My plea for originality

I have many, many Facebook connections who are guilty of Mashable’s 20 Things Your Most Annoying Friends on Facebook. Using pictures of your kids as your profile picture, the joint profiles, the random song lyrics — all annoying things I can tolerate. I don’t mind the Twitter sync, although the use of hashtags in a Facebook status that does not sync to Twitter? I think you’re missing the point. I have a connection who frequently practices “vaguebooking,” but I overlook it. Some people genuinely need the attention, so I can make exceptions for those people who use Facebook to get it. For awhile I had a relative who practiced the phantom tag, which did get really annoying really fast, but I’ll take that and the third person post over the political rant any day.

Most of the political ranters I see are actually committing the equally significant, and all-to-related offense of re-posting unoriginal content, which grates on my nerves. If you don’t have an original thought to share or anything new to add to the discussion, please don’t join it.

My friend Monica and I recently discussed the offensive serial re-poster, but our issue was about the “cheerful quote image” poster. The prevalence of Pinterest, Reddit, and Tumblr makes the re-post more socially acceptable and infinitely more easy, but at the end of the day I am significantly more interested in hearing from people who share original thoughts to add to a conversation. Monica seemed more favorable to the serial re-poster than I am, but I think we agreed that the “cheerful quote image” is the mental health equivalent of comparing oneself to a supermodel.

I have struggled for what feels like my whole life with depression, anxiety, and the resulting self esteem issues. When my mom got sick, I suffered from agoraphobia. Most people think agoraphobia is like Sigourney Weaver’s phobia of leaving the house in Copycat, but it’s actually a fear of situations in which you panic. All that is to say: Depression and anxiety are two sides of a very serious coin of illness. So don’t hate.

Thoughtless re-posts of stupid quote-y “you should be happy based on this vapid saying” is, frankly, insulting to the people who need (what I assume is a well-intended) lifeline. Hey, if you’re posting thoughtless quote-y fluff for your own benefit, good on ya. But share accordingly. By that I mean, don’t share. Enrich and encourage yourself in any manner you deem necessary, but keep in mind that your online digital footprint reaches other people.

My personal formulas are probably extremely light on the re-post, but they reflect a trend that I wish I could see:

  • Facebook – 90 to 95 percent original content
  • Twitter – 75 percent original content
  • Pinterest (yes, even Pinterest!) – 50 percent original content

Anecdotally, I’ll share how another call for originality  of mine went wrong… I think it was one of President Obama’s first couple of State of the Union addresses, my Facebook feed was so lit up with asinine comments that proved to be quotes and mis-quotes from Fox News, I finally called for a “don’t just quote Fox News” and was summarily de-friended by dozens of connections. My comment then, and my comment now, is not an attempt to censor my friends’ and contacts’ beliefs, thoughts, or opinions. I’m calling them up to form and share original thoughts and opinions. How have your beliefs shaped your experiences? Where were you, and where are you now?

Otra vez: Original thoughts equal YAY! In every situation.


3 thoughts on “My plea for originality

  1. […] proponent. I’m a first amendment aficionado. I support your right to be right. But like my plea for critical thinking, I want people to hold themselves to a better standard. Be kind. Okay, be kind when you […]

  2. Why users still use to read news papers when in this technological globe everything is accessible on web?

  3. I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s equally educative and amusing, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. Now i’m very happy that I found this during my search for something concerning this.

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