Phil Friedman

4 years ago · 5 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

chat Contact the author

thumb_up Relevant message Comment

TMI (Too Much Information)

TMI (Too Much Information)If I Do Say So Myself

Soro Phisophical Musings Web An £ dge

; Av
Too Much Information { 5
{


EMOTIONAL VOYEURISM AND EMOTIVE EXHIBITIONISM MAY BE DEGRADING OUR ABILITY TO EMPATHIZE ... OR EVEN SYMPATHIZE ...


Update 07/15/17:  When I first published this piece in November 2016, it was met with consternation in some quarters. And I wondered at the time if I was being overly sensitive  --- or perhaps, more accurately, insensitive --- to the apparent needs of some to divulge on social media the details of their personal psychological trials and tribulations. However, the intervening nine months have confirmed me in my original intuition that we were facing the beginning of an outbreak of what, for want of a better term, I think of as mass group therapy.

Please understand that, if I am mildly sarcastic about such goings on, it is not because I am unsympathetic to those who are afflicted. Indeed, how could I be, as nearly every one of us is touched, in one form or another, by psychological frailties and ills. No, it is not the fact that so many people speak openly about their problems that troubles me, but that such a high percentage approach the matter on beBee, in effect, as a form of a selfie.

Nominally, many who choose to speak extensively of and constantly return to these matters, are seeking to help others. I get that. But when I read carefully and observe the pattern of their narrative --- which usually includes an invitation for others to join them in speaking out --- I cannot help but feel that what we are seeing are examples not of seeking to help others, but rather of misery loves company.

Which is my story ... and I'm sticking to it.


Preface: This is on the order of a rant --- polite and quiet, but a rant nevertheless.  It's a protest against the Tyranny of  Emotion that I see growing daily on social media. If you're of a mind to think this an attempt to control what is expressed on social media, you're wrong. For it is not. In any way.  My only objective is to call to your attention what I believe is a disturbing and negative trend. Whether you personally choose to participate in this trend, is solely up to you. However, my mission here is to counsel against doing so.


empathy : noun : em·pa·thy \ˈem-pə-thē\ : the capacity for understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another ....  without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner...

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Let's get something clear. People who genuinely empathize with others generally do not revel in emotionalism.


That is because those who are empathetic actually, in a very real way, feel the pain of others, their fears, their upsets, their depressions, their disillusions.


To be sure, those who are empathetic also feel the joy and elation of others, their happiness, their contentment. But the good emotions that empathetics feel are far less lasting in their cumulative impact than are the bad or negative ones.


Which is why most truly empathetic people I've known generally seek to filter or minimize the amount of emotionalism they are exposed to on a day to day basis... 
Pd

Before Writing Comes Thinking

 

A

Please note that when I speak of "empathetics",  I am specifically not talking about "Empaths". In referring to the former, I am talking about ordinary people who have a deep sense of empathy for their fellow human beings. Whereas in the parlance of the paranormal, "Empaths" are those who reputedly tune in psychically to the emotional experience of a person, place or animal. Candidly, I have sufficient problems in dealing with the sphere of the normal, and so have absolutely no inclination to grapple with the constantly shifting ground of the paranormal.

That said, understand further that I am neither recommending nor seeking to eliminate emotive elements on social media --- or anywhere else, for that matter.


However, I am suggesting that, when it comes to emotional occurrences and experiences, TMI (too much information) can actually result in decreased, rather than increased sensitivity to the plight of others...
Pd

Before Writing Comes Thinking

 

A

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..."  Fyodor Dostoyevsky  in The Brothers Karamazov

I suggest that the ideal path 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. 

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 


Author's Notes: If you found this post interesting and worthwhile, and would like to receive notifications of my writings on a regular basis, click the [FOLLOW] button on my beBee profile. Better yet, elect there to follow my blog by email. As a writer-friend of mine says, you can always change your mind later.

Should you be curious about some of my other writings, you're invited to take a look at the following from my Chicago Stories series:

"Two Pizzas and a Shovel"

"Wake Up Little Susie"

"Vending Machines Are People Too"

As well, feel free to "like" and "share" this post and my other articles — whether on beBee, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, provided only that you credit me properly as the author, and include a live link to my original post.


About me, Phil FriedmanWith 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.


Before writing comes thinking.  ( The optional-to-read pitch) :  

As a professional writer, editor, university educator, and speaker, with more than 1,000 print and digital publications, I've recently launched an online program for enhancing your expository writing: learn2engage — With Confidence. My mission is to help writers and would-be writers improve their thought and writing, master the logic of discussion, and strengthen their ability to deal with disagreement.


A

 

 

PH siogoets]

Em LEE] 2 huencer

For more information, click the image immediately above. And to schedule an appointment for a free 1/2-hour consult or to sit in on one of our online group sessions, email: info@learn2engage.org. I look forward to speaking with you soon.


Pd

Before Writing Comes Thinking

 

A
Pd

Before Writing Comes Thinking

 

A
#PHOBIAS #THERAPY #PSYCHOLOGY #PSYCHOLOGICALPROBLEMS #LIFECOACHING #LIFESTYLE #ANXIETY #DEPRESSION #PERSONALGROWTH #SELFHELP #HAPPINESS

"""""
thumb_up Relevant message Comment
Comments
don kerr

don kerr

4 years ago #112

#151
Phil Friedman You may never understand how much that means to me my friend. Thank you.

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #111

#147
"But folks are getting to be more discerning Phil. Once you realise that time is your greatest treasure, you automatically start focusing on stuff that really matters." I am glad Praveen Raj Gullepalli that you think people are becoming more discerning, it gives some hope. In my job as a psychologist I would say the opposite but that's a self selected sample ! Maybe the older you get the more time spent on excellence - things that matter to you most - becomes more important than being stuck with Drama Queens 24/7 ! "Your buzz is a great sanity check on hyper-emotionalism and emotive-narcissism." I agree I think this buzz raises important issues and I was surprised about the initial reaction. But I guess I teach people self esteem, assertiveness and not to over react on the sensitivity scale ...... So Phil Friedman to those detractors I say " I bite my thumb at you, sir / madam ....."

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #110

#150
To my mind, Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr, you are a paradigm example of a writer who can talk about dealing with and overcoming emotional adversity without turning it into something that's all about you. I found your book, "Riding Shotgun" (available from Amazon) to be uplifting and inspiring rather than emotionally embroiling and draining. Cheers!

don kerr

don kerr

4 years ago #109

#144
Aw, thanks Aleta Curry

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #108

#147
Interesting to read your reaction, Praveen. Thank you for sharing that. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #107

#143
I hope, Aleta, no pun was intended by you. Even though you could be forgiven a bit of humor in the cause of assuring that we don't take ourselves too seriously. Thanks for reading and commenting. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #106

#137
Cyndi, your responses and those of Louise Smith and others, have made me very glad I re-posted this piece. For it's original reception was cool at best and, indeed, engendered both public criticism of my insensitivity and "negativism" (which I can deal with, no sweat) and some behind-the-scenes attacks on my writings by people who felt I was being "mean" to people on beBee and damaging the platform. This is not to whine, but only to state a fact, and to thank you for speaking out candidly on this topic. You have encouraged me to believe there is a chance to retake the playing field from the narcissists and fakirs. Just for interest, I recommend the following parable: https://www.bebee.com/producer/@jim-able/the-true-story-of-snow-white-s-great-great-great-granddaughter Cheers... and thanks to all for a great discussion.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #105

#136
Great reference, Louise. Thank you for posting it here. I'll repeat it for those who might miss it: http://www.bipolarmanifesto.com/wordpress/2013/06/20/dealing-with-the-mentally-ill-who-damage-your-life/

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #104

#135
Well, Louise, I can't really say. But assuming it's not an age joke, it's one of the nicest things someone has said to me recently -- at least since my good friend, Jim Murray, first told me in print to go f%#k myself. :-)

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #103

#134
Bingo, Louise! In my experience -- which is as a university and community college teacher and a psychology layman, there is a strong component of narcissism present in all instances of obsessively recurring self-revelation and public confession. And many, if not most sufferers could improve significantly if they could follow the advice to "just get over yourself" and begin looking outward. Summed up these days as "constant selfie, never healthy."

Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

4 years ago #102

#136
Thank you for posting that link Louise Smith...It was very helpful in validating for me the distance I have placed between myself and a person in my life that quite fits the description of 'mood disorder.' At first, I felt perhaps I was not being understanding enough, but knowing how energy works and the vampires out there who feed on others for attention, I am quite comfortable with my decision to step away;-)

Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

4 years ago #101

"People who have been through emotional and psychological travails and who speak about how they recovered and regained their feet. For I believe that such messages of hope are sometimes helpful in the struggles of others." That's it in a nut shell;-) Look, we ALL struggle from time to time...that's life. Thankfully, not all of us experience severe emotional or physical trauma...but if you are one of those souls and survived...your gift to the world is in sharing the story of HOW you survived...not necessarily what you survived. Telling the story of trauma incessantly is, as Louise Smith has mentioned, exhausting...It begins to desensitize the listener into a state mind numbing oblivion...Think for a moment about the 'Boy Who Cried Wolf' story...After a while people stop listening...and then when you really do need help it can fall on deaf ears.

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #100

Your commenters may find this interesting to read too http://www.bipolarmanifesto.com/wordpress/2013/06/20/dealing-with-the-mentally-ill-who-damage-your-life/

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #99

#133
Well Phil you don't have to be a Psychologist to recognise negative traits in people. You just did it ! Analytical thinking, looking for evidence, having empathy and lot of life experience will do just as well. Does this sound like you?

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #98

#133
1) Borderline Personality Disorder with strong traits of Narcissism 2) Prolonged Grief Disorder and Narcissism 3) Very Low Self Esteem and Narcissism Commonality ?

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #97

#131
Louise, I am not a psychologist, having taken only two psychology courses as an undergraduate. (Oh, wait, doesn't that give me more qualification in psychology than 80% of the self-ascribed therapy experts on social media? Well, never mind.) But I have been accused by some of being a "mental case" -- and I do stay from time to time at a Holiday Inn Express. Anyway, I've identified a number of red flags on social media. 1) When someone who is revealing emotional distress constantly and repeatedly speaks only of their own problems and takes every opportunity to turn the focus of almost every discussion onto themselves. This indicates to me that they don't identify with anyone else or anyone else's issues or problems, but are just waiting for an opportunity to draw attention to themselves. 2) When someone repeatedly returns to talk about the same people or pets who have passed and the grief they are suffering over their loss, never acknowledging that all of us have also suffered similar kinds of losses and a grieve just as much, whether or not we talk about it publicly. 3) When someone repeatedly explains that their self-revelations of emotional and psychological problems are their way of "helping others". None of my comments have to do with people who have been through emotional and psychological travails and who speak about how they recovered and regained their feet. For I believe that such messages of hope are sometimes helpful in the struggles of others. Cheers!

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #96

#126
Yes it's interesting. I've thought about this as I have clients who have come to see me off and on for 5 or more years. They may go to another professional in between but generally come back. EG : A client who came back recently after a 1 year break told me he went to a new GP who referred him to a psychologist in that Medical practice. My client went about 3 times. He said that he liked coming to me because I listened to him and talked to him in an ordinary conversational way that made him feel like a person not an object. Other clients have told me this and it continues to amaze me but I guess if a therapist sees 8 clients a day, 5 days a week for 20 to 30 years, it has to impact on them somehow. I have a much smaller caseload and can take more time. I would burn out fast otherwise.

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #95

Such an interesting discussion Phil Friedman ! " People who genuinely empathize with others generally do not revel in emotionalism." I totally agree, I couldn't do my job as a psychologist if I was constantly revelling in emotionalism ! I also agree with Cyndi wilkins comment that a person has to WANT to do something - motivation is a strong indicator of success IMHO. Constant venting and over dramatising with TMI does not equal "therapy" Freud had clients for the long haul. 12 years was the longest as I recall but I can't find a reference on the net to support this. But his model wouldn't work today as most people do not have that amount of $ to spend on therapy. SO the emphasis is on recovery and resolution, learning not to repeat maladaptive behaviours which is not continual venting or over dramatising in Social Media. There's even a type of therapy called Brief Therapy. In Australia, that means 10 appointments per calendar year according to Medicare. This completely discounts clients with multiple complex conditions and resulting situations. About some of Freud's clients https://www.bebee.com/group/22786

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #94

#129
Right on, Louise Smith! I have said many times in print, sometimes to the consternation of both friend and foe, that a writer who says he or she writes simply to "get it out" and doesn't care if anyone reads what the writer writes IS A LIAR! For it they weren't, they would journal and place the journals on their bookshelf, never to be published or read again. Or better yet, they would destroy the journals, never to be seen by anyone, now or in future. No, the fact is that writers who publish on social media or elsewhere write to be read. They want people to read and pay attention to their expressions of their thoughts and feelings. And for the record, I have no objection to that. For I believe that everyone has the right to express him- or herself as they see fit. Even to the extent of revealing their innermost turmoils and afflictions. However, nobody is under any obligation to read what they write or publish, nor to allow themselves to be drawn into the abyss of the writer's emotional tribulations. Cheers!

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #93

#94
How about journalling in private and not posting ?

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #92

#84
And distancing is what happens a lot of the time

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #91

#23
I don't think that is cold Renee. I think that is smart. Emotional drama sets off chemicals in your body that have a negative impact over the long term. Listening/reading such drama is tiresome. It's often so childish & emotionally immature not to mention attention seeking. It also deflects from or covers up the real problem eg why do bullies bully? because they have low self esteem and bully to make themselves feel better than the person who is their target. So keep conserving your energy and enjoy less stress and more integrity in your relationships.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #90

#124
Louise, I had to go back to see my exchange with Paul when this was first published. My reply at the time was" "#9 Thank you, Paul, for reading and commenting. As I'm sure you noticed, I said in the piece that everyone has the right to say and do as they wish. As to toxicity, it comes disguised in many forms, one of which is the ostensible over-concern for the emotions of others. My point is that truly empathetic people do not focus constantly on the emotions of others --- for that is too disconcerting. Cheers! " Your description of just being "over them?" is a sound one, I think. For I believe the truly empathetic among us need to "get over" a lot of what floats by -- or it eventually burns them out emotionally. Of course, those who only pose as being empathetic can deal with an endless stream of emotional turmoil in others because it does not really touch them. IMO

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #89

#14
I totally agree - personally & professionally !

Louise Smith

Louise Smith

4 years ago #88

#9
or just over them?

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #87

#122
No apologies necessary, Cyndi. Indeed, I'm extremely pleased to read that you believe that it's necessary to "shift your perception of your own 'personal reality' and disengage from the feeding frenzy of a collective vibration of individuals with whom you have in common a shared experience." For whether we think of it as reality or a metaphor, I think one who is suffering needs to find "healthier" personalities with whom to "vibrate" sympathetically. Otherwise, there is no hope of changing for the better.

Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

4 years ago #86

#114
Well now, I guess I have to apologize back to you Phil Friedman...I hadn't realized I spelled your name wrong...my bad;-) And yes, I have to say I am in agreement on this subject matter. There is a need to move away from the energy of having been traumatized in order to heal...when you do so, you are better able to shift your perception of your own 'personal reality' and disengage from the feeding frenzy of a collective vibration of individuals with whom you have in common a shared experience. When we raise our individual awareness as such, we serve to raise the awareness of the collective...freeing ourselves from the 'cage'...and assisting them in doing so as well... Very thought provoking buzz;-)

don kerr

don kerr

4 years ago #85

Well I ain't gonna argue with that @Phil#120

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #84

#119
BINGO! Don \ud83d\udc1d Kerr, your characterization of the difference is as near perfect as humanly possible. And is similar to the distinction I'd draw between a support group and a "therapy" group. The former is proactive and focused on helping its members move forward, whereas the latter is often a forum for expressing self-absorbed revelations. Which seems to me what goes on most of the time on social media, albeit under the guise of helping others. Cheers, my friend.

don kerr

don kerr

4 years ago #83

Phil Friedman You and I already hashed this out last November but since this is back up I can't help but put my oar in one more time. You write: "It is about a social media phenomenon which I see as encouraging inward looking expressions and focus, both of which only make the problems worse. And which have the potential to drive others away from being truly sympathetic." This sounds to me as though we're seeing an increase of psychological selfies. It is pretty simple to detect the authentic from the posturing piece. The first is predicated upon a genuine desire to share in order to help others accept their adversity, confront it and by so doing perhaps - just perhaps - show one or two others that the necessary vulnerability that accompanies confrontation of adversity is OK and desirable. The second is more akin to a child dropping to the floor in a tantrum proclaiming that its life is hell and why isn't anyone noticing ME!!!! One is outwardly focused. The other totally self absorbed.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #82

I recommend reading the discussion at ‪https://www.bebee.com/producer/@victoria-toumit/social-disappointments-cause-depression‬ It (the discussion, NOT the article) is an illustration of TMI and the effect of obsessive self-focus. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #81

Thank you, Lada \ud83c\udfe1 Prkic, for sharing this post.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #80

#113
Thank you, Cyndi Wilkins, for sharing this post, and for the kind words.. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #79

#113
The following is a comment from a long-time online friend of mine, Sou Abbas from down under, on LinkedIn in. Sou is a pretty unique person, whose comments are always worthwhile. And I don't think she will object to my quoting it here on beBee: "Compassion for people is a natural trait of mine. I am no better or worse in expressing my opinions or feelings on Social media. I have regrets about my own TMI as it caused a level of expectation that I could not deliver. I am only one person. I'm back after a break that was long overdue. I still see who lives in reality and who lives in a fantasy. I don't make many comments anymore and focus on subject matters that interest me and may also interest my connections. They decide if they want to read it. I try to remain confident and do it my way. Cheers Phil, keep rocking the boat :)" Thanks, Sou, for reading and taking the time to comment. Hope all is well with you. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #78

#112
I apologize, Cyndi, for taking so long to answer your comment. Truth be known, it took me a while to realize that when you addressed "Mr. Friedman", you were speaking to me. :-) Anyway, thank you for reading and commenting. I think that you and I agree that while the enhanced ability to connect online can bring those who need help together with those most suited, in both a professional and personal sense, to help. One of my points in this discussion, if not the post itself, is that the helping is best carried out via private connections and conversations and not in a 12 million member public forum. Both to protect the "patient's" privacy and to eliminate the circus-like atmosphere that I believe actually gets in the way of healing. I think that you and I may also agree that the afflicted cannot help the afflicted. Granted, many mental health professionals emerge from the ranks of the previously afflicted, but the key term is "previously". In my experience as a teacher (before the invention of electricity) simply putting a group of troubled people together to air their issues among themselves accomplishes nothing. Yet, in effect, that is what goes on much of the time on social media, with all the me-too-ing that goes on. Cheers!

Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

4 years ago #77

In the interest of personal growth...this one is worth a second look.

Cyndi wilkins

Cyndi wilkins

4 years ago #76

I have to say this subject brings to my memory a buzz written by Ali \ud83d\udc1d Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee a while back called 'Our Tendency to Make The Simple Complex'...wherein he writes, "Apparently humans tend not only towards more disorder, but also to more confusion".... Now I am not suggesting by any means that the problems we face or traumas we may have experienced are in any way 'simple'...and yes, I also agree that social media is a great sounding board to work through many challenges, as there are some amazing professionals out here willing to lend a sympathetic ear and perhaps offer some helpful advice. But people have to want to move towards a solution in order to help themselves...or anyone else for that matter...Going over the same old ground is chasing your tail...and unfortunately, humans do tend to identify with their afflictions... I do agree with you Mr. Freedman, in that the personal information shared on the internet is excessive in many cases...and in others boarders on harassment and even defamation of character...be very mindful when airing your dirty laundry in public...These things have a way of coming back to haunt us...

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #75

#109
Martina, thank you for reading and commenting. I think I understand very well when you say, "Who decides? ... Isn't one of the things that's so great about Bebee is that people share parts of themselves they don't elsewhere, so you can get to know them at [sic] a more detailed way?" 1) As I've already pointed out, nowhere in my piece do I say or imply that I want to stop anyone from posting anything they may choose to publish. My expressed observations and concern have to do with a developing environment which I believe has a deleterious effect on those struggling with mental issues such as anxiety and depression. As to my "... [silencing] one person who might have needed the support from posting too much information ... Good on you ...", I'll take that chance. If I can motivate even one or two people to reach out for sympathetic, compassion support that can actually help them, rather than mistake cathartic expression (coming out) in front of 12 million people for a path to healing, well, I'll take that to be on me as well. 2) Your statement that what's so great about beBee is that it presents an opportunity to "know" people at a deeper level is precisely what I question and what I see, with all due respect, as "emotional voyeurism". Public catharsis does not, to my mind, constitute genuine intimacy. And indeed it is often a snare and a delusion for those who need desperately to connect on an authentic level. My best wishes to you on your search for whatever you seek. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #74

#109
Martina, thank you for reading and commenting. I think I understand very well when you say, "Who decides? ... Isn't one of the things that's so great about Bebee is that people share parts of themselves they don't elsewhere, so you can get to know them at [sic] a more detailed way?" 1) As I've already pointed out, nowhere in my piece do I say or imply that I want to stop anyone from posting anything they may choose to publish. My expressed observations and concern have to do with a developing environment which I believe has a deleterious effect on those struggling with mental issues such as anxiety and depression. As to my "... [silencing] one person who might have needed the support from posting too much information ... Good on you ...", I'll take that chance. If I can motivate even one or two people to reach out for sympathetic, compassion support that can actually help them, rather than mistake cathartic expression (coming out) in front of 12 million people for a path to healing, well, I'll take to be on me. 2) Your statement that what's so great about beBee is that it presents an opportunity to "know" people at a deeper level is precisely what I question and what I see, with all due respect, as "emotional voyeurism". Public catharsis does not, to my mind, constitute intimacy. My best wishes to you on your search for whatever you seek. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #73

#106
Yes, Jimbo, it only takes three or four times of hitting me in the head with a 2x4 for me to get it. Cheers, bud!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #72

#104
Although sometimes, John, ignorance is born of apathy -- in that "I don't know because I don't care to." Cheers! BTW, on a side note, I tried Aligned.com but expect soon to drop off, as what they are doing, for the most part, is seeking to get into my social media and email contact lists with almost constant solicitations for me to let them look for people and businesses who "can recommend me". If you are in contact with management there, you should let them know it does not sit well with those of us who have well-developed lists of genuine contacts. Cheers!

