Thursday, April 9, 2015

Dirty Laundry, Coming Clean, and Social Media

Do you hang out clean laundry or dirty laundry?

We grew up hanging out laundry to dry.  I still hang laundry when the weather cooperates.  I, like many others, hang the personal unmentionables on the inner lines where they are less noticeable.  I love the smell of fresh, line-dried sheets, blankets and clothes.  There aren't many secrets when hanging out those worn out socks, ratty blankets or towels, and those unmentionables that should really be replaced before the next doctor visit.  The good news is that if they're hanging it's because they are clean.  I really don't know anybody that hangs their dirty laundry out to get it clean.

As I've had the opportunity to see social media at work the last few years, I've come to realize that a lot of "dirty laundry" is hanging out for public viewing.  Sharing encouragement, inspiration, ideas and information is great.  Sharing personal stories can make someone else feel less alone.  Sharing your personal opinions is also freeing.  What I can't figure out is why so many people seem to think that social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is the place to complain about others or events, to bully others, and to launch smear campaigns.   I much prefer to see those things which are pleasant, encouraging, and helpful.  I won't bash you.  You don't bash me.  It seems a fair exchange to me.  If you've got something important to say, why argue with someone online instead of personal discussion and resolution of the issue?  Apparently the "unmentionables" are just fine to be put out on the front line for everyone to check out and critique.  Is anybody else uncomfortable with this?  I've not changed beliefs or opinions about anything important just by reading something posted on social media.  I think perhaps we need the reminder that it's okay to talk to people, relate to them, and figure out a way to live together peacefully.  Thoughts?

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