Ok I am going to get straight to the point in this one. All your life you are taught to share. When you were just a wee little pup your mum and dad taught you to share your toys with the other kiddies. At first this was very hard. They were after all YOUR toys. Why should you have to share with the neighbor kid who came over to be babysat. Of course you were the first to throw a fit when you went to someone else’s house and they didn’t want to share their GIJoe or Cabbage Patch doll or Tickle Me Elmo.
Well, as time went on you started to drink the sharing Kool-Aid and finally were able to share with just about anyone. You realized that there are more important things in life, like not being in trouble with your mom. You saw that sharing makes people around you happy and in turn that makes you happy.
Now fast forward a few years. No longer is it your mom telling you to share, instead it is Facebook and Twitter and Linked in and a million other sites. But instead of sharing your A-Team action figure or that Barbie Doll that your brother tore the head off of or stuck a firecracker up it’s hind end, you are sharing personal tidbits of information, often times with complete strangers.
So I ask the question. Why is is to easy for many people to share intimate personal details with anyone and everyone via a website? What does it really mean when you tell the world on your Facebook page that you are having the worst day ever, or that you are off to the doctor again, or that perhaps you are soo soo grateful to that friend who just called in your time of need? What are you really saying?
I find that often times, the real message is more of a plea for help or attention. You know that twenty other people are going to immediately fawn all over you asking what is wrong, and when you don’t answer immediately they will text or call and after repeating your woes over and over, you will somehow feel fulfilled.
You might as well post “I am lonely and feel like my friends don’t care about me” or “If you really cared about me you would know how I am feeling and what I need and I wouldn’t have to tweet about it to all the world”. This would be much better.
Why do people have this need to show their vulnerability? Are we all really that insecure? Do we really need the attention of random people that you ‘freinded’ once?
Has the whole purpose of sharing changed? No longer is it about the other person. No longer is it about making them feel good that you shared with them. Now days it is all about you. Making yourself feel good, and needed, and important. Making other people feel bad for you. Bleh!
What if every post on FB and Twitter had to be either funny or interesting? I think this should be the new standard. If it will not make people smile, chuckle or laugh right out loud, either laughing with you, or at your expense, then why bother. Think how much better we would all feel if we were constantly laughing.
Recently I posted a picture to Facebook of some severely burnt nachos. Late one evening I was hungry, or at least bored, so I turned on the oven and prepared some nachos. Just tortilla chips, and cheese and salsa. Nothing fancy. I arranged the chips in a Barstone pan that I probably paid waay too much for and then I carefully grated a mixture of Cache Valley’s finest medium cheddar and swiss cheese to make the perfect treat. Once the oven was hot I turned it to broil so most of the heat would be from the top. I tossed them is and about 5-10 minutes later I opened the oven to a raging inferno. My beloved nachos were a-flame! After the initial shock and hollering to my kids to come see, I grabbed an oven mit and pulled the inferno out and set it on the stove. I quickly grabbed my iPhone and snapped a pic before dumping the sad mess in the sink and putting out the flames.
A bit later after I had mourned the loss of my nachos and had made a new batch, I decided this was the perfect thing to post to Facebook. It was funny, could have been dangerous, and other people could laugh at my expense. This made me really start thinking about what I put on Facebook. My new personal policy is as follows.
- Post must be worthy of at least a few thumbs ups
- Post must include a picture if at all possible
- Post must make people laugh, or make them think I am an idiot, or make the reader extremely jealous (occasionally only)
- Post must not in any way appear to be asking for pity or help or support, nor can it talk about my health, emotions, troubles, etc
- See rule #1
What if we all could decide to be a little bit more selfish and share a little bit less of the personal sensitive stuff we might all be a happier people. I am always better off when I focus on the positives and forget about the negatives.
You may hate me, you may love me, but you’ll never know from my FB status if I am sad or lonely or having a bad day, or heaven forbid just need a hug. I guarantee you that.