When I was at that wonderfully obnoxious age of middle school my parents used to say something along the lines of “We don’t need a comment from you about everything, thanks!” I suppose I thought I was hilarious with my sarcastic, dry remarks about this and pointing out the obvious about that, and like most pre-teens and early teens, I figured everyone wanted to know what I thought about pretty much everything.
I now understand it from my parents’ point of view–we have a 12 year-old who is very funny and has a pretty good wit and LOVES to comment on everything I do and say.
Gets old after awhile (can I get an amen?).
Yet, something interesting has happened in the last several years. We’re collecting comments. There are times and spaces when you can and are encouraged to comment about everything!
Think about it. This blog has a comment section. Your blog probably has a comment section. Comments are fun! This week’s Tuesday Ten had 4 comments (at time of writing this) and I was kind of excited.
Many of us are on Facebook. You can comment on EVERYTHING in Facebook. Some people do comment on everything (sometimes I get comment happy, so I’m guilty here). Some of my younger friends will post pictures and then as their status update: “new pictures! comment!”
There are a couple of friends who are likely to hear from me when something ridiculous happens in my life or around me. I feel an urge to comment on it and so instead of saying something out loud, I pick the friend who will find it the most amusing and share it with them via text. (I guess some things haven’t changed from when I was kid–I do feel the need to comment on things. I’ve just learned not to say them out loud all the time.)
Our digital comments are welcome almost everywhere. From helpful suggestions to sarcastic remarks, we’ve been invited to comment on our friends’ and acquaintances’ every action and thought and post.
Is this a good thing? I think it is and it isn’t.
It is because it means that we’re interacting more with each other and learning more about each other and sharing thoughts and ideas and feedback. Sure, some comments aren’t really worth much in the scheme of things, but building relationships is awesome. I have friends who are really shy in person, but are good with sharing on facebook through posts and comments.
It isn’t because it puts us all in a place where we truly believe that it’s okay to comment on everything. We believe that everyone wants to know where we think they should, what we think they should do, and how we think they should raise their children. Sometimes these comments are helpful and other times they aren’t necessary. And it’s getting harder and harder to discern because everywhere we “go,” we’re encouraged to comment.
Also, our comments are usually short and shallow. I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about comments I’m offering digitally and you probably don’t either. A one-liner, a promise to pray, a quick word of encouragement–typed quickly and probably forgotten. This commenting should not replace real interaction and longer conversations and the sharing of thoughts and ideas. It seems like a substitute for relationship, but it’s only supplemental at best. Plus, written comments don’t have the benefit of tone–and I hear it one way while I’m typing it and you read it another way once it’s posted!
So I guess a good rule still stands: They don’t need a comment from me about everything, thanks!