So something funny happens. You’re laughing, maybe hysterically, and you go to Facebook to share. You write out your story, add in a photo or two, and hit post. You know your friends will laugh, too.
Sure enough, friends start responding or liking with the laughter emoji. People get it and are laughing with you.
People are enjoying the moment of levity, especially given how serious the world news is now.
They are getting a kick out of the silly story.
Except then that one person, you know the one, the one that almost never posts to your wall. The one who doesn’t Like a positive post about a promotion, a trip, a big win, but instead, they pop in only with a negative comment…we all have at least one of these people.
They reply to your post wearing judgy pants, big fat ones that make them somehow feel their role today is to chastise you.
To correct you.
To parent you.
To tell you, in short, that your story may be funny, but they don’t like it.
To tell you that they don’t agree.
To tell you why you’re wrong and what you did wrong.
And they expect you to care.
Cue the eyeroll.
Wet blanket commence.
I don’t expect everyone to get my humor. That’s the beauty of life and what makes us all unique: our different personalities. Somewhere along the way in the last few years, we’re all supposed to feel and think the same. When we don’t, there’s always at least one person that feels it’s important…no, it’s their God-given RIGHT…to tell you that you’re wrong, because if they feel different, they’re right. And that makes you wrong.
Judgy pants on Facebook ruin it for everyone. There, I said it out loud.
If you’re wearing judgy pants on Facebook, you’re doing it wrong.
We’re all allowed our opinions, so I respect that you may not find my story funny. But in turn, you have to respect mine, which means that you need to practice the art of self-restraint. Keep scrolling. And stop wearing judgy pants, because simply feeling different than me doesn’t mean you are right.
That bears repeating: simply having a different opinion does not mean you are right.
In reverse, it doesn’t mean I’m right either, but why does it really matter to you if I’m laughing at something you don’t find funny? (Particularly if there was no harm or danger or anything mean to anyone? Because, to be clear, this was inane and had nothing to do with anyone. I wouldn’t laugh at something insensitive, much less make it public.)
I recently posted a story on my Facebook wall. A lot of people replied with laughter and understanding, because it was one of those ‘oops’ moments where you unintentionally did something that had a funny result. (And there was ZERO harm or danger to anyone.) Someone who never interacts with me posted to tell me he didn’t like it. Okay, that’s fine, I’m not expecting people to agree but did you even READ the whole story? Did you see that the reason you didn’t like it was not really a factor?
I doubt it, because today’s society teaches people to react first and read later. Our need to be right overtakes our need to respect someone else’s differences and experiences.
And that’s very sad.
Honestly, I went through a long moment yesterday where I debated if I wanted to completely stop posting anything personal to Facebook. See, I’m tired of a Debbie Downer coming along and telling me what I’m doing wrong. I’m tired of getting a laugh out of something silly and Mr. Uptight telling me it’s not right.
That long moment resulted in me deciding that my Facebook wall is still just that – MY Facebook wall. I will share what I like, but I am tightening my circle. I’m restricting the Debbie Downers and Mr. Uptights. I don’t need to be parented on Facebook.
Life is short. We need to loosen up — in cases where there is no harm or danger, again, to be clear — and laugh. See the OOPS factor in my story, and that of others’ stories, and laugh. Or laugh at your own inability to have a sense of humor…because I did.
It’s no secret that I’m not a conservative person overall. I laugh. A lot. I have purple hair. I don’t always follow the rules. I may drop a bad word here or there…or more…in a verbal conversation. I don’t take life so seriously. Regardless, I try to be kind, I try to mind my own business, avoid drama and I want to help people when I can. My friends should know this and it could almost be offensive that someone who I’ve trusted enough to friend would feel the need to act otherwise.
Some might say: if you put it out there on Facebook, you are opening yourself to comments. Well, yes and no. First, if you are on my Facebook page, it’s because I trust you to be kind and respectful. With that kindness and respect comes the expectation that you aren’t on there to judge me. There is also the whole ability to practice self-restraint. I see a lot on Facebook that I don’t agree with but that’s YOUR right, so I keep scrolling. We don’t need to act on every thought we have.
Simply having a feeling doesn’t mean we have to express it. It’s not our right to ‘educate’ others. It’s a privilege if someone respects you enough to ask what you think, but when someone’s simply sharing a funny story, be nice or move on.
“I’m just being honest.” No, you’re unburdening yourself because you can’t stop yourself from correcting someone. You’re suffering from Rightitis. Two different things. Honest is “Does this dress look good on me?” We could all stand to learn the difference. I’m not a fan of being proud of not being able to restrain myself. Every time someone shares that “Everyone thinks it, but I’m just brave enough to say it.” It doesn’t make you cool, it makes you rude.
That goes with SO much on social media. Wearing judgy pants on Facebook just isn’t necessary. If you want to use your page as a bully pulpit to tell others how to parent, how to have a relationship or how to eat, whatever, I’ll keep scrolling. You don’t want my judgment on your lifestyle choices or humor or anything, so I won’t push the boundaries and correct you.
So I’m going to continue to share stories I find funny. Stories of my life and things I’ve experienced. And my feelings ON MY OWN WALL. I’m just going to use the Restrict option and share more frequently only with those that I know don’t wear judgy pants.
Wearing judgy pants on Facebook ruins it for everyone. Keep those judgy pants for the people that you really have a right to correct, educate and/or parent. They may not appreciate it either, but people wear them far more online where it’s easier — saying this stuff face-to-face is typically frowned upon and people lose courage when they’re not behind a computer screen. Internet warriors abound.
So, better yet, throw away those judgy pants. Laugh. Instead of trying to find a problem with what someone posts, look for the humor. Take it at face value. Don’t overthink it. Maybe try NOT to be offended instead of looking for something to be bothered about. I know we all have bad days and it may feel good to correct people online, but save yourself. And save me.
Now I have to go scrape the forgotten zombie Halloween gel stickers off of a bathroom window, behind the shade, so a neighbor is no longer offended.