TMI (Too Much Information)
We've seen what overexposure to graphic violence in movies and TV has done to desensitize us. And we've seen what unceasing and explicit exposure to the horrors of terrorism and war in news coverage has done to us. Are we going to allow the increasing preoccupation with emotional and emotive expression on social media to add to the problem? I for one sincerely hope not.
Which is not to say that anyone's postings on social media should be censored or restricted. But we can reasonably take into our own hands the determination of how much emotional voyeurism and emotive exhibitionism we are exposed to on a daily basis. And we can choose not to foment and reinforce it with our own postings and comments and compliments.
We can also choose to steer clear of those who speak of virtually nothing else. Who use every post to draw us into a fixation with emotions and emotive content. Who use every comment to refocus attention upon themselves and their personal demons and travails.
Again, this is not to say that one should never be emotional or emotive or sympathetic or empathetic on social media. There is no doubt in my mind that some online relationships are very real, and that some people find personal connections online that they lack or fail to find elsewhere in their lives. And I see nothing wrong with joining hands across digital hyperspace in mutual support, as and when needed.
"... the more I love mankind as a whole, the less I love man in particular..."I suggest that the ideal is to be selective and authentic in both the asking for and giving of emotional support. For one can emotionally support some of one's connections all of the time. And perhaps all of one's connections some of the time. But never all of one's connections all of the time.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky in The Brothers Karamazov
To try intentionally to do so, or even to simply fall into such by default, is to risk emotional burn-out and eventual loss of the ability to empathize at all --- ever. Which would surely be a shame. --- Phil Friedman
Post-script: Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. This post is an expression of mine. You are free to disagree. You are even free to say so in the comments thread for this post. Indeed, you are invited to do so. All on-point comments are welcomed and will be treated with respect and answered. So feel free to join the conversation. --- PLF
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About me, Phil Friedman: With 30 some years background in the marine industry, I've worn numerous hats — as a yacht designer, boat builder, marine operations and business manager, marine industry consultant, marine marketing and communications specialist, yachting magazine writer and editor, yacht surveyor, and marine industry educator. I am also trained and experienced in interest-based negotiation and mediation.
In a previous life, I was formally trained as an academic philosopher and taught logic and philosophy at university.
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