I’ll just say it. People are mean. I don’t just mean like rude, because sure, people are rude; but I mean people are straight up nasty to each other today! Like cringeworthy, Chef Ramsay looks like a Saint, I’m a little embarrassed to be a human kind of nasty.
The thing is, it’s human nature to judge, isn’t it? I do it. You do it. We all do it. We are social beings. And frankly, it’s difficult NOT to judge in the world we live in. Pinterest is brimming with very best of the best craft moms all competing to outdo one another in our attempt to create “that perfect pin”; Instagram is page after page of near-perfect photography, making anything less than a picture taken with a Nikon DS72000Pro+ look like garbage in comparison. And on Facebook our feeds are a never-ending wheel of someone’s new diamond earrings, their fancy French Riviera vacation photos, their kid’s straight A report card, or their latest LuluLemon-clad yoga selfies. (Guilty on all charges. Just kidding my kid doesn’t get A’s).
We are living in a world where a picture of someone’s breakfast could pop up in our Twitter feed and we wouldn’t blink an eye. Unless the lighting looked bad. Or the food wasn’t healthy enough. Or it was too healthy. Or it wasnt on an eco-friendly BPA-free recyclable hand-wash only platter from Crate & Barrel.
God forbid I make a video and there’s a dirty sock on the floor in the background. OMG shut it down- her house isn’t clean! Does she even HAVE a housekeeper? What kind of socks does she buy her kids, are those organic? Who did she vote for? I can’t even. Click.
I have a strong suspicion that if our original ancestors had access to social media, humans probably wouldn’t exist right now. Can you even imagine how the birth of Christ could have gone down if it were around back then?
“Did you see Mary’s Instagram?”
“Yeah, who’s baby is that?”
“I don’t think it’s Joseph’s”
“She said she was a virgin!”
“Ugh, Let’s unfollow her.”
And we can tell ourselves that even though society can be pretty crappy to each other online, we would never act like that with the people we know, like our friends and neighbors. But that’s not true and we know it. My own neighborhood Facebook page is like something straight outta the Lord of the Flies at times. We are eating eachother for breakfast! (and then tweeting it, for likes). I once posted that I hated Gilmore Girls and 16 of my friends and one sister deleted me. Ouch.
I think we can all agree that cyberbullying is a problem with our tweens and teens but then as adults we do the exact same thing, but in the name of politics, or anti-politics, religion, or whatever the news wants us to fight about next. We have forgotten how to be kind. How to come together in person AND online to show the next generation how to be a little less “extra” in the mean department.
None of us are perfect. We all have our moments. And we can’t all have 3.5 million followers, bake perfect low-carb gluten-free whole 31 meals every day. Not everyone’s pool boy is going to make the cover of Flex magazine. Some of us are just average people, picking up our kids from the bus stop 3 minutes late in our bath robe, forgetting to fold the laundry for 6 months, and yelling at the dog again for scooting his butt across the carpet.
So before you chew out your college roommate’s little brother over a post on the internet remember how you know this person. Remember why you became friends with them. Remember that you could have much worse neighbors and you may need them someday. Remember that your kids are watching. Remember that life is short. And be a little kinder.
Lindsay is a full-time working wife, mom, and blogger. Despite what you may think, she has never tried Nutella.