You've seen them. The social media hijackers who reply to your benign, funny post about puppies by telling you to repent of your sins. Those people who search for offense in things that are clearly all in fun and have no hint of evil in them. Or...the social media mavens who blame you for the ills of the world because you are in a good mood. These are people who are looking for offense in all the fun places and creating arguments out of lollipops. If I'm making lemon aide out of my lemons, why are you raining lime juice on my parade?
The majority of today's society has gone into either one of two corners. Either they feel justified to speak their mind in any way shape or form with no regard for other's feelings (I'll be talking about that group next month) or they see offense everywhere and in every thing and the latter is the focus of this month's blog post.
It has happened to me many times. I post a cute, funny, harmless comment that is designed to interrupt a difficult day to give folks a much deserved giggle. Invariably, somebody will reply that I'm a big fat meanie who pulls wings off butterflies. Sometimes I can't even for the life of me, figure out how they got to that from there, but it doesn't seem to matter how far a leap it is, they are looking for a fight and scrolling through social media searching out a recipient. Have you found yourself on the receiving end of an Offense Seeker yet? If not, you probably will.
Nothing exemplified this more than a recent newsletter post my husband recently received. It began with this short blurb about something the owner was promoting to his mailing list:
12 Tricks to Appear Smart in Emails
Here are 12 email tricks that will make you appear smart, passionate, dedicated and most of all, smart. This infographic comes from The Cooper Review, the brainchild of Sarah Cooper. If you enjoy it, you'll probably like her brand new book, 100 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings – it will teach you how to appear smart in less than half the time it takes to actually learn anything. You can pre-order it here.
The article to which it linked was clearly written in jest. Suggestions for appearing smart when replying to emails in the workplace were both wild and ridiculous bordering on ludicrous. Shockingly, almost all of the comments were from angry readers who, to quote loosely from Men in Black, seemed to have no sense of humor they were aware of.
While a few readers got the joke and expressed degrees of gratitude for the humorous departure from the mundane and stressful nature of their day, almost all of the responses complained that the article wasted their precious time and accused the author of varying degrees of stupidity.
Don't take yourselves so seriously, folks. Not every cloud has an evil lining. Laugh a little. Have a bit of fun. See the good in things. You might just live longer.