22 Nov 2013
There’s a saying: “Sharing is caring.” The spirit of that phrase has always meant to me that you would share something — food, a drink, a seat, advice — that would allow you to commune with your fellow person. That your generosity would be a way to show kindness, that you gave a damn.
Today, our usage of sharing has become bastardized, co-opted by technology and commercialized to mean something else entirely — a way to send things viral, spread and distribute in a play to get eyeballs on this thing. Unbeknownst to us, or by a willful ignorance, we’re sharing more than ever, crowdsourcing advertising and marketing for behemoth companies, businesses and people. Somehow, it comes back down to advertising. The dollars are still there in a never-ending cycle of look at this, you should buy it that is trying to fill some increasing void in our lives for satiation, a delicate balance between want and need, if at all.
Oversharing is not caring.
We can share so easily, so blatantly, without care nor consequence — and we flaunt a lack of respect, time or consideration for the people who have found whatever it is we’re saying or doing worthwhile.
There’s some crazy need we have to let the world know exactly what we’re doing, all the time. Why is that? Why do we have this desire to have more?
It’s an evil cycle — as we’ve become more data-driven, we’ve given up intuition or what feels right, to do the thing that makes us most uncomfortable, or we’re at odds with who we are and what we stand for. It can make us seem, well, a little douche-y. A little braggadocio, a sprinkle of holier-than-thou, a dash of non-humility, some clear boastfulness and aww-shucks-my-life-is-better-than-yours.
It can make people feel like shit.
Any good writer is worth their weight in editing. Whether they do it themselves or have someone else edit for them, the editor’s job is to balance out all the inconsistencies, the highs, the lows and bring everything to a smooth flow. Right now, we don’t have good editors. We don’t have good editorial tools. We have brute-force data-based semantics reduced to the lowest common denominator. One tool for every single job, for every single person. We look at people as numbers, not individual faces. We are not curating our sharing for those that deemed us worthy of their attention.
Being judicious with your time — and, more importantly, their time — is caring. Let’s share things that make our lives better, that enrich them, that make others aware, educate and shape us into a better version of the world.
I don’t need to know about your gym visit, your haircut, your lunch, your coffee. Fuck all that.
Show me you care.