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

4 years ago #71

#103
OK. So there, it would seem, was an example of what I was talking around. Only mentioning it to reinforce the 'tricky" part of doing posts like this. Don't stop, however. Because well that would take all the fun out of it.

Ian Weinberg

Ian Weinberg

4 years ago #70

#102
I think that about nails it Phil Friedman I actually even get paid for doing it!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #69

#101
Martina, please read what I've written in the article, not just the comments, as I've already answered that. "Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. This post is an expression of mine. You are free to disagree." I also specifically pointed out that I am NOT. recommending any kind of control of what people write and publish, but only suggesting that most of us would do well to filter what we read habitually and allow ourselves to be drawn into. Thank you for commenting. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #68

#100
"Do not go gentle into that good night but rage, rage against the dying of the light." -- My favorite from "the other" Dylan. One of the things that is valuable about your and my relationship is our commitment to playing Yin to the other's Yang and vice versa. When I am bursting with the need to blow off steam, you come back (privately) with calming counsel, and I try to do the same for you, even when I am moved to yell "Go get 'em, Jimbo!" I mention this in this context because I think it important to understand that emotional stress in one person is not aided by a second person mirroring that stress, but rather by offsetting it. Contrary to what pushed in the current culture of mass group therapy, the afflicted cannot help the afflicted. And what is needed by those who are troubled is caring, sympathetic support, not a sharing of their distress. IMO. Cheers!

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

4 years ago #67

#96
OK. I understand. Just making assumptions based on mu 80/20 Differential. "You're right from your side. I'm right from mine. We're both just one too many mornings and a thousand miles behind". Guess Who

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #66

#98
Thank you, Sandra, for saying so. FWIW, when things get tough, I often find consolation in "The Wisdom of Chung King" (circa 650 AD) ... https://www.bebee.com/producer/@friedman-phil/six-life-lessons-for-today-from-chung-king I believe that one of the hardest lessons to learn in life is that there are those who will shower you with professions of sympathy and care ... and then there are those who will actually try to help. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #65

Jim, it is always a pleasure to cross keyboards with you because you have a knack for grabbing the issues by the throat. 1. Jim> "I'm not sure whether most of the people who create posts like those you are describing are actually 100% aware that what they are doing falls into the TMI category." Me - Not saying that they do, just that someone needs to tell them it is. Which I am doing. I stand by my assertion that those who are genuinely empathetic, those who do more than simply pose as such, can be burnt out by an overload of emotions pouring into their psyches via social media. 2. Jim> "... there is a beautiful gestalt involved in actually revealing yourself in your writing." Me - True, but what would you think of me if I repeatedly returned to the subject of how much I miss and was closer to my deceased father-in-law than to my own father? After a while, you might get to feel that my expressions were not so much an exorcism as an adopted pose or posture found by experiment to garner attention. All writers seek attention, but the best use their thoughts and stories and do not play the personal sympathy card. 3. Jim> "... social media is not any sort of therapy couch. But it certainly is IMHO, a great ventilation chamber." Me - Agreed. However, those of us who are genuinely empathetic need to filter or we will self-destruct. And anyone who does is then of no good to him- or herself or to anyone else. Cheers, bud. And thanks for commenting.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #64

#93
I think I understand what you're saying, Sandra, but have to continue to reject your use of the term "ugly". If you choose to see what you choose to reveal as the "ugly" side, that is your prerogative. But I did not, and will not buy into that revealing characterization. Again, my best to you in your search.

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

4 years ago #63

Phil Friedman A couple of things. 1. I'm not sure whether most of the people who create posts like those you are describing are actually 100% aware that what they are doing falls into the TMI category. 2. You know and I know, as writers, that there is a beautiful gestalt involved in actually revealing yourself in your writing. Not being critical, but just pointing out that there are a lot of reasons why people write the stuff they write. That's why writing a piece like you just wrote is such a tricky thing to do. I write a lot of stuff (especially on FB) just to get it out of my head. It ain't pretty but I believe it keeps me (arguably) sane. I think a lot of people do the same thing in other places. Maybe they don't do it consciously, but maybe it's a way to exorcise some demon or other. When you say "I suggest that the ideal path is to be selective and authentic in both the asking for and giving of emotional support.", I know what it means because I know you and that you are a good guy with a big heart. But I can see how that could be taken to sound like a dictum or some sort. I know it's qualified by the fact that its a suggestion. But you know people. They don't always get the exact meaning of everything they read. I do get your point. And I agree that social media is not any sort of therapy couch. But it certainly is IMHO, a great ventilation chamber.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #62

#91
Martina, two reasons: 1) There is a difference between a genuine "support group" and an outpouring of self-focus and self-concern. 2) Genuine support group activity is usually private, with the participants respecting the personal privacy of the other members of the group. To my mind, the back and forth emotive exhibitionism that is becoming so pronounced on social media is the very opposite of a caring "support group" -- for if it were, those who participate would take it to private group messaging or email and not conduct their interactions in front of the rest of the world. IMO. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #61

#87
Sandra, with all due respect, this piece is not about you specifically -- unless you choose to make it so. But what you've said illustrates, at least in part, the point I'm trying to make. For example, you say, "Writing a piece on mental illness is the opposite of a selfie. It's showing your ugliest side to the world." Really? One's "ugliest side to the world"? I don't believe I said anything like that -- and would never do so. I deal daily with mental illness (or challenges) in my extended family and circle of friends, offline and online. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety, depression, bipolar disease, even paranoid schizophrenia. Contrary to your assumption, I sympathize and try my best to support all those in my sphere of contacts who suffer, and although I see their prolems as extraordinarily difficult for them to deal with, I never personally see them as "ugly". Moreover, neither does anyone whom I know. As I said, this piece is not about you. It is about a social media phenomenon which I see as encouraging inward looking expressions and focus, both of which only make the problems worse. And which have the potential to drive others away from being truly sympathetic. My best wishes to you.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #60

