Social Media = Criticism Trap
Social Media will trick me into being critical, or joining in on someone else's criticism, even faster than it happened at work, as it turns out. `
Shortly after I posted yesterday, I read this article on HuffPost and wanted to share it, but I only wanted to share it because I was critical of it. It's about washing dishes by hand and suggests, among other things, that you use a sanitizing rinse at the end and don't stack your dishes to dry in the drainer.
I can't say anything without violating this week's challenge over something silly (although Facebook now has a few "ghost posts" on the books from my attempts at finding a challenge workaround).
Last night I also read this article called How To Be Less Critical of Others. It suggests asking yourself why you feel the need to say what you want to say.
If I ask myself that about the dish-washing article, I suppose the answer is that I want to commiserate with other people who don't sanitize their dishes. On some level the article must feel like criticism of me, my current dish-washing practices, and I want to criticize back. I'm looking for "It's okay, you're not doing anything wrong" support.
But I can give that to myself, without subjecting anyone else to the criticism inherent in the article or my own negativity about it. What if some of my Facebook friends DO sanitize their dishes? Who am I to criticize them because I don't?
I'm okay with how I wash my dishes and I don't really care what you do, unless you've found a way to get them to wash themselves, which I want to know about yesterday.
Coming to this conclusion feels like not worrying. If you've ever felt that spacious void when you consciously stop worrying about something, you know what I mean. I imagine it's like when you take a toy away from a dog. The dog was gnawing and gnawing at it, and you took it away and now there is nothing. Sad look in dog's eyes. You know it's not true - there are many, many other things for the dog to do - but that's not how it feels for the dog in the moment. I want my toy back!
Like worries, though, I'm sure I'm better off without this thing to criticize.
Politics, Religion and Family
Then first thing this morning, I found myself in a conversation with Eric about politics, religion and family (I kid you not). I was only on my first cup of tea.
A critical statement or two might have slipped out, but I tried really hard to point out the positives. Surprisingly, a string of positives more-or-less ended the conversation. I think I'm on to something here...
Then my friend, Hilary, posted something on Facebook from her blog (Ready To Wear StL), asking about fashion pet peeves. If you've ever seen me, you know I'm not exactly into fashion. My goal is to blend in and that's it. If you noticed what I was wearing, I failed. But that doesn't mean I don't have fashion pet peeves!
So I typed up a comment, then realized what I was doing. Sigh.
Alone Time and Bonding
I was alone for the rest of the day, except for social media, and I refrained from criticism, even of myself, as far as I can tell. I guess I'm more critical of myself when there are witnesses to the things I do.
All in all, I had a good day. I did some cleaning, laundry, cooking and running. I'm thinking about pretending I'm a food blogger and posting the turkey noodle soup I made for lunch. It was pretty tasty. And I'm not saying that just because I can't say anything critical.
I have concluded after two days that, for me, criticism serves a bonding function. It's just as easy to bond with another person over what you don't like as it is over what you do like. Maybe easier, actually.
Week Fifteen: Spiritual - Say Nothing Critical