Last week we were on holiday in a trailer park in Scotland. During a spiel about net curtains, one of our party members comments that I have very strong opinions. I really don’t like net curtains. In this particular case, I was particularly annoyed that the net curtains concealed a beautiful view of a Scottish loch.
The strange thing is that I have strong opinions on the small things, but generally ambivalent opinions on the big things. I don’t give a damn about the border of the Irish Sea. I still have no idea what the backstop was and I don’t care either. On the question of unity, I really don’t care for a monk. I am suspicious of true believers and extremists on all sides. Maturity is realizing that the world is complex, a thousand shades of gray.
But when it comes to the little things, that’s when I really work out. Toilet handles are another cause for concern. You just washed your hands, but then you have to pull the door to get out. You know that the handle is covered in the germs of a dozen miners who never washed their hands. Why is it not standard to pull the door into the toilet and push it out?
Lately I have been working to have less opinions. The prayer of serenity is constant in my mind:
God grant me serenity. Accepting 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 can sometimes 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. Like your mom told you, if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything. I have had a Twitter account for almost 15 years and so far I have managed to say practically nothing.
- You do not need to give your opinion. If you don’t have anything to add to the conversation, don’t say anything.
This brings me to the subject of the Slugger comment area. As I have explained before, we have a hard time dealing with so many comments. We can get between 15,000 and 20,000 comments per month on average. We will add a new rule to our game, the ball, not the man or the woman. The new rule is:
Does this comment add anything to the conversation?
We will try to remove more comments over the next few weeks and I want to make it clear that it is not personal. Some posts can get more than 500 comments and that makes them impossible to follow. We would prefer 50 informational comments VS 500 comments that are throughout the program.
I ask you to do your part. You don’t need to comment on every post. You can comment as you see fit, but before you ask yourself the key question: Does my comment add anything to this conversation?
Personally, I find it deeply liberating not to have an opinion on everything. It is like taking a weight off your soul. The next time someone asks your opinion on something, try to respond with a shrug. This is not an argument for total indifference, there are some things we should be angry about. It is more to choose 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 end it.
I help keep the good Slugger ship afloat by managing the business and the technology.