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Why Hubbers Hub: Dark Secrets Revealed !
Why do Hubbers Hub? Most of us earn little or nothing from our hours of tapping out comments, asking and answering questions, thinking about, researching, and finally writing Hubs. Since I haven’t noticed any guns to my head lately, I’m forced to acknowledge that I—and many others—choose to spend this inordinate amount of time Hubbing, when we could be making love, planting roses, playing with the kids/grandkids, or walking in the crisp Fall air. Then there’s what my wife affectionately calls the Spousal Flack Utterance Tactic (affectionately called SFUT, and always spat out (with lots of spray) simultaneous with her saying the word “Hub”. So it comes out "Hub-SFUT", with a vigorous spasmodic forward and downward jerk of her head. SFUT, I’m pleased to say, comes into play only rarely and only when we’ve run out of coffee and wine.
Before getting into the juicy bits about why Hubbers Hub, let us define the activity in appropriately generic (i.e. vague & meaningless) terms: a Hub is a brief form of one-dimensional written electronic communication on any topic imaginable, authored by one person and literally available to everyone in the world with access to the Internet . The author can be completely anonymous, if he/she wishes, and manufacture a fictional location, if he/she wishes., or no location at all. One can make money from Hubs—if advertisers really like your stuff—but no one is going to pay off the mortgage, take a trip around the world, or buy a loaded Lexus on their Hub earnings.
So we begin our list of reasons for Why Hubberss Hub by eliminating Monetary Gain. Herewith the never-before-revealed Dark Secrets that motivate Hubbers to Hub:
1. ABSOLUTE ANONYMITY
Who is that masked man? A Hubber can post a picture of the Mona Lisa as a young dog, name themselves Rampant Poofle or Fiddlehead Blob or Rifle Glack, create a Profile that is a hodgepodge of nuclear scientist and worm farm aficionado crossed with poodle groomer, and start posting Hubs about Managing Your Peonies. No one need know your real identity, if you want to keep it secret. For some Hubbers, this cloak of personal secrecy frees them from stress, eradicates performance anxiety (very enticing for certain males), and stimulates creativity. At the end of the day (hey! no one can chastise you for clichés!), the Real You is protected from attack, ‘cause the Real You doesn’t exist, if you don’t want it to!
2. SOCIALLY ACCEPTABLE ADDICTION
Hubbers can become compulsive, irresponsible internet junkies who could no more put in a day—in extreme cases, an hour—without checking their Hub-mail, than they could give up breathing or eating. “I’m just checking my e-mail, Sweetheart,” they declare, their voices taking on the mantra-like drone of a remote-controlled robot. Three hours later, they emerge from their computer lairs, eyes puffy but jubilant with successful Hubbing.
Now, we need to examine this behaviour more closely. Because this behaviour is not
- fed to the ponies or the blackjack table, rather than the family
- shot in the arm
- snorted up the nose, or
- guzzled down the throat
—it’s okay! “I don’t see that much of George anymore,” explains the beleaguered wife, “he spends a lot of time on the internet.” That same wife hasn’t had a conversation with George in a year, has to yell at him to get the simplest household repair done, and is spending altogether too much time with a neighbour who is eagerly seeing to certain of her other needs. But all of this is okay—George is just checking his e-mail, right?
3. ONE-DIMENSIONAL BEING
Hubbers are delusional human entities. In reality we are all nothing more than words on a screen. As time passes and posts accumulate rapidly, we develop affection and respect for this or that Hubber—perhaps even contempt for another—and because each one-dimensional entity identifies itself with a “name”, we delude ourselves that we “know a person” called “X”. But we do not. We know only the words that the full-bodied person behind the words has chosen to reveal. "But," you counter, "I’ve never met the author of my favourite murder mysteries either, so what’s the difference?" The difference is that the author has an identity and an address. You could go meet him/her, have a coffee with them, get to know them, or you could meet them publicly at a book-signing. True—but Hubbers rarely meet to have that cup of coffee. You can’t have coffee with words.
4. PAINLESS, FREE “PUBLISHING”
For an unknown or little-known writer, publishing an article, a poem, a book, the conventional way is an arduous process. You have to study publishing guidelines, submit manuscripts, deal with rejections, re-submit, re-submit, re-submit, and probably work through an Agent— IF you can find one to take you on. Arduous. But with HubPages, you fill the capsules with your writing and when you’re done, hit the “PUBLISH” button at the top of the screen and: instantly, millions of people have access to your work. Egad! What uncensored POWER is at your fingertips! “Hey guys! At noon today I was a carpenter, but now I’m a published author!” It’s that easy. Now, unfortunately, if you’re a crappy writer with nothing to say anyway, and the little you DO say is the product of fraudulent research and shoddy reasoning, you will get found out and the self-regulating Hub community will soon get rid of you. But for that wonderful moment, you can live the delusion that millions (potentially) were actually reading your drivel.
5. A SORT-OF CONCLUSION
Now, like most bits of light humour, this little journey is based on some hard facts. I’ll take the easy way out and let you, my discriminating fellow-Hubbers, draw on your own Hubbing experience to sort out the foundation facts from the fanciful exaggerations. The vast majority of Hubs are written by responsible people (hmm—amend that to word-makers) who do careful research and write interesting pieces that stimulate us to continue as contributing Hubbers. It’s fun. It’s informative. It’s a healthy ego-builder. But it is ALSO an addictive, potentially selfish pastime that can challenges relationships and probably should be confined to retirees, the independently wealthy, and cabin-dwellers in isolated locations. But we all know that won’t wash—so carry on Hubbers! If it’s this much damn fun, it can only be good.
But do keep a close eye on virile neighbours that seem to be hanging around your place a lot. . . .