#87
Sandra, with all due respect, this piece is not about you specifically -- unless you choose to make it so. But what you've said illustrates, at least in part, the point I'm trying to make. For example, you say, "Writing a piece on mental illness is the opposite of a selfie. It's showing your ugliest side to the world." Really? One's "ugliest side to the world"? I don't believe I said anything like that -- and would never do so. I deal daily with mental illness (or challenges) in my extended family and circle of friends, offline and online. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety, depression, bipolar disease, even paranoid schizophrenia. Contrary to your assumption, I sympathize and try my best to support all those in my sphere of contacts who suffer, and although I see their prolems as extraordinarily difficult for them to deal with, I never personally see them as "ugly". Moreover, neither does anyone whom I know. As I said, this piece is not about you. It is about a social media phenomenon which I see as encouraging inward looking expressions and focus, both of which only make the problems worse. And which have the potential to drive others away of being truly sympathetic. My best wishes to you.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #59

#84
Aleta, I agree. Twenty people all sitting around talking about their own troubles, but never listening or trying to focus on the troubles of ithers, is an orgy of selfism, not a support group. And the former is what we see in social media most of the time. Except, of course, for the long distance life coaches and digital therapists who hawk their services. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #58

#82
Sandra, believe it or not, you are younger than I am. And I can tell you that the subject of mental illness is no longer, in the least, @taboot". In fact, it is fashionable in some circles to have a "shrink" and considered a social defect not to have one. I can also say with confidence that he vast majority of the autobiographical material published is so idiosyncratic as to afford little, if any help to others. I do, however, grant that some people who are not helped may, nevertheless, be comforted by knowing that so many others are afflicted like them. To me, that comfort is empty, and I think many would be helped more by keeping company with those who are a bit more "together" than they are -- provided that company was sensitive and compassionate. IMO.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #57

#81
I thank you, Sandra, for reading and commenting. But the point of my piece is that, in my experience, reading all these outpourings doesn't, in fact, help. Rather, it only encourages many to dwell on their miseries. And approach it all as an irgy of psychological selfies. BTW, I stick by my point about desensitization, as there is plenty of psychological research published that supports the thesis that repeated exposure to violence on TV and in video games desensitizes people to the occurrence of such violence in real life. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #56

#79
Thank you, Jordan, for reading and commenting. Naturally, I agree with you ... although I am programmed to disagree with Jim Murray whenever I possibly can. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #55

For the record, and to clarify why I consider a number of the criticisms expressed in this thread to be way off point, the following is a direct quote from the article: " I am neither recommending nor seeking to eliminate emotive elements on social media --- or anywhere else, for that matter ... However, I am suggesting that, when it comes to emotional occurrences and experiences, TMI (too much information) can actually result in decreased, rather than increased sensitivity to the plight of others ..." Before drawing any conclusions as to the nature of this article from a small sampling of the comments, you're urged to read the article itself. Thank you all for reading and joining the conversation. Cheers!

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

4 years ago #54

Wow...I can see that very soon all philosophical discourse on social media will be considered a personal affront to someone. There appears to be a lot of people who are enslaved by their egos these days. Too bad. But there are still a few of us left who remember what intellectual conversation is all about. And frankly, if you don't, well then what the hell are you reading a Phil Friedman article for?

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #53

#75
Res ipsa loquitur. I invite any observer interested to actually review my article and the comments thread here, then decide for him or herself what is fact and what is fabrication.

Claire L Cardwell

Claire L Cardwell

4 years ago #52

Phil Friedman - I repeat back to you what I just said "You are a highly intelligent well educated man and have published some really helpful articles in the past. Please can we let all this negativity go? " - How pray tell me is that an insult? Yes I have called you out on the subject matter of this particular article. And yes I have also saved some of your other articles as HTML Pages so I have all the comments. I have merely stated the facts as I see them. The evidence is in the comment thread below. At no time did you apologise to Max J Carter for upsetting him and neither have you denied that the article is about him in particular. Surely if someone thought you had written a nasty article about them you would at least apologise for the misunderstanding? But you haven't and you won't. So all I can say is 'Shame on you too Sir!'.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #51

#73
I repeat, Claire, shame on you. What you are overlooking. intentionally or otherwise, is that I do not go onto the posts of other to criticize or target them as some others do -- and as you are doing now. That is bullying and trolling. To speak of and express ideas and opinions is not to attack anyone personally. To do what you are doing here is, however, to do just that. And if tolerated and encouraged, will eventually lead to a movement to squash all free expression, and will damage beBee. Indeed, I venture to say it already has. Take the time to, as you say, look back. You will find absolutely no instance of my commenting in a derogatory manner on the post of any other writer, nor ever initiating an ad hominem attack on one of my own. And for you to imply that I have is disingenuous in the extreme, especially since I have responded to you with nothing but the hand of friendship and support.

Claire L Cardwell

Claire L Cardwell

4 years ago #50

Phil - I have actually witnessed the way you approach people who's views you disagree with. Constant publishing of articles with barely veiled references to the person in question is not a particularly constructive use of your time. Not to mention what happens behind the scenes. I've spent the last part of an hour going through everything and I am shocked that it actually didn't occur to me at the time what was going on. You are a highly intelligent well educated man and have published some really helpful articles in the past. Please can we let all this negativity go? cc Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #49

#70
Claire, the question arises as to why you or anyone else would take it upon themselves to enter the conversation on another's post to draw completely unsupported inferences about the motives or intent of generic remarks not aimed at anyone or anything other than social media in general -- or to go on to support such a scurrilous distortion of fact. Especially since nothing said here -- or anywhere, for that matter -- targets anyone in particular, and so by its very nature, however unwelcome it may be to you as an expression of opinion, is not in any manner or form bullying. Shame on you.

Claire L Cardwell

Claire L Cardwell

4 years ago #48

#36
Well said Robert Bacal!

Claire L Cardwell

Claire L Cardwell

4 years ago #47

#63
Absolutely Max - I couldn't agree with you more. I am so disappointed that the likes of these people chased you off beBee.....looking back through some of these articles I am surprised you stood it so long. The extent of this needless attack has been remorseless and very very unfair.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #46

#67
Thank you, Aurorasa, for reading and taking the time to comment. I think everyone has his or her own reasons for being on social media. Yours you say is connection. I would describe mine as conversation, although that is not so different. And some I think are moved by the fact that misery loves company. I guess there is a place for everyone. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #45

#53
#52 #39 --- I understand that you have very likely read this post. However, for the record, and to clarify why I consider a number of the criticisms expressed in this thread to be off point, the following is a direct quote from the article" " I am neither recommending nor seeking to eliminate emotive elements on social media --- or anywhere else, for that matter ... However, I am suggesting that, when it comes to emotional occurrences and experiences, TMI (too much information) can actually result in decreased, rather than increased sensitivity to the plight of others ..." Thank you all for reading and commenting.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #44

#53
Aurorasa, I look forward to it. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #43

#59
Gerald, I think I like it, but it probably requires a bit more work. At this point, as Recording Scribe for the Society for the Study of the Wisdom of Chung King (SSWoCK), how many card-carrying desciples do we have at this point?

