So, a week or so a go a very opinionated guy at the Wall Street Journal wrote an article basically mocking runners and the bragging they do about the running. And you know what? Whatevs. Most of us used to not be runners so we take those comments with an understanding from the past. (Although I highly recommend this response which cracks me up. “Translation: He has eyeballs.”)
But the original article brought me back to a thought I’ve been having off and on for awhile. With the age of the internet where we can document all of our skills/habits/experiences on things like Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, or my favorite: BLOGS – has come the tendency for people to also publicly proclaim their distaste for those skills/habits/experiences.
And that is the part I find upsetting.
Why must we publicly poop on other people’s harmless joy?
So…this guy is irritated by the trend of people A) running and B) bragging about it in some form. Why publicly proclaim that? Doesn’t he know that’s going to make the people who enjoy running and bragging feel kinda shitty? Basically – he’s said, “This thing that makes YOU happy makes ME angry. And even though it doesn’t hurt me in any way, I want to tell everyone it makes me angry so that maybe it makes YOU a little LESS happy. Watch me take a giant Poop on this thing that brings you joy!”
A lot of things make me roll my eyes online. A lot of things irritate me. I go to Pinterest and I want to punch a lot of the pinners in the FACE. HARD. Because it bugs the SHIT out of me that they put all of this time/effort into these activities. And I want to post on Facebook: PEOPLE WHO MAKE THINGS OUT OF USED DIAPERS IRRITATE ME.
(NOTE: No one makes things out of used diapers, I’m trying not to hurt anyone’s feelings since that’s the whole point of this entry)
But I try not to. Because somewhere, someone is happy making things out of used diapers. And why do I want to damper their happiness just to go on record with my own distaste?
Of course – I know I’ve done it before. And that’s what upsets me the most. Because somewhere along the way I know I’ve posted on Facebook something like, “You know what? I don’t get this trend of people doing this thing. I think it’s dumb.” And I’m sad. Because that thing makes people happy and why did I do that? Why did I take a giant poop on their joy? Just this week I saw a blog entry that publicly proclaimed their dissatisfaction for the “Day of Thanks” thing going around Facebook. And I’ll be honest, my first response in my head? Was a loud and clear, “AMEN!”
But then – before I shared it I thought Oh, Kim. Really? You’re going to publicly proclaim that people being thankful IRRITATES you? This soon after your own irritation over the guy who is irritated by runners? How quickly we forget…
(Yes…I talk to myself with a very self-righteous tone. It works for me.)
So, I refrained and instead told myself I was going to post that same Meme ONE DAY just to make up for almost pooping on a thing that made people smile.
Old dog! New tricks!
Now, when I see someone tweet or facebook about how irritated they are about that harmless thing certain people do that brings them joy, I remind myself: Kim, this has always bothered you too, but now you have a concrete example of what it feels like on the other end. DON’T FORGET HOW IT FEELS. There is no need to poop on someone’s joy just because you have the poop in you.
(Put that on a pillow.)
Don’t get me wrong, if I see the posts from other people and I think Holy crap, that annoyed me too! I usually can’t resist chiming in and saying, “GRRRR! ME TOO!”
But I’m trying to stop.
This is the way I’m trying to look at it now: If I want to publicly rant (private ranting is still allowed…my husband will vouch for that) about something that other people do, I need to ask myself the following questions:
- Does this thing make people I know happy?
- Does it hurt me or anyone I love?
If the answers are “Yes” and then “No” then I need to SHUT UP AND GET OVER IT. I don’t need to throw my negative energy out into the ALREADY FULL internet just to go on record saying, “This thing that makes you happy irritates me!” Why do I need to do that? When it might make someone I love feel silly for loving that thing? Or for participating? Here is this thing that makes people happy and they like to talk about it or photograph it and I just want to come over and POOP all over it so that everyone knows, “HEY! That thing? IT ANNOYS ME! HERE IS MY POOP AS PROOF!”
I’m trying to put an end to Pooping On Joy. Won’t you join me?
(Or feel free to Poop on my proclamation to stop Pooping on Joy. Because that would kinda be hysterical.)
6 thoughts on “Pooping On Your Joy”
I love that you used the word poop, because poop is really a hilarious word. POOOOOOOP.
To your point: YES. I hate the Internet trend of “That thing you like? It sucks.” I know people are welcome to their opinions and all, but I still get a little bit hurt when people hate on the south, or Santa, or TV, or any other thing.
I just simply don’t get it. Not a generic, posted on the Internet type sharing. You have a choice. If I was annoyed reading about your races/running, I wouldn’t read your blog. No one’s making me. I can hide that friend who never posts anything but their miles run. If I don’t, then I am making the choice. And, frankly, that probably means they DO post other things. If you find quilting/sewing/kid games a boring waste of time, don’t follow my Pinterest boards. They clearly aren’t for you. Even browsing Pinterest – just scroll past it and move on. Why waste the energy? And for a journalist to write an entire article about it? Why bother?
Even in person, now that I think about it, I have a choice. I usually figure the person with the new baby, hobby, love is just excited and we’ll get back to talking about other things soon. It almost always happens. And, if it doesn’t, then I have to choose whether that’s someone I still want to spend time with.
I agree. I saw the same article about the Facebook gratitudes and thought “Ah, they’ve nailed it, that’s why those annoy me.” But I also have lots of friends participating who probably don’t realize how humble-braggy they can come off and who are just trying to start/maintain a gratitude practice, which is an attitude we could all stand to cultivate and I walked away from the share button.
That said–there is a difference in how people post. People who post “OMG, I went on an amazing run today!”, cool, they are excited about their hobby and that’s awesome. People who post “I ran today, unlike all those lazy slackers who can’t be bothered to move off their couches”. Yea, I maintain that I am well within my rights to be upset by their smug braggarty ways. As long as their focus remains on their joy and not putting others down? We’re all good.
You are like my internet conscience! Going to do my best to join you.
I read a really great Swistle post about this recently (http://www.swistle.com/2012/04/11/active-uninterest/ — the post itself isn’t recent; my reading of it was recent), and I feel like you and Swistle both really hit the nail on the head. What’s the point in actively expressing your distaste for something that’s making someone else happy? What are you accomplishing, really, besides making yourself look like an ass and probably hurting someone else’s feelings? I admit I’ve caught myself being tempted to say similarly disparaging things about something other people do that annoys me, but I’ve been trying really hard to stop myself when I catch myself doing it. Sure, I can complain about people who make crafts out of dirty diapers (to use your example), but, why? It’s not like once I complain about it, people who love to do it are going to suddenly stop making their dirty diaper crafts just because I said it annoys me. And why should they, anyway, if it makes them happy? So I just take a deep breath, remove my hands from the keyboard, and move on with my day.
This is also an excellent post!