Every once in a while—sometimes more frequently—I get these urges. I pull out my phone, open my social media app, and my thumbs hover over the glowing keyboard. I’m about to share some thought or idea or observation and I pause to examine the sensation.
Why do I feel the need to share this?
Is it because I want to connect with my fellow humans? Is it because I want affirmation or attention? Do I think that what is about to course from my brain and heart through my thumbs is so precious it absolutely must be shared in some way? And what happens when no one responds? Or what happens when someone responds but it wasn’t who I wanted to respond? Or what if someone reads this perhaps trivial thought but doesn’t go to my timeline to read all the helpful and thoughtful things I’ve posted previously and they form a less-than-attractive opinion of me based on this one fleeting thought that happened to pass the filter for the moment? Or what if this thought exercise has no value and I’ve just wasted valuable minutes of my life that I’ll never get back?
A quick scroll through social media posts and it’s clear many out there aren’t thinking about this nearly as much as I am at this moment. And aren’t we happy to sit comfortably in our chairs of judgment and decide who is intelligent, beautiful, happy, or self-centered? Who are we to judge what’s worthy of someone else’s timeline?
This feeling of needing to post a status update is probably one worth exploring in longer written form…
— Luke Hokama (@luhoka) July 26, 2015
I can’t even remember what I was going to say before I typed the Tweet above. Was it important? Would anyone have cared? Do all things we forget have a lesser value?
I think the need to post anything stems from our need to connect as humans. Whether it’s an article that inspires or a basic status update about food, it’s about sharing in order to connect. I think being authentic is important and I also think unfiltered feeds are a little dangerous. Still, among loftier goals, I think it’s important to sprinkle in humanness via those unmemorable status updates.