Thursday, September 27, 2012

Silent sufferers, chronic complainers, friendly conversations

One of the things I like about social media like Facebook, is the interaction with people of all sorts. Personally, I choose who I add as a Facebook friend with discrimination. I do not add everyone I know. My friends are people whose face-to-face company I have enjoyed, or would like to enjoy. It does not mean I like everything my friends like, or agree with every point of view. It is the interaction that is stimulating.

Recently I have seen a number of posts on my “News Feed” reflecting two avenues of sharing. One is detached. The detached one sometimes takes the form of cryptic posts.  That is, something is hinted at but not explained. I don’t especially like the cryptic posts. Perhaps the person is simply trying to invoke questions or evidence of interest in themselves, or perhaps it is that they want to talk about something, but don’t quite know how to start.

The other form of sharing is very much connected, providing either very strong opinions or long descriptive commentaries. I rather like the long ones where a friend is explaining some event or situation that has occurred. I don’t relish the opinionated ones, but I can understand how strong feelings prompt one to speak out with passion.

Of the two, I think the second one is more beneficial. People are not like soap bubbles, floating around unconnected through the air to quickly pop out of existence. We are more like trees, with many branches and leaves and seeds and fruit. We are like streams that flow into a river to make it bigger and stronger, to carry onward the water and nutrients.

I believe in the old adage that a burden shared is a burden lightened.  So . . . silent sufferers, share your burden. Chronic complainers, think about editing. In either case, I hope my friends and family will share those things we would talk about if we could sit at the kitchen table together over a pot of tea. And, if social media is not for you, remember that the US postal service still delivers letters.

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