Today I had an epiphany.
I suddenly realized what’s wrong with half of the stuff posted on social media–and I’ve simplified the problem into a short test we can use to stop it from happening.
The problem: most of us “like” and “share” quotes which we would HATE if we heard them coming from someone we didn’t like.
It’s a problem because good, true things should be good and true no matter who says them.
For example: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
I think that’s good advice, whether Ghandi said it or Hitler. It’s true either way. (Pssssst. Neither Ghandi nor Hitler said that. It was Jesus. But you get the idea.)
Another quote I like is, “A bad day does not equal a bad life.”
Or what about, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”
I would “like” or “share” these quotes whether I heard them from my best friend or from the girl who egged my house and stole my boyfriend in highschool.
(Psssst. No one egged my house and stole my boyfriend in highschool. But you get the idea.)
Truth should be true, no matter who says it. And that’s why I recommend that we STOP and think before sharing a piece of advice,
“Would I still like this quote if an enemy said it?”
Let’s test some popular sayings from the Facebook group “Depression and Anxiety quotes”:
“Sometimes you have to give up on people, not because you don’t care, but because they don’t.”
When a friend posts something like this, we’re like, “HECK YES! That’s so empowering!”
But, when someone we don’t like posts it, we have a different opinion.
Go ahead, picture that person on Facebook who drives you crazy. Maybe “enemy” is a strong word. But think of the person you don’t usually see eye-to-eye with. (Yes, even if it’s me! I don’t mind being used as the “person you don’t like” for this test.)
Imagine that irritating person said “sometimes you have to give up on people, not because you don’t care, but because they don’t.”
Hmmm…. does it still sound empowering?
Or does it make you think, “Oh….this is the kind of thing self-absorbed people say when they’re making excuses for cutting others out” ?
It’s not quite as memorable as the Golden Rule, is it?
Here’s another example!
“Do not immitate what is popular, for acceptance. Practice what is authentic for the sake of your soul.”
When your friend posts it, you’re like, “Yes! You are authentically awesome, so you need to practice more of that!”
Buuuuut….when someone you disagree with posts it, the power wears off. It doesn’t seem quite as true, for someone who is authentically a pain in the butt…
How about this:
“Your woman becomes a reflection of how you treat her. If you don’t like how she’s acting, look at how you treat her.”
Friend posts it: “Woo-hoo!”
Psycho woman posts it: “Nah, it’s not his fault you’re a psycho.”
See how great this little test is?
Things that are good and true will be good and true no matter who says them!
So, before I share something that I think everyone needs to hear, I challenge myself to ask whether it’s ALWAYS true…
If you think this test of mine is something EVERYONE can use, please feel free to share it. 🙂