I grew up with the idea that, “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” I think this has somehow gotten lost amidst the noise of social media.
But maybe that’s just the way people are no matter what?
When I worked for a civil engineer a long time ago in Dallas, I had a woman tell me I shouldn’t wear dresses because my legs were too white. I’m certainly not a sun worshipper; I never have been. In fact, I’m so fair that I burn within 10-15 minutes in the summer and prefer to stay out of the sun because I just don’t want to deal with a sunburn. I’ve had my share of bad ones. They aren’t fun. Plus, there’s that skin cancer thing I’d like to avoid.
Anyway, I thought it was fairly offensive she had the nerve to tell me that. Was my style really her business? But I was in my 20s and hadn’t reached the age where I’d never say something back. I went about my business and ignored the woman and decided she was probably jealous because I was younger and had better skin. That’s what I told myself, anyway.
Fast forward a few years. I had a job for the same company in their Fort Worth office. One day, I wore this really cute skirt that was pretty colorful. One of the engineers told me it looked like something that belonged in a trash heap. Okay, in hindsight it probably was a bold fashion choice and it probably would look better on super model on the runway than someone like me. But…did he really have to say something so crappy? I never wore that skirt again. In fact, I got rid of it.
These days, people do the same thing via social media though more extreme and a lot more hateful. It happened to me a week or so ago. I was rather annoyed by it and wanted to write a scathing response but instead, I didn’t. I refused to be baited. I let the comment stay while others came behind and commented on how rude the response was.
I wondered why even comment with something so rude? What was the point? And then I thought about “if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all” and how it should extend to social media.
I don’t care who you are, where you came from or what your motivation is, but it’s never okay to be a jerk on social media to ANYONE about ANYTHING. I hate this most of all. I’ve always hated it. I try very hard to post upbeat, fun, positive, funny things on ALL my social media accounts. I would never even think to post a nasty comment on someone’s post because it’s just rude and really, what does it gain? Nothing. We all have opinions but I was taught to keep them to myself. It doesn’t mean we get to spew them to others we barely know and probably have never met online.
I still think about the things those aforementioned people said to me, to my face and it still stings a little even years later. Because I’m human and I have feelings. I will also always remember how my shirt should be in a boot sale (which you can’t even SEE by the way—it’s not even a western shirt; not even close) or how atrocious my fashion choice was.
I’ll leave you with this quote because it says it all:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou