A tangent from … May

 I wrote in May about sharing things you feel good about on social media—getting exercise, baking, creating art. (You can revisit that post here.)

At the end of that post, I indicated I had a tangent from it that I would share tomorrow.

I have a huge stash of drafts. Some just notes. Some partially written. Some fully written but I don’t like how they flow so they’re waiting to be rewritten.

Some were timely and will end up just deleted.

This one? Fully written. Flow is fine. No idea why I didn’t post it in May. Enjoy!

“No one cares that you ran today.”

1- You can’t generalize your own dislike to everyone. Even if you and all of your mutual friends agree, that’s still not everyone. If the posts are truly offensive or simply bother you that much, remove the person from your field of vision. (Different social media platforms achieve this differently, but “remove” is also an option in all of them.) It’s not their responsibility to meet your approval with what they share.

2- On the opposite side of that, some people are inspired. I have had people tell me that because they saw this right now, they decided to go do something right now. Typically, these are people who already do the thing and are in a bit of a slump. They’re kickstarted.

3- It’s passive aggressive. If there’s an issue with a person, either have a conversation with them or stop letting their stuff come into your feed.

How we react to things is our own baggage, so being upset about benign posts is often because they poke at a sore spot.

Maybe you want to be doing the thing and can’t (for any of a million reasons) and are angry and/or sad about that.

Maybe you feel like you should be doing the thing and you aren’t (for any of a million reasons—some the same as the previous million) and others sharing their success triggers shame.

Maybe you know the person and you know that what they’re sharing and what happens in real life don’t match (again, for any number of reasons, possibly reasons you’re not aware of) and you bristle at the inauthenticity.

Maybe it’s just redundant.

Sometimes what people are excited about and what you’re interested in listening to don’t match.

The Kid can talk to me about rockets or Star Wars or Minecraft for extremely long periods of time. I could go with the extra-condensed version and be quite content. If these were Facebook interactions, I could just scroll past them (because I don’t have to engage) or I can hide him, or I can unfriend him.

If we have interactions with a person in real life and they always talk about the same thing and it’s not at all interesting, often we stop spending time with them. (Which is unfortunate that we don’t usually say, “Hey! I’d really like to talk with you but this topic isn’t really interesting to me. Can we talk about something else?”)

Social media seems to be a space where we still spend time and just complain about it. If it bothers you that much, stop giving them attention!

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