Thursday, November 14, 2013

Using up empathy


We all have a few of those online friends.  The ones who use up our empathy.  They post vague updates and tweets. Going through some hard times, need positive thoughts/links etc...  They then get the desired outpouring of support. The worst are the people who do this for a long period of time. After about the twentieth tweet I have run all out of empathy for you. Maybe they suffer through a real issue, a bad divorce, or health problems.  But they don't share what is really wrong. They want the empathy without really sharing the pain. I fully understand the desire for some privacy but if I don't know the details I cannot truly empathize.

This isn't just an old guy rant about internet friends being fake friends.  I have friends I have never actually met in person who I know a great deal about. We have shared many deep personal things.  I will have the same empathy for them as I do for IRL friends because they are in my real life.  If all I know is a self-censored timeline then I don't really know you. If I don't know what you regret I don't really know you.

Don't go to the internet with vague calls for support. Go to people who actually know you.  Rant over.

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