Yesha Callahan

Social Networking Panhandling: Brother, Can You Spare A Dime? I Got Paypal!

Last week as I was walking down 5th Street in San Diego, I came across a homeless couple. Man. Woman. Maltese dog in a rain slicker. Yes, they had a Maltese dog and were panhandling on the corner. Several things ran through my mind as I passed the couple. If I were to give them money, is it going to the dog, or to them? Why won’t they just sell the dog and pocket the money? Hell, a pure breed Maltese could easily net someone about $500 on Craigslist. A day later, I walked passed the same couple. I gave them $2, but I also told them maybe they should look into selling the dog. Hell, I wasn’t going to give my money without offering my opinion.

Nowadays, panhandling has reached Web 2.0 status. You have¬† people using avenues such as Twitter, Facebook, Chipin and other sites looking for donations from strangers.¬† The needs of people run a muck, from birthday donations, bills, family crisis, you name it, there’s someone on the internet panhandling for it. Just last year a has been somewhat well-known female rapper posted her PayPal information asking for donations for liquor and cigarettes around her birthday. Sure enough, even though she may have been joking, people still sent money via PayPal.

Personally, I’m not giving money to a stranger, unless it’s a charitable tax write-off. But not everyone is like me. I would be the type to police what the money is being used for. If you’re asking for money because you’re dealing with a crisis, and the next day I see you talking about your next vacation, or something as simple as a new movie you saw, consider yourself suspect in my book.

Just as there are people out there who are in need of help, there are people out there making a habit out of panhandling on the internet. Being that it’s not easy to distinguish from the two, I’d rather keep my money in my pocket, and just hope, some of their real friends & family members come to their rescue, instead of strangers on the internet.

  1. July 7, 2010 - Reply

    I don’t mind the blog/twitter “panhandling.” I like to think of the online world as a community, of sorts, and if I can help my tweeps with their fundraising goals or their fledling businesses or just holiday gift giving, I’m happy to!

    • July 7, 2010 - Reply

      @dawn summers

      I’ve just never been the type to feel the need to ask strangers for anything monetary, and if I’m approached by someone i don’t know…it’s highly unlikely that i’ll give.

  2. July 7, 2010 - Reply

    I’m the same way in terms of asking.

  3. July 7, 2010 - Reply

    Don’t knock my hustle! lol!
    On the real, I give it whenever I feel like it. It doesn’t matter. I’ve had and I’ve not had. My world has never turned upside down because of it.

    • July 7, 2010 - Reply

      @PBG

      Well hell, if that was the case, maybe I should have been charging your ass from the get-go for web services rendered o_O

  4. July 7, 2010 - Reply

    Those donate buttons make me giggle and roll my eyes. I’m a giver but like to think my dollars are supporting something worthwhile, so I’m with you on being selective.

    • July 7, 2010 - Reply

      @Melzie

      You definitely have to be selective. I’ve seen certain sites with those donate buttons, and they have 3 posts. I’m like, ‘uh? you’d have better luck with some google ads..’…I also know there are people who are legitimately using their site as their career, etc.

  5. July 7, 2010 - Reply

    I’ve heard of “cyber panhandling” and it just sounded so unreal to me. I didn’t think it was serious.

    • July 8, 2010 - Reply

      @Diva (in Demand)

      It’s definitely serious. Ppl make a living off of it!

  6. July 8, 2010 - Reply

    I have heard of folks getting houses and cars using this. Remember the guy that was going to kill the bunny. He made an ish load of money threatening a stupid rabbit. I just want someone to help with my chocolate and coffee habit, is that too much to ask? LOL
    Peace, Love and Chocolate
    Tiffany

    • July 8, 2010 - Reply

      @Tiffany

      I have a pretty bad shoe & electronic gadget habit..lol

  7. July 8, 2010 - Reply

    Panhandlers 0_o hmm I feel some way about that. I guess I just find myself a little taken aback at how many people are willing to beg for *#@! on the internet. Do you like me?? If so hit Donate! UMMM NO!!

    • July 8, 2010 - Reply

      @Contagious

      I just laugh at it all..and then shake my head. Maybe I’ll put up a collection for my internet & utility bill lol

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