Promises and Nonesense

Promises and Nonesense

Promises and Nonesense

Promises, promises, promises. You can have empty promises. You can have broken promises. You can have well meaning but impossible promises. You can have hand on heart promises. You can have life changing promises. I could go on Baskin Robins style until I hit 31 types of promises, but for now I’m going to focus on life changing promises. In particular one I have made to myself so I don’t end up making an empty slash broken promise to other people.

Before I get to this promise and potentially bore the shit out of you, I thought I should try and make this blog entry interesting by drawing any parallels I could with famous people who have promised too much, or made ridiculous and clearly undeliverable promises. My sole intention of writing this piece is to present something a little more light hearted than my last few blog entries, so when I typed “famous people who promised too much” into Google I was hoping to find some decent material to draw from.

Yeah right. Google knows my search history, and the algorithms they run know me better than my own mind. I mean, I have worked in the data side of marketing for 30 odd years so I shouldn’t be surprised by this. I know how powerful data is and how it can be used to influence actions. Whether or not this is shifting the course of a General Election or getting me to buy a particular make and model of car, these days data can influence just about anything. I didn’t think it could alter the content of my blog entry – but it has.

How did it do this? By presenting me with other things that I could also be searching for. From “famous people who promised too much” I was offered up:

  1. Famous broken promises in history
  2. Celebrities who died from depression
  3. Famous promises in history
  4. Celebrities with depression and anxiety
  5. Politicians false promises
  6. Election promises examples
  7. Famous promises in movies
  8. Government promises broken

Now, we started off on track with #1 above – I might get some decent content from that one, but content derived from #2 isn’t going to provide a whole load of belly laughs. Yes we’re back on track with #3, but no – we’re being steered back in the wrong direction again with #4. I’m going to stop here, because having worked in data for way too long that I care to remember, I know that saying 50% of the top 4 alternate Google searches were not related to my original search, but to other things I had searched for historically sounds way better than 25% of the top 8 alternate searches.

I completely understand where these results are coming from, I mean I have bipolar so I search for these sorts of things on a regular basis when trying to learn and understand more about the condition I live with, but I don’t want to be reminded about it all the time.

To be fair, Google does have the “Report inappropriate predictions” option so you can fine tune things, and more than that the ability to Google far outweighs anything negative that it can also do.

I can’t really say that I wasn’t recently reminded that I am bipolar, as I’ve just sat down to update my bipolar blog, but that’s not the point. What if I was trying to forget about being slightly different for a while and wanted a comical response to be offered by Google? Can we not have a filter for that please? I mean you offer an “Incognito” mode for people who are trying to keep things from their partners, or for people who think somehow this is the entrance to the dark web where they can search for inappropriate content they wouldn’t want the police to see, so why not have a “Happy” mode where all depressing shit is filtered out as much as possible. Or an “Intellectual” mode where all the junk content from the web is filtered out so that you always learn something new – that would be cool.

Anyway Google, thanks for not offering me up any cheery content to draw from. You completely screwed the start of my blog entry.

So in light of the fact that I have nothing funny to write about, I should really get back to the promise I made. Well, to be honest it wasn’t a single promise, but a number of smaller promises that were all aimed at the same outcome: Not failing with my fundraising, and returning myself to being the rock of my family. Some may say you should swap the r for a c though. To be honest that is quite funny.

Some of the promises I made (more or less) were:

  1. To get fit enough to run a marathon
  2. To not put up my fundraising page about said marathon until I knew I was in the right mind-set to push my limits without damaging my mental health
  3. To always keep a new challenge in my diary to have a target to aim for

These are proving to be life changing for me. I feel better right now than I have for years.

The other promises I made that I am never going to tell anyone about are:

  1. To get a six pack by next summer (or at least as close I can get to one at 51)
  2. To allow my fantastic personal trainer Jackie to use ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of me on her social media presence

Now the first set of promises I haven’t really got a problem with. But the last two mean that I am going to have to work incredibly hard over the next 9 months to transform myself from Sheriff Fatman to Bruce Wayne (quote taken from The Happy Mondays).

Now this is what I started with in March/April this year so I’ve quite a way to go:

The second to last one does make me sound a little vain, or it would have if we were living in 1982, but these days it’s ok for a man to want to be beach body ready. There’s nothing vain about that. Oh come on, stop judging me – I want to look good for my wife. And that last bit is why this promise is ok – it is for me and my wife, I’m not going to put up pictures of me with my top off on the internet, that would just be weird. Why would I do that?

But now I’ve just had an ‘oh shit’ moment. My wife knows the context, so saying that I’ve promised to send a woman I’ve only ever talked to on the internet topless photos of myself isn’t that alarming. It is, however, quite embarrassing. Well it will be if I don’t get a six pack. Oh God what have I done!

That’s not where I expected this blog entry to go.


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