Sunday, April 26, 2015

Love Thy Neighbor

This week has been so enlightening.  Well actually, this is far from the first time I've been graced with unsolicited analysis on social media, but this is the first time I've actually found it entertaining.  The situation was so choreographed, I just couldn't take it seriously, but I stepped into the dance.  I don't usually appreciate being singled out in a thread comment, even for something good, but admonition and analysis, double score!  And by more than one participant!

Although you might not guess it from the amount of writing I do, I don't write lengthy comments on social media.  I've been called "Queen of the One Liners."  To make a point in the midst of a thread started by another, doesn't need to be a full dissertation.  Basically, when it comes to forums and social media, even the old yahoo groups, one agrees or disagrees.  Some of the old groups used to actually raise a discussion or two, but they didn't last long.  As for forums, it didn't take long to see where everyone stood on most issues and they began to fizzle out as well.  As for the latest in internet socializing, it's time to face facts, most of us on the computer aren't really all that sociable.  We're not anti-social, it's just obvious that our social calendars are not full.

Social media does seem to accommodate those looking for their fifteen minutes of fame.  Anybody can claim any authority they choose and run with it on social media . . . and although I've made some genuine friends, I also tend to draw wannabe leaders and amateur psychologists.  Now the wannabe leaders, have their initial humble and "hung up" schtick, with lots of rules in dealing with them.  See that's the key right there.  They claim to want no attention, yet want plenty of focus, and it has to be done properly.  A lot of "my wall" rules.  I do my best to even refrain from comment, but when I agree with something, just hit "like" because that seems important to that individual.

As a socially awkward individual, myself, I still stumble and struggle through "real time" interaction both on and off line.  Except when sharing information, I prefer to simply listen or read.  I think we can speak the truth on specific matters, and should; but the bottom line is, everyone doesn't have time to hear everyone's details.  That's not uncaring, that's just time management.  Of course, I'll share a praise report, or some goat and gardening insight.  I definitely sound warnings through this publication, and I've written some very personal information for those who struggle, but I believe everything including my words, should have purpose.  I simply do not feel the need to comment on everything, nor do I desire to know all the personal details of another person's life.  When someone feels the need to analyze that, I realize they are coming from their perspective.  

 The instruction to love our neighbor as we love ourself has been weighing heavily on me lately.  Being real seems to be defined now, by "airing dirty laundry."  I'm of a different opinion.  To air all "my dirty laundry" would be a facade and not who I am at all.  I love to laugh and I enjoy stimulating discussions, but I am horrible at small talk.  I'm a good listener when it comes to folks desiring counsel, but I no longer serve as a place to vent so they can stay in their mess.  If I truly love my neighbor, which applies to anyone interact with, both real time and internet, I must be honest.  In that honesty is the fact, I don't care to make comment on everything and most of the things I do say are not aimed at anyone specifically.  Also in that love of neighbor, I must realize, everyone does not share my perspective.  We don't have to agree on everything to be nice and love can be tough, but it doesn't have to be continuously confrontational or analytical.  Love thy neighbor as you love yourself seems to hold the standard of the Golden Rule.  Perhaps I've been missing something . . .

This just occurred to me.  Maybe all the confrontational folks and amateur psychologists would like others to reach out to them in the same manner.

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