Two of the most annoying institutions in the world, PayPal and Mark Zuckerberg's sister Randi, have teamed up. But... for what, exactly?
Mark Zuckerberg's sister, literary patriot and media titan, owes every ounce of her non-career to her surname—and the cosmos keeps smiling upon her. PayPal, an otherwise serious and respectable corporation, has forged an unholy promotional bond with Randi—and that's bad for everyone except Randi.
Since her debut books hit stores, R-Zuck's been on a self-promoting spree, beyond anything she's done before. Which, for someone who not-irregularly hits conference stages for impromptu musical numbers, is saying a lot. But then, her self-love tweet stream took a strange turn:
Washington Post didn't like DOT because she has "devices purchased with mom's credit card." Sorry, but that's inaccurate. She used @PayPal.
— Randi Zuckerberg (@randizuckerberg) November 8, 2013
Lo and behold, there was a formal announcement of peaceful relations between PayPal, a multi-billion dollar financial service, and Randi Zuckerberg, an entirely non-valuable yapping head:
[Randi Zuckerberg's] recent efforts to expose and remedy the disconnect come in the form of a great book called Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives. The text is perfect for those looking for a breakdown of today's technology, the influence both it and social media have had on our day to day, and how to navigate through it all successfully.
You can think of it as a kind of modern day guide to life, and our new relationship with her company, Zuckerberg Media, aims to help spread these smarts to any nook and cranny that will benefit from them.
Randi's endgame and ours is very similar: to promote a lifestyle in which technology enhances rather than complicates, and so we're pretty excited to be joining forces. And bonus? She's an avid PayPal user.
Emphasis added. Three full paragraphs, and not a single indication of what this means. Is Randi Zuckerberg just going to... keep using PayPal? Do the people at PayPal think more people will use their service because Mark Zuckerberg's sister uses it? Was there no one more likable, relatable, or otherwise worthwhile to take on for an endorsement deal? And, on the flip side, is the useful-but—wholly-unsexy PayPal going to get anyone to buy a book?
I asked PayPal for any details it could provide: What exactly does the partnership with Randi entail? Is she a spokesperson? Is it mostly promotional in nature? What will her day-to-day work with PayPal be? Is this a paid relationship? Is Randi being compensated for her work with PayPal, or is the company sponsoring her in any capacity, maybe with her books?
PayPal declined to comment, saying it would refer my questions to Randi herself. Randi Zuckerberg also did not provide any response. This is usually the case when there's nothing good to say.
Since then, it looks like the relationship is pretty shallow: Randi inserts clumsy references to PayPal in her tweets, as a B-list celebrity might with his favorite fast food chain:
— Randi Zuckerberg (@randizuckerberg) November 19, 2013
In return, as far as I can tell, PayPal helps pay for book-related parties.
There's probably an entry in the DSM that would be helpful here, but try, for a moment to think about being Randi Zuckerberg. Your showbiz ambitions have flopped. Your "media company" is just a means of promoting your book and organizing weddings for your friends. And the only Amazon reviews of that book are from people know professionally, or your sister. This is no way to live.
And it's not that Randi Zuckerberg is an even remotely bad person—she's about as harmful as she is talented. But as much as she's cursed by her brother's success, she curses herself by trying to make it in an industry that will indefinitely exist in his shadow. She'll never be anything more than Mark's sister, than the Other Zuck, the one who Wrote That Book—and for PayPal to indulge her as anything else is to drag out this realization, pushing this ego nonsense all over our various news feeds. They aren't doing her any favors, nor is anyone who condescends to pretend-caring. You would think the author of Dot Complicated, expert in unplugging, would know when to unplug herself.