Last week we were on holiday in a caravan park in Scotland. During a rant about net curtains one of our party remarks that I have very strong opinions. I really dislike net curtains. In this particular case, I was particularly irked that the net curtains were obscuring a beautiful view of a Scotland Lough.
The strange thing is I have strong views about small things but generally ambivalent views about big things. I care not a jot about the Irish Sea Border. I still have no idea what the backstop was and nor do I care. On the question of Unity, I don’ really give a monkies either way. I am suspicious of true believers and extremists of all sides. Maturity is realising that the world is complex, a thousand shades of grey.
But when it comes to small things that is when I really get exercised. Handles on toilets is another pet peeve. You have just washed your hands but then you need to pull the door to get out. You know the handle is covered with the germs of a dozen mingers who never washed their hands. Why is it not standard that you pull the door to get into the toilet and push it to get out?
Lately, I have been working on having fewer opinions. The serenity prayer is constant in my mind:
God, grant me the serenity. To accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
Nowhere is this more important than online. Social media at times can be quite toxic and people say things they would never say in real life. I have 2 simple rules for staying sane online:
- Never say anything negative. As your mum told you if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, say nothing. I have had a Twitter account for nearly 15 years now and so far I have managed to say practically nothing.
- You don’t need to give your opinion. If you have nothing to add to the conversation then don’t say anything.
This brings me to the subject of the Slugger comments area. As I have explained before we struggle to deal with so many comments. We can get 15,000-20,000 comments a month on average. We will be adding a new rule to our play the ball not the man or woman. The new rule is:
Does this comment add anything to the conversation?
Over the next few weeks, we will be trying to cull comments more and I want to make it clear that is it not personal. Some posts can get over 500 comments and it just makes it impossible to follow. We would prefer 50 information comments VS 500 comments that are all over the show.
I ask that you play your part. You don’t need to comment on every post. You are welcome to comment as you see fit but before you do ask yourself the key question – Does my comment add anything to this conversation?
Personally, I find not having an opinion on everything deeply liberating. It is like a weight lifted off your soul. The next time someone asks your opinion on something try responding with a shrug. This is not an argument for complete indifference, some things we need to get angry about. It is more pick your battles.
Save your emotional energy for the things that really matter to you. Like the elimination of net curtains from the world.
In the comments, you can let us know the really minor things that wind you up.
I help keep the good ship Slugger afloat by managing the business and techy stuff.