Yes, this is about Facebook. Again. And it’s not about anyone who regularly reads and leaves a comment, so don’t worry.
This person, who follows me on Facebook is smart. And curious about the world. And very focused on protecting animals and people from all the wrongs in the world. I like that about her. I love dedication and those who protect others who cannot protect themselves. What bothers me is there is no fault that is not a threat to the world, no guilty pleasure that cannot be accused of as “guilty.”
This is fine for people to do on their blogs, on their Facebook page. I’ve posted rants myself. But it is tiring to have someone so keen on protecting the world that I cannot post about using acrylic paint in a project without this person pointing out how plastic paint is poisoning our water. An admiring photo of someone’s wood carving brings a tsk-tsk about the rape of the forests. A post on a T-shirt brings a reminder about the dangers of the dyes and irritants used in the manufacture of cotton.
There is a difference for me about caring about the environment and being so hyper-vigilant that no action, no matter how innocent, is not tainted, and needs to be pointed out as such. There is a slight whiff of self-righteousness, a need to be right at the expense of spoiling someone else’s enjoyment of art, food, or music. There is also that unpleasant universality of control–that this person is the only one who knows how to be truly good, and everyone else is less.
Let me admit right away that I have checked facts on Snopes, left unpopular opinions and corrections. I’m not innocent of being annoying. But I try to catch myself. To limit snarky comments to snarky posts, and not heartfelt ones. I often ask, “What was is this post about?” and keep my comment appropriate. So an art how-to post would never elicit a grammar check comment.
The person apologized at one point, but then continued on these relentless comments. Anyone can make a mistake, the next time it’s a choice.
I don’t like to unfriend people on Facebook. I prefer to let people be who they are. But at some point I shift my perspective and decide that we invite the people to the theater of our life. And if you want to sit in the front row, you don’t get to throw tomatoes. Boundaries.
—Quinn McDonald believes that you choose your consequences when you choose the behavior. Be ready.