloggers with tip jars really need the money or is it just greed or something else? Heck, most of the bloggers I have seen, with a tip jar icon, blog about their jobs, their spouses' jobs, their kids, their houses, their cars and trucks, their numerous firearms, their pets, their toys, their hobbies, their travels and vacations and so on. There is only one blogger whose site I visit regularly who is probably really in financial duress and that person and that person's family are working hard to make ends meet; I figure it is pretty humbling for that blogger to have put a tip jar link on the blog. All the others though, well, they just seem to be shameless beyond my comprehension in that they would ask for donations and they already have and live the good life and blog about it often. So why is it they put a tip jar donation icon on their sites?

Maybe it is just my upbringing that makes me feel the way I do about this whole tip jar thing. When was young, we were fairly poor to lower middle class at various times (and I mean food stamps and stand in line for the cheese poor to lower middle class at times) but we made due because my mom worked at us making it. She also taught us that we had to work for what we would get. Now, I am not saying she would turn away good fortune. She got a nice inheritance later in her life but she would never be so unabashed as to go out begging and put out her hand for a handout all the while as she enjoyed luxuries. She would only seek help if the bad times were overwhelming and she needed help badly for the family's sake. What I mean is, even when we took food stamps or the free cheese or the free butter they doled out, we only took the minimum to make it and only took it when we needed it during bad times. The thing is though, we worked our way out of it and got back to the point where we did not have need to ask ever again (thank the heavens for that so far).

That does not seem to be the case with these bloggers who are seeking tips in the virtual tip jars that are always open. To me it seems these bloggers are, for the most part, akin to street beggars whom I sometimes see wearing nicer clothing than me while they brazenly beg from me while so dressed. Of course, I am open to all explanations that may convince me otherwise because it is certainly a phenomenon that I apparently do not understand. You tell me, convince me that it is something other than just shamelessly seeking handouts, something I am just not seeing amid all the glitz and luxury they blog about on their personal computers, laptops, or i-Phones. Man, I really don't get it - how can someone have all that and ask for more, for nothing?

Mind you, I really am not judging anyone else on this issue. I am not saying it is good or bad, I am neutral on it when it comes to whether or not others want to do it. It definitely is not right for me and that is as far as I will go to make a statement as to it being right or wrong. Others have to decide for themselves it it is right or wrong for them. It baffles me though as to why folks do it and I am curious about it and I am hopeful someone can explain it to me.

All the best,
Glenn B