Remembering this might save your life someday:
Nobody asked you.
Just because you saw it, read it, consumed it, felt it, or otherwise engaged what someone had to say about something, nobody asked you what you thought about it. People aren’t largely posting things with question marks at the end of them or taking surveys. As it turns out, they just like to talk.
But nobody asked you anything.
And while a great many people do post things for attention, it’s pretty easy to differentiate the person doing that versus the person with something to say who didn’t ask you what you thought about anything. Even attention seekers are largely just using all of this as an amplified diary. And you know what no one expects of their diary? An opinion.
No one asks their diary for clapbacks or retorts.
Think of all the problems of the world that wouldn’t have even made it to the table if most of us first asked ourselves, “Did anyone ask me for this opinion?” before we hit send/post/tweet/reply all by accident. You wouldn’t have gotten into a debate with someone that you really don’t know over something you’re only getting half the story on and ruined 100% of each other’s day if you just answered that question honestly. Because 99 times out of 100, the answer is that nobody asked you for your opinion.
Nobody asked you.
If you walk around feeling as if you are brimming with answers – just lactating knowledge – and you must engage, try creating something that people want to engage with: a blog, a post of your own, a platform, an essay, a work of art…anything but an armchair response to someone who didn’t ask what you thought about anything. That is space you create, a platform you launch, a game you have skin in. A general and public post isn’t technically an invitation to engage unless it says it is. You’re in control of how you respond to something that didn’t ask anything of you. Not only is someone not holding a gun to your head, but no one who owns a gun even cares what you think about anything. You know this because exactly zero gun owners asked you what you thought today. About anything.
Nobody asked you.
Our days are flooded with thinkpieces and takes on things that amount to people responding to people who didn’t ask what they thought. This is actually not an issue, since criticism is a valid form of education and awareness. But let’s be clear: you aren’t spending half your time on the internet responding to thought-out researched articles. You’re responding to some random person who feels compelled to overshare or somebody who thinks God grants wishes through likes. I would encourage you to stop for a second and consider who is hurt by such pageantry, who stands to win should you choose to wade into the molasses of nobody asking what you thought.
Because really, nobody asked you anything. That’s probably true so far today and it was probably true yesterday and tomorrow will likely consist of a 99% chance of nobody asking you anything. At all. No opinion required. Think of all the free time you will have amassed not jamming your thumbs into your phone for hours a day. Even now I am typing this instead of replying it over and over to any number of people. And if you happen to be reading this, don’t be surprised when I don’t reply to your comment. I try to not to reply to any comments to what I write. I said what I said. And it wasn’t a question.
5 THINGS NO ONE IS GOING TO ASK YOU ABOUT TODAY
- Why you stayed up all night binging a TV show to write a one-line review about that everyone is going to watch anyway.
- What you had for lunch in earnest.
- What you thought of Prince’s French period.
- The ratio of real to WTF regarding the premise of Black Snake Moan.
- If you think the Grammys are real.