Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of winnowing – trying to separate the good stuff from the bad. Wheat from the chaff if you will.
Winnowing is the word used to describe the process for separating the grain from the chaff, once it has been loosened in the threshing process. I believe it comes from the old English word ‘windwian’ – using wind to separate mixtures.
Chaff is the husk surrounding a seed. Part of the grain that is thrown away. Because it is light, the use of air will help blow the chaff away and the heavier grain will be left behind. It’s a labour intensive process. Maybe you’ve seen photos of people in developing countries with their winnowing forks tossing straw into the air with the chaff flying off into the sky. Mechanised farming methods make use of combine harvesters to speed the process along, enabling huge areas to be planted and then harvested with threshing and winnowing combined as part of the process.
It’s always a challenge in the social media world – discerning information, people and motives- especially in the current climate.
Somewhat naively I thought when I set up a Public Facebook account to promote myself as an author that people who sent friend requests had looked at my profile, liked what they read and were interested in connecting. After all, that’s what I would do.
But apparently not – it seems that many are simply trying to bolster their ‘friend’ numbers.
Others are looking for support for their own business interests – either to like their page or send a message to promote their particular product.
There’s been an explosion of requests from very good looking males who probably don’t realise their profiles have been misappropriated for ‘catfishing’ attempts.
No, I don’t want to video call people I have just meet or subscribe to WhatsApp to keep in touch with these ‘friends’.
Yes, this pandemic is tough on many people, but no, I’m not going to be sending finances to people in Africa I know only from a ‘friend’ request. I have supported and will continue to support people I know and have met personally and have built a relationship with or organisations I trust– that I am confident will use the money I give appropriately.
I’m finding I have to make judgement calls. It’s not easy and some wheat grains turn out to be chaff after all – they just needed a more discerning wind to blow through. Often I don’t make the right call.
It’s a time consuming task.
If only there was a combine harvester for social media to speed up the process!