So, I’ve been ‘following‘ someone on Instagram lately. I say following but I don’t use Instagram much. In fact I don’t use it at all. I access it via Chrome and I literally just look at this one person’s page. They usually post pretty pictures (mostly of themselves, but hey, I’m not complaining). I actually like looking at them. The captions (and a few of the poses) are where the problem lies. I’m not saying that people need to just look pretty and shut up (although, some do, that’s just a fact) but some of it is just so cringe worthy that I can’t take it. If you ever see someone peering at their phone yelling, ‘what are you doing?!” chances are that it’s me.
I’m fairly certain that this person and I would be frenemies if we knew each other. Frenemy because it could go either way. I’m that person who has a comment for everything (lol, isn’t it obvious). It’s annoying but I can’t help it. I’m willing to attend any scheduled interventions to address my issue. Let me know.
The captions aren’t even the worst part. The comments are. My goodness, the thirst is real. People need to start taking a sip of water before they comment on anything. It’s not a good look to respond to a beautiful scenery picture with ‘OMG YOU’RE SO HOT I LOVE YOU’. Even if said person happens to also be in the picture sans shirt. Just…Simmer down. Ick.
Secondhand embarrassment is even worse than firsthand embarrassment. I’m an awkward person, I embarrass myself on a daily basis. I can laugh about it. Other people being embarrassing, though, no. No. No. No. I physically cannot handle it. It has to be the most unfair emotion for another person to feel. The worst part is that embarrassment is one of those subjective things. Take my blog. Some people find Supernatural a pleasant viewing experience whereas I literally held back from hitting my head against a wall during the last few seasons that I saw.
Anyway, I just thought I’d write a quick guide on how people can help prevent secondhand embarrassment.
1. Don’t be corny.
Corniness is only allowed in very specific settings. Only people who have to tolerate you in spite of your corniness should be exposed to it. That’s just basic science and also a public service.
2. Remember that you’re not a comedian
Unless you are one. Well, a funny one. Look, I’m all about joking. I do sarcastic humour and other people do…Their thing. That being said, please read your joke back before you post it. Anything relating to euphemisms or innuendo falls under corniness and should be avoided. I’m just saying. Clean it up. Jokes that target other people or groups should be avoided as well. The worst thing is when someone is called out and they play innocent. A quick read through of the offensive message is usually enough to indicate whether the person is just stupid or a complete douche. With stupid people, secondhand embarrassment at least comes with some light humour. Douchebags, not so much.
3. Ask yourself this question: what would my reaction be?
I do this all the time. With snark, I think there’s a line between sort of complaining bitterly and remaining detached enough to get a point across. I probably fuck up from time to time but I always self police what I write and say. Some people…Well, some people need to do that for themselves.
4. Use your brain
This is the most important one. Unfortunately for me, I have been exposed to a whole new wave of stupidity over the past few months. I have lost faith in humanity. People seem to have given up on thinking intelligently, or actually thinking at all. In the age of Google, that shit doesn’t fly. Don’t wear your stupidity like a badge. Instead, try to be less stupid. There’s nothing worse than having to answer an idiotic question with a straight face. Or those people who ask and then answer their own question but STILL want an answer from you. Just, ugh. Better yourselves please.
In terms of social media captions, I think I just have to accept the secondhand embarrassment. Just for the pretty. Sigh.
ETA: I just realised that this person’s profile picture (let’s call them Instagram Guy) is a corny quote. I can’t say what it is because while none of this is a criticism of them in anyway, it would be easy to find and I don’t want that blowing back on me, lol. You know what. I’m just going to let this one go. I will accept their corniness and just…Yeah. FOR THE PRETTY!
ETA 2: The quote has gone! It’s like my unposted post resonated with Instagram Guy. I’m making waves! Or I need to get a life. LOL.
ETA 3: Instagram Guy is still putting me through it. This week we have strategic hand gestures, hats and furry animals. AND MORE CORNINESS.