Ha! Made you look! And, you looked funny all contorted like that to check.
So what am I getting at with today’s title? Well, let me back up and say that I had posted a status message before I traipsed off to bed the other night and it received some comments:
“You know… one of the things I’m grateful for regarding social media is that a lot of people just “let it all out” – myself included. Religion, sexual orientation and politics aside (because really, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I’m not going to tell you that I think you shouldn’t belong to a religion or follow your bliss)… I’m amazed and saddened by the number of very negative people; this a learned habit. Yes, I said habit. You can change the way you think IF you truly want to. As Yoda said, “You must unlearn what you have learned.”
Are you “stuck” at a red light and angry because you didn’t get through it? Change the way you think – “HOORAY! I’m first in line!!”
There are an awful lot of people stuck at red lights around here… you know what? You might be stuck at a red light and feeling left behind, but I’m first in line.”
So there you have it – a status that touched off some fireworks. I was accused of preaching:
“so are you trying to convice us your not a hater or are you just stuck preaching…..I must say Ive heard this speach before but” you don’t really want to know from who.” *spelling/grammatical errors left uncorrected
That was followed up with:
“^^^^^^^ Sounds like someones stuck at a red light. Just sayin’.”
“It’s a good philosophy for life: try to make green lights out of the red ones.”
Then the last comment (at the time of writing this post) was:
“sorry [insert any name of your choice here] I am not stuck I don’t say there are a lot of negative people and then put out a negative statement…..Its like i don’t want to preach but let me get on the pulpit.”
Dear Readers, was I getting up on the pulpit? Was my status “negative”? I thought I was just making an observation and offering a suggestion on how to change what I observed. To be fair, the person who expressed they felt I was getting up and preaching to the masses often has opposing views from my own on many topics, but… preaching? I guess it could be perceived that way, but that brings up the question: If you felt you were being preached at and didn’t want to hear it, why get all defensive and offer up a retort? Wouldn’t silence be the best response? It’s a post on Facebook – not a life or death situation where you have to respond.
Repudiation of an opinion, I have observed, often springs from a place of truth with the person who is rejecting the idea; in this case the person tends toward negativity. My observation wasn’t directed at any one person in particular – not even this person, but was merely a pondering on my part based on what I see people post for statuses. No finger-pointing involved.
But, the events of the other night got me thinking about my own quest in not making discussions about me. The “Me too” or “I had a similar situation…” additions to a conversation with someone who is socially awkward (like me) are often seen as being rude and making a conversation all about oneself. Personally, I think the “me too” springs from a place of feeling like I need to, or it’s expected that I should contribute to a conversation but am unsure what or how to contribute. Honestly, I just read one of the advice columns in the paper the other day touching on that very subject. The advice columnist pointed out that it’s usually a socially awkward person who chimes in with “me too” rather than the narcissist we are taught is the culprit.
I’ve been making a point to follow one of my recent random facts of observing rather than speaking. I see statuses and feel an incredible pull to respond… but I stop myself, think about whether or not what I have to say contributes anything at all to the conversation or will it be misconstrued as an attempt to make the conversation “all about me”. I err on the side of caution and often delete what I write, opting out of responding.
Now that I’ve said all that, I’m brought to the point of my posts title, how often do we let our “underwear” show? Many, if not most, people wear undies. They’re a layer of protection for our outerwear. We’re told to wear clean ones before leaving the house. Everyone assumes you to be wearing them, but not many people want to see them. Underwear is kind of like opinions. Many, if not most, people have opinions… everyone assumes you have them, but not many people want to hear them.
Social media gives us a format to express our opinions…. or show our undies, to a large group of people, particularly when it’s our own Facebook page. Should people express offence at seeing your underwear on your personal page by ripping off their own and waving them about? Frankly, I think my personal Facebook page is akin to my backyard… I hang my laundry out there, you can either look at it flapping in the breeze or you can look at something else… the Happy Chickens or flowerbeds.
If you’re going to rip off your underwear and wave it about because you’re offended by seeing mine in my own back yard…. be careful you aren’t giving yourself a wedgie and making marks in the process.