How I share

Once upon a time, “sharing” was known as the nice thing to do. When you were a child, your parents probably told you that you needed to love your younger sibling by sharing some of your time or food. There are many different things that you could share as a child. To this day, I have a hard time sharing things with people, but I’m getting better. That’s not the point here, though. I want to talk about the new definition of sharing.

It starts when you have a Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, blog, or other means of conveying your thoughts. Every time you think of something brilliant, it must be shared. That seems ridiculous, but it’s true. You’ll find yourself on Twitter one day thinking “Wow, I really don’t need to be shortening this superficial thought to 140 characters. Why am I sharing it at all?”

Sharing used to be a selfless act in which you showed that you were able to care about other people. Now it’s become the complete opposite. People want to share their every thought; they hope you want to see their latest picture of them on a hike; they take joy in showing others how great their life is. Why can’t people just live their lives? These tools we are using daily have begun to change things drastically. Our minds are changing to think differently because of services like Twitter and Facebook.

There was once a time when people thought to themselves, evaluated the thought in their head, and then told a friend. Also during that time there was the outcast who always voiced his opinions. Because of this, he was seen as a repulsive fellow who didn’t have a place in the group of perfect social conversation (or so the participants thought). Now we’ve all become that person. We can say stupid things online, and all is well, so long as we have something good to say every once in a while. This extra take on freedom of speech is crazy.

I don’t want to point fingers at anyone, because I do this exact thing. That’s why I’ve recently started using Day One as a relief for my constant Tweeting. Not everything deserves to be shared. It’s important that people understand the privilege of sharing. It should be used to tell others good things and to help them, but instead it’s been sentenced to a tool used only by the self-centered. To this day, I think “Oh, that’s a really cool thought. I should tell people!” Then I quickly remember that no, it’s not really that important that they know. If it were, I’d be able to write a full article about it.

Ideas are just ideas until you can develop them further. If you want to share something influential, maybe do it with your own family and a few friends. Help them, person to person, instead of trying to shout it to the world. You can reach a few people with effectiveness, but after that your impact begins to lose strength due to you being overwhelmed with responsibility. Remember that not everyone needs to know you’ve reached a personal breakthrough in the realm of relationships. Speak with a close friend about it maybe, but not all of Facebook.

I’m sorry if this comes off harsh. I’m not trying to command people to start changing, I’m trying to help them use the power of sharing in a less reckless way. Help people with your words. If you have not the ability to do this, follow the works of people who do and learn from them. Learning greatness is better than teaching aimlessly. But please don’t post status updates about the journey if they’re unnecessary. Think before you Tweet.

March 21, 2013 at 10:15 pm

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