Scrolling, scrolling … why can’t we just keep on scrolling?

Taking a few minutes to unwind with social media, I found myself shaking my head and muttering aloud.

A cute baby picture, smiling and clearly enjoying her moment sitting on the grass in her festive sweater – then the comments.

“Watch out for ticks!” “It’s a bit cold for that baby to be on the ground.” “Bring that baby in!”

How about ‘beautiful baby’ and ‘what a perfect day for this photo’ folks?

An even cuter photo of a small dog, standing on her hind legs with her right paw placed in the hand of her owner, perfectly balanced – then the comments.

“That’s abuse!” “That dog looks scared.” “That’s fear if I’ve ever seen it.” “It’s a dog! Take the sweater off and let it be!”

How about ‘precious’, ‘adorable’ or ‘what balance’ folks?

A beautiful wedding photo album taken at a quaint inn and shared online – then the comments.

“I hate it there!” “What a poor selection for a wedding venue.” “A little cold for an outdoor wedding, don’t you think?”

How about ‘best wishes’ people?

Then I scroll to the politically charged posts. I’ll just stop here.

We enjoy the personable comments and a friendly banter on our posts. It can be social, fun and a momentary escape from our daily responsibilities. There’s some darned funny stuff and silly memes that bring a smile to our faces or full laughs if we’re so fortunate.

But more and more I’m seeing anger, hate and judgment. Downright mean comments. Some who take an innocent post and turn it into a fight and protest. And I can’t help to wonder if these people would be as vocal and plussed if they were face to face with the poster – or does sitting behind the screen give them a false sense of confidence that turns them into judge and jury, so eager to post negativity and spread hate?

I’m definitely noticing a theme here with my own posts over the past few days. I won’t say that I’ve grown intolerant of those people – I’m quite tolerant and passive in many ways. But trust me – not if it’s something I think is worthy of defending, pursuing and making a big deal of.

Yet most of this social media stuff and day to day intermittent activity doesn’t really warrant a battle. And most of the time I chuckle, like today when I encountered a few new a&@holes who I felt more sorry for than angry with. What a miserable way to live.

Case in point this morning. My partner handed me my Dunkins coffee and saw my facial expression upon first sip – yuk! The anticipation for my pumpkin flavor was stopped short by a regular coffee with cream.

For me – oh well. For him – give that to me and I’m going back in.

Hugs and kisses to him for wanting to make sure my morning was a happy one, but I really didn’t care. It wasn’t a big battle for me. I didn’t see a need for the time wasted to go back in when we had things to do, or to create a scene that just wasn’t warranted. I had natural sweetener at home and would sprinkle that in and enjoy my weekend coffee treat. No big deal.

Reality is – he’s right. The order received was wrong and wasn’t what we asked for. But we had things to do and I had a day to get on with. He’d said how short staffed they are and how long he had to wait.

Maybe someone was having a bad day. Maybe the shortage of help has caused a lot of stress and pressure.

Not making excuses, believe me. But it’s a fact today and I just didn’t care that much about making it right.

As for social media, I question why these cute and innocent posts inspire such angry retorts? And why people are so eager to provoke retorts from others? Is it true that misery loves company? Why is it all about us? Why do we feel the need to make negative comments or belittle others for mistakes they made?

If you’re online socially and don’t like something, keep scrolling. How difficult is that? Who asked you to be the social media police? Mind your business and scroll on.

Maybe if we make efforts to raise, rather than deflate, the spirit of others, the world would be a better place.

If you’re out in the real world (offline, the world where we see and engage with others live) and something doesn’t go your way, ask yourself how important it is. What is your point? Why are you so angry about this?

We can express our dismay in a way that preserves another’s dignity – and possibly make a difference. Maybe you’re just angry and want to take it out on another. Maybe you’re having the bad day and lashing out.

I’ve been there. Not a saint.

Can we all take a few moments and think twice?

Not everything is to be taken personally. Not everything is intended to offend us. And not everything is what it appears.

We should consider lightening up. Cast judgment aside and take action when there is a real threat – and scroll on by when there is not.

Let’s rise up to meet the world – not ask the world to rise up to meet us.

Author: E.M. Murphy

A freelance writer, coach, eternal seeker and Renaissance soul who aims to open minds and hearts. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a NASM Certified Behavior Change Specialist, humanity and humor is at the heart of my writing, reminding us that the key to success will always start with a genuine concern for others while making sure to be true to our authentic selves.

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