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #42

#52
Gerald, I have completed the following philosophical research recently. physic : phys·ic (fĭz′ĭk) : noun : A medicine or drug, especially a cathartic. (Merriam-Webster) metaphysic : meta-phys-ic (ˌmɛtəˈfɪzɪk) : noun : A mutha big enema, suitable for clearing out the BS on social media

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #41

#56
Thank you, Franci, for reading the post... and for understanding that which I am saying. I agree with your point when you say, "... when someone posts about a bad experience and others chime in with the "that's nothing, I've gone through worse". Then it is time for me to move on to another read." Some people who write about these things direct their attentions outward and use examples to provide illustrations for how other people might be able to work through various trials and tribulations. I personally find that legitimate, selfless and often potentially helpful. But a flag goes up when I see that over and over again, someone uses a comment to re-focus the conversation upon him- or herself. With not only "I've gone through worse, but with "with much struggle, and to my credit, I was able, via such and such courageous action, was able to overcome my obstacles." I don't know that one can pick it up in a single occurrence, but I do know that you can recognize a pattern, when the same behavior happens over and over again. Cheers!

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

#23
I agree 100% with Ren\u00e9e Cormier. I feel people who reveal their personal woes on social media perhaps do so to fulfill a need. I'm not saying that I don't enjoy some personal stories, but if the tone is "poor me and "OMG, look what I've been through", I tend to pass by those posts. It's not that I don't care but for my own enjoyment, I prefer not to read about someone's drama and I have no tolerance for whining. Plus, those that spell out their whole life on social media could be subjecting themselves to unwanted comments. Another annoyance IMO is when someone posts about a bad experience and others chime in with the "that's nothing, I've gone through worse". Then it is time for me to move on to another read. Good piece, Phil. Interesting and engaging subject.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #39

#50
Ach, du lieber! What an image. Aurorasa in the armor of the Valkyries! Singing a Wagner aria. I need to lie down. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #38

#47
No, Aurorasa, I do not consider my posts to be "influential" on beBee, where I have fewer than 600 followers. On LI, where I have nearly 4,000, maybe in a very small way. But not the way that Candice Galek or Brigette Hyacinth are, with their 40.000 plus followers each. However, if my posts find favor with even a few readers, it is because I speak my mind, and do not seek to curry favor by means of writing to the lowest common denominator. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #37

#39
yes, Jim, you are I think calling it like it is. There is also a trend toward more hijacking of comment threads, something that I have on occasion been guilty of as well.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #36

#41
Milos, thank you for clarifying. I likewise apologize to you, as my "poking" remark, while intended just to tease, may have been in poor taste. Cheers, my friend.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #35

#43
I suggest, Aurorasa, that you try reading the piece and not just the comments. You would then see that I did nothing of the sort. I did express an opinion about certain kinds of posts, but several times repeated that I was not in anyway suggesting that anyone's writing be interfered with. Only recommended that people not feel obligated to read everything that's published, or to accept it all as equally valid. Truth be told, I do not understand why so many are threatened by that. Could it be they lack conviction in what they write? Maybe, maybe not. But I am weary of people telling me that I am doing wrong to tell others what to write or not (which I am NOT doing) all the while telling me what I should say or not say. The smug hypocrisy of it is stifling. Thank you for reading and commenting. PS- I liked your first comment better, the one you quickly deleted. Cheers!

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #34

#37
#38 Dear Phil Friedman, my friend. The term "repression" in this case refers exclusively to "poking me hard enough" and it's a bad joke by me. 'I'm sorry if there's been any confusion. In order to clarify any doubts, I will emphasize once again that I really appreciate your writing, openness and clear views. We're old friends Phil. Thanks again and cheers.

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

4 years ago #33

You know I'm starting to see more and more of this misinterpretation here on beBee and also over in the Lumpy Kingdom. I have done a number of posts with Phil and he is definitely someone who likes to deal in complex processes. If you try to simplify or reduce his message down into bite sized bit you are short=changing your own experience with one of the best writers I know. If you're forming a quick impression and spouting off about it, expect to get called on it, because Phil does not like bullshit. Which begs the question of why he likes writing with me, but that's a whole other thing. Read all intelligent posts carefully, Structure your comments thoughtfully. And glorioski, your user experience will be enhanced.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #32

To my readers here: In reviewing the comments on this post, it is evident to me that some participants are commenting on the comments without reading the actual post itself. For a few of you are clearly attributing to this post statements concerning the repression or elimination of emotional content on social media that were nowhere made in the post. If anything repeated statements to the contrary were made, and the post recommends a level of selectivity to be practiced by readers on social media in the service of preserving the ability to connect on an emotional level, and not get so burned out by TMI that everyone becomes desensitized to those possibilities. Thank you for reading and commenting.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #31

#35
Milos, please let me understand precisely. Are you saying that my expression of opinion, clearly labeled as such is, in our words, "This is a form of repression and it is not something that is needed in social media..."? If so, then I have to ask whether your statement is not itself an attempt to repress my expression of opinion, moreover, solely on the basis of your own personal judgment as to what is or what is not needed in social media? Of course, I may be misunderstanding you, or jumping to an unwarranted conclusion concerning the meaning of your statement.

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #30

Phil Friedman, Thank you for "poking me hard enough", but it is not necessary. Erudition and eloquence have nothing to do with it. This is a form of repression and it is not something that is needed in social media . Through a mutual exchange of confidence, both participants in the discussion share their common values and expand their personal horizons.

don kerr

don kerr

4 years ago #29

#31
"it's ALL frequent posters are capable of" Really? Are you serious? Or are you just too twisted out of shape to avoid an opportunity to avoid snark? You know Robert Bacal you can, on occasion, make valuable contributions but then so frequently you toss in a clunker like this and it just diminishes you in my regard.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #28

#30
Milos > "Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. This comment (and a previous one) is an expression of mine. It (a previous comment #24) was not interpretation of your article..." Milos, thank you for clarifying that. You see, I know that if I poke you hard enough, you will respond with erudition and eloquence. :-) My error --- if it is an error --- is to assume that comments in the comments thread of a post are directly related to the topic of the post, not just thoughts loosely connected via a couple words included in common. I believe that I pretty clearly delineated what I meant by "TMI", which is too much emotional and emotive information. I agree that you may have written previously about TMI, meaning too much personal and confidential information revealed on social media. But I submit that the two are not, in fact, substantively related. Hence, my confusion --- which you have now cleared up. I always value and pay close attention to your input. And thank you again for joining the conversation. Best and cheers!

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #27

“I heard exactly the same thing, a long time ago to be sure, from a doctor," the elder remarked. "He was then an old man, and unquestionably intelligent. He spoke just as frankly as you, humorously, but with a sorrowful humor. 'I love mankind,' he said, 'but I am amazed at myself: the more I love mankind in general, the less I love people in particular, that is, individually, as separate persons. In my dreams,' he said, 'I often went so far as to think passionately of serving mankind, and, it may be, would really have gone to the cross for people if it were somehow suddenly necessary, and yet I am incapable of living in the same room with anyone even for two days, this I know from experience. As soon as someone is there, close to me, his personality oppresses my self-esteem and restricts my freedom. In twenty-four hours I can begin to hate even the best of men: one because he takes too long eating his dinner, another because he has a cold and keeps blowing his nose. I become the enemy of people the moment they touch me,' he said. 'On the other hand, it has always happened that the more I hate people individually, the more ardent becomes my love for humanity as a whole.” —Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, transl. Peavear and Volokhonsky, p. 57 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNiVFCWMrqI — Final moments to the Tarkovsky masterpiece Stalker

