There seems to be a new behavior in the online world. Well, okay, it's not new. Maybe social media is just taking it to a new level. People have a constant and driving need to educate other people. Specifically, those who have different ideas or beliefs. Have you noticed? It's everyfuckingwhere.
Let's say, I post something like... Coffee is best served hot.
Then, I wax prolific about how the steam is best inhaled at a 45 degree angle through the right nostril. And how one should hold the mug with the left hand over the right. Then, perhaps, I might post a picture of a coffee cup with steam rising out of it (because, let's face it, a coffee mug is really hard to picture in your mind's eye).
The next thing I know, 25 people have agreed and shared stories of their own coffee drinking adventures. 17 people have like my photo and said, "Lol". And then the educators arrive.
Clearly, I don't know which coffee is best. I haven't added the right amount of creamer. The coffee should always be made with a press and for God's sake, don't defile that shit with sugar.
Well, it's a damn good thing they were there to educate me. Where have they been my entire life while I was drinking coffee incorrectly? And who the fuck do I think I am claiming to know anything about coffee?
Now, I'm hoping you have seen through my clever little example to realize that I'm not talking about drinking a fucking cup of coffee. I'm talking about real ideas. Real beliefs. Things like faith and politics and lifestyle choices. Things like immunizations and raising your children.
If I think or believe differently that you do, that's not an invitation for you to "educate" me. Seriously. Now, don't get be wrong, I really enjoy hearing different points of views and experiences. That's how we learn and grow as a society. Listening with respect and appreciating another view or experience. But, you're not welcome to try and show me the error of my ways and set me on the "right" path. You are also not welcome to make rude or condescending remarks about ignorance and stupidity in people that don't happen to agree with you.
If you think I'm stupid, you are free to do so. In the quiet of your own mind and the confines of your own home. You can think it. You can think it whilst talking to me. You can imagine all the ways I'm wrong and roll your eyes (to yourself). But the moment a condescending remark passes your lips or streams through your fingertips, you have transformed from a regular person to a douche bag. And no one appreciates a douche bag. I can't count how many times I've seen or heard people like this whine about how hard it is to talk to "ignorant" people. Define ignorance. Maybe stop a moment and think that perhaps you're the "ignorant" one and that it's nearly impossible to talk to you.
So, for those of you that are hell bent on straightening everyone else out (you know who you are), I say this, the fastest way to alienate people is to treat them like they're stupid or ignorant. How about this, be willing to engage in an intelligent conversation and don't judge. Be open to new ideas or thoughts. And lest you become frightened at the thought of new ideas, remember that just because you gain knowledge or another faith or political standpoint, it doesn't automatically "convert" you to that "side". And if that is just too much for you to handle, stay on your side of the fence, I have no interest in cluttering up my life with bullies and naysayers.