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #26

No, I don't misunderstand and misrepresent once again your thesis Phil Friedman, my friend It was one-year-old comment from my LI article. There is a huge difference between sharing of too much Information (TMI) on social media and "the tyranny of emotion", "emotional voyeurism" and "emotive exhibitionism". I certainly agree with you about that "certain acts of writing and publishing may be counter-productive or even destructive" and also about your expressed concern over TMI. This (TMI) is mainly related to the dangers which bring with it a sharing of too much personal information on social networks including: home address, phone numbers, finance Information, photos of your kids, personal problems of a delicate nature, vacation plan, etc. When we are talking about an emotional support (not strictly related to TMI), it comes in a variety of shapes and sizes in social networks, while the need and desire is strictly individual. And yes, we are both very active in promoting of sincere sympathetic connection across digital hyperspace, although sometimes there are small misunderstandings. That's why I said that patience is the most important. I never question anyone's right to to publish as much as he wants "emotional voyeurism" and "emotive exhibitionism". Post-script: Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. This comment (and a previous one) is an expression of mine. It (a previous comment #24) was not interpretation of your article You are free my friend to disagree and judge as much as you wants, as always. Best, Milos

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #25

#24
Milos, I believe that once again, you both misunderstand and by implication misrepresent my thesis here. Nowhere in this piece do I question anyone's right to say what they choose to say, or to publish what they choose to publish. In fact, I am very clear that I am NOT in any way saying that. However, that does not preclude me from expressing my considered opinion that certain acts of writing and publishing may be counter-productive or even destructive. Or that they may get in the way of authentic and sincere sympathetic connection across digital hyperspace. Indeed, what I have said here is that a surfiet of emotional voyeurism and emotive exhibitionism may work to undermine such otherwise desirable engagement. If you want to address that issue directly, I am pleased to receive your thoughts. However, simply repeating your views that everyone has different motives for writing and publishing, and that everyone is entitled to pursue activity on social media as they please, does not bear on my expressed concern over TMI. For my expression of concern is not prescriptive, although it is admittedly judgemental. In other words, you have the right to say what you will, but I concurrently have the right to judge what you say. And moreover to express that judgement. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #24

#23
I understand, Renee, how you feel. One of the things that strikes me about social media is how frequently those who are nominally offering support to those in need are actually using the occasion to redirect the attention of those reading to themselves, and away from those in need. When one starts to actually read comments in detail, one sees how often that occurs. And one also begins to realize that is is the same response from pretty much the same people all the time. My concern is that all of this actually undermines the ability of social media to be a genuine conduit for authentic sympathetic support when such is needed. Thank you for reading and joining the conversation.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #23

#22
Thank you, Joel, for reading and commenting, and for the link. I will check it out at the first opportunity. And thank you for the support and kind words. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #22

#20
#21 -- Don, I am very pleased that you have chosen to discuss this issue in detail. I did not originally tag you on the piece because I did not want to imply in any way that I was talking about you. For I am not. First and foremost I am not because most of what you write and publish on illness and related matters is outwardly focused. That is, it is clearly intended not to bring attention to your plight, but to elucidate, for example, strategies for self-help and coping. I think you come close to putting your finger on one of my main points when you say, "Are there times when reactions on social media to relatively inconsequential events that go way overboard with emotional response? Yes ... and perhaps this serves to devalue those who seek to engage in authentic exchange." I go even further, though, in suggesting that it is often more than simply a dilution involved, but rather an active degredation. As when the emotional voyeurs and emotive exhibitionists jump on the comments bandwagon, not with genuine sympathy, but with what I see as the intent to redirect the focus of the concern and the conversation to themselves. To echo your question, does this happen very often? You bet your boots it does. In fact, it happens almost all the time. Cont ... Pt II

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #21

#20
, #21 Don --- Pt II - Don, I also distinguish between sympathetic support and empathetic response, and believe the former can be developed and learned, but that the latter is innate and exists in people at various levels based upon their genetic makeup. (A completely anecdotal and non-scientific thesis.) This may seem at first like a semantic quibble, but it is not. I intend the distiction to highlight the fact that it is not possible, for instance, for a severely clinically depressed person to help another severely clinically depressed person, notwithstanding that the two may have a high degree of mutual empathy. However, people with well developed sympathetic support skills can help in such cases. I hope that this piece can play at least a minor role in the serivce of clearing away the noise, and leaving a path for authentic sypathetic support to get through, when it is needed.

Milos Djukic

Milos Djukic

4 years ago #20

I will repeat some of my thoughts, that are already published within my previous articles. The need to write on social media may be something quite abstract or very intimate, but also a source of money, success and fame. The essence is in balance. After all, everyone chooses their motives and intentions. For example, I can not reveal why one should accuse those who might write out of necessity for a little spiritual exhibitionism only. The beauty of social media is primarily reflected through diversity and willingness to accept other people's views or motivations. Writing is a primal human need, as well as speech, art and communication. Let everyone writes for pleasure. Different things represent pleasure for different people. I am just presenting my thoughts through discussion. Personally I have nothing against any kind of intellectual self-delusion or “intellectual smugness”, of course, only if the decent form was satisfied and if there were no insult or malicious accusations. For some, writing is their struggle with the fear of irrelevance. There's no need to apologize for seeking help. Basic values of people who are willing to help are acceptance of the other person, awareness and understanding of their own values, honesty, patience and personal integrity. If someone believes that he writes for himself, asking for help and support or in promotional purposes, it is legitimate right, even if he published on beBee or any other social media. The successful manifestation of our personal attitudes in social media does require some adjustments, as well as, a lot of attention and patience. Our patience and patience In relationships with others. Writing is the best way for a personal expression of gratitude to ones who read.

Renée 🐝 Cormier

Renée 🐝 Cormier

4 years ago #19

I realize that there are people who somehow need to advertise their lives on social media. This is most often an occurrence on Facebook where people are supposed to be "friends", but that is often a loose term in that venue. I, personally have a low tolerance for drama, so when regular offenders post shit about things I'd rather not know, I tend to ignore them. It's not that I don't give a shit entirely, but I can't lend my emotional energy to attention seekers. If anyone really needed my ear, then I would happily oblige, but they'd have to phone me, and they'd have to genuinely want a friend, because I can't stand listening to whiners. Cold? Maybe. Compassion, to me comes by way of providing encouragement to those who are actually seeking it. I have no need to be needed or clung to, so the conversation must be practical (or at least not repetitive) in order for me to partake.

Joel Anderson

Joel Anderson

4 years ago #18

Thanks Phil Friedman I just finished reading Shirzad Chamine's Positive Intelligence and at the expense of sharing TMI just thought I would chime in with a link to his site: http://www.positiveintelligence.com/ Your post is spot on. Keep making a difference in a world needing difference making.

don kerr

don kerr

4 years ago #17

Part Two: We men have a bred in the bone reluctance to turn toward adversity. This results in high divorce rates among couples who have had cancer enter their lives. It results in a distinct lack of societal empathy for both the caregiver and the patient. (With your personal experience on the cancer front I am sure you can 'empathize' with this perspective.) Suffice to say, balance is important. Integration is critical. Integration of empathy and knowledge and the understanding that, to quote John Kabat-Zinn, 'you can't control the waves but you can learn to surf'. I always value you and your well-reasoned perspective Phil and that of many who are in the commentary thread here. I will say though that an attempt to stifle genuine empathy and the development of empathetic skill does not sit well with me. Are there times when reactions on social media to relatively inconsequential events that go way overboard with emotional response? Yes. Undoubtedly and perhaps this serves to devalue those who seek to engage in authentic exchange. Sharing.

don kerr

don kerr

4 years ago #16

Part One: This is a tricky one from my perspective Phil Friedman especially insofar as one deems there to be a justifiable difference between male and female reaction to events - tragic or comic. When my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago I was forced to undertake a crash course in empathy. I will admit it is not something that men, generally, are skilled in. Our intention is to 'fix things'. Get out the bailing wire and duct tape and repair the damage as quickly as possible then move on with life. In the face of a potentially catastrophic illness that is an option that many men, in my experience, turn to. It does NOT work. When I started to write my blog, Riding Shotgun, my intent was to first learn from others how to approach my role. I soon learned that there was little available to that catered specifically to the male caregiver. In fact, the University Health Network in Toronto (one of the nation's leading network of hospitals and care facilities) had once had a counselling program for men whose wives were diagnosed with cancer. It lost funding due to lack of pick up.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #15

#18
Harvey, yours is the paradigmatic man complaint. Every expression of emotion is a plea for a help or a solution; why can't women see that? Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus... and all that. If you can't fix, fuck it and let's watch TV. My point is at base this: an overly exaggerated concern with feeling is indicative of, at best, a shallow empathy for those feelings. Because when one truly empathizes, one finds it necessary to remain distanced more, or the second-hand pain and suffering becomes too intense. Moreover, my experience is that those who profess publicly the most to care the most rarely do, but instead are using the opportunity to re-focus the discussion on themselves. Thank you for reading and commenting --- independent of any expectations I might or might not have.:-)

Harvey Lloyd

Harvey Lloyd

4 years ago #14

Given social media's platform of exchange, personally and professionally, the emotional concepts that get thrust into the digital hinterland are hard to respond too. I am never quite sure what the writer is expecting. Being much like Kevin Pashuk in my view of emotions i always take emotional writing as someone seeking advice. Needs help. My wife has let me know many times she just wanted my ear, not my advice. It's difficult to decern between the two online. Hell i have a difficult time doing it face to face. @Phil Friedman your post is a good discussion topic, especially for the male writer. Men tend to steer away from emotional trappings. Maybe this is a good thing. We tend to want to fix things. We empathise in an effort to assist. With just pure emotions on display, it is difficult to assist.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #13

#14
Kevin, I agree that "... there are others that are not good with Dr. Phil and his "how does that make you feel?" way of dealing with things." As I said to Gerry in my comment below, I suspect that those who focus some much on how others "feel" about things, any things, most things, every thing, do not empathize strongly, if at all. Otherwise they would not be able to focus so much on the emotions of others, for they would be too pained to do so. I guess the upshot is that I am skeptical of one or both of the depth or sincerity of constant and excessive concern with how we all make each other feel. Especially, when that ostensible concern carries with it an openly avowed hostility to free and open exchange and dissent. BTW, I like you (implied?) point that an article may not, indeed cannot always be a complete statement, but is just as often just a suggestive beginning for a conversation in the comments thread. Thanks for joining the conversation. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #12

#13
Gerry, I used to actually get angry at my wife and daughters for being careless and hurting themselves while playing or working. Finally, I realized that my anger stemmed from the fact that I was literally feeling their hurts, being assaulted by empathetic resonance with their ills and pains. Once I realized that, I trained myself to be more disengaged, as necessary. And then found I could focus on helping them without being angry at their carelessness. It may seem paradoxical, but I now believe being more aloof may actually result in being able to be more supportive of others. At least for people I call "empathetics". Thank you for reading and commenting. Cheers!

Kevin Pashuk

Kevin Pashuk

4 years ago #11

Good points to bring up Phil... While I do experience times of joy, my wife describes my temperament as either on, or off. While not entirely Spock like, I do (like the fictional Vulcans) find that decisions made in the throes of emotion are not always the best ones. We all experience emotions, but (this is my opinion and I hope this generates some discussion) they should not be in the driver's seat. I'm sure there are readers who need to talk things through, but there are others that are not good with Dr. Phil and his "how does that make you feel?" way of dealing with things. Eagerly awaiting a response...

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #10

#10
you are correct, Jim, that I am NOT saying everyone should be nice, although some might see it that way. Indeed, what I am saying is to take with a grain of salt, the sincerity of those who are always nice and always turning the conversation to examination of emotions. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #9

#9
Thank you, Paul, for reading and commenting. As I'm sure you noticed, I said in the piece that everyone has the right to say and do as they wish. As to toxicity, it comes disguised in many forms, one of which is the ostensible over-concern for the emotions of others. My point is that truly empathetic people do not focus constantly on the emotions of others --- for that is too disconcerting. Cheers!

Jim Murray

Jim Murray

4 years ago #8

"asking for and giving of emotional support" ... Pretty meaty amigo. I am trying to give as much emotional support to my American friends Yourself included) as I can right now from up here in my igloo. Outstanding post, although it might be easy for some people to read this post and feel that you are insisting on everybody being nice, which of course, everyone is not. I know what you mean by this, but you do run a slight risk of others misunderstanding. Phil Friedman

Paul Walters

Paul Walters

4 years ago #7

Phil Friedman Its all about free speech is it not Phil? However I avoid toxic people like the plague.... I'm too old ( or wise) for that

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #6

Thank you, Christine, for reading and for the kind words. And cheers! #7

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #5

#3
thank you , Pascal, for reading and commenting. You are correct, I think, about the mix of content on social media --- although I'd probably put the ratio of good content to reality TV stuff at about 10/90. And BTW, almost all reality TV is about people I would cross the street to avoid meeting. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #4

#4
Thank you, Laurent for reading and for the kind words. Also for the recommended reading. I'll follow up to check that out, and will let you know. Cheers!

Laurent Boscherini

Laurent Boscherini

4 years ago #3

Thank you Phil Friedman for sharing your relevant and brilliant post. May I invite you to read: "The Empathic Civilization : The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis", written by Jeremy Rifkin in 2010. It is about the connections between the evolution of communication and energy development in civilizations with psychological and economic development in humans.

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

4 years ago #2

that's a tricky one, emotions, intellect, innhibitations as a creator or as a reader I think you have coined pretty well different aspects or interpretations. Social Media is a big entertainment theater, on the same topic you can have masterpieces just next to reality TV, consistent rather than constant I suppose :-)

Phil Friedman

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #1

Brian McKenzie, sorry, the first time this loaded, the program picked up the wrong photo for the title image, and I had to delete the piece and repost. You comment was apparently deleted inadvertently at the same time. Always fun to hear from you though. So my apologies.

More articles from Phil Friedman

View blog
3 years ago · 1 min. reading time
Phil Friedman

Golden Advice for Developing and Managing New-Build Yacht Projects

THE UPDATED AND EXPANDED SECOND EDITION OF THIS WE ...

3 years ago · 4 min. reading time
Phil Friedman

Five Ways to Improve Your Small-Business Profits... Now (Pt. I)

PRACTICAL STEPS FOR HIGHER GROSS PROFIT WITHOUT AD ...

3 years ago · 7 min. reading time
Phil Friedman

Double Trouble Returns

THE DYNAMIC DUO OF DUMPING-ON-EVERYTHING IS BACK … ...