Day 18: On Posting on Social Media

Would I be okay if this is my last post?

That’s the ultimate maxim. Before I post anything, I examine this question.

No. I am not particularly feeling morbid right now or anything. It’s a fact that every time I post anything, I make sure that I would be okay if that post is my last post ever. I am writing this post on the plane right now, I am writing this post with the sense if the plane goes down and does not arrive at my destination, I will be okay leaving this post as something people will remember me for. I always make sure that I would be okay leaving that post as my last words, by which people will remember me. By this particular way of thinking, I make sure that my post, no matter how short or long it is, is never about me antagonizing on something or someone, or me stating the absolutely senseless obvious, or me saying things that don’t do justice to the precious time of whoever reads my post. By this way of thinking, I not only think twice before I write anything. Unlike verbal speech whose temporal characteristic seems rather short-lived, written words are not just, in most cases, more permanent, but they could also play a role of an evidence to put you in an uncomfortable situation. The latter seems to be a much more convincing reason for everyone to think not only twice, but three, four, five times before they’d say or write anything in the public realm.

The quick and dirty tips on what NOT to post on social media, based on a survey conducted among those who frequently post on social media are: don’t post too much selfies, don’t show off too much (especially your material affluence), don’t post too many “overly and exaggerating romantic” photos, don’t post too many photos of your baby, don’t post too many things that are external to other people’s lives (i.e., “the non-stop broadcaster”), don’t post too much work out photos (i.e., “the work out freak”). The point is simply: not many people care about your insecurity. The only reason to why we all do things that other could say “who cares?” is that: insecurity. We feel insecure, so we show off, exaggerate, and do things that, in cases, seem insensitive. We feel “insecure” so we want to show others that you have “something” that make you yourself believe to proof that you are also a member of the particular society or community in which you aren’t sure whether or not they would like to have you. By the way, the Podcaster Stephen West just released an amazing episode of his show on the topic of insecurity which I’d recommend to everyone at all). West himself provides the gist of this particular episode (which, again, I can’t recommend enough):

It’s not really a question of whether you’re a person that has insecurities that affect your behavior; it’s a question of how often do your insecurities affect your behavior.

Ok. So, my point is, before posting anything, think at least five times over. By that, I mean anything at all. We must think five times even if we believe that whatever we want to write is so “true.” At the end of the day, it could just be that what you think is true is just another version of the situation of which you happen to perceive a version. In the spirit of a philosophical thoughts called fallibilism — which I myself would like to define it as “what open-mindedness and skepticism have in common” — we must respect all thoughts, and more than anything else, the absolute impossibility of absolute truth, of which is absolutely too complicated and multifaceted for any human beings to fully grasp the gist. Therefore, even if we know for sure what we think we know as truth, accepting the possibility that there might be another version of it out there somewhere is a must for a fallibilist, who is usually also a good scholar, thinker, and observer of the universe in which we live. This way of thinking is everything.

For instance, if I get home one day after a long bad fight with my boss or my colleague and feel compelled to write a diatribe monologue about that person and against his or her existence at large, I would have to think first, “how much do I really know about that person whom I am about to trash?” The point of posting anything on social media is to let other people know what you think no matter how much you’d like to intellectualize it. I am writing this blog for myself, but I do want you to read it. If the answer to such question is, “I don’t really know, and my dissatisfaction is based on the encounter between me and that person that is far from dissatisfying whether it’s because our ideas are too different, or that there is an absence of the basis of ideas, collective goal, or shared moral value, on which we would have to agree on in order to have a meaningful conversation, then, perhaps, that feeling of dissatisfaction is not merely about that person, but the situation in which we are set to go against each other. Would we be able to grasp a couple pints of beer together otherwise? If the answer is yes, then the problem I have is really not toward the person but toward the situation. We would be super lucky if we can always choose the best situation to be in. There will be times when we don’t like the situation that we have to deal with in order to get paid, to achieve good grades, or to make our family happy, to name a few.

So, if this is the condition that makes me want to write something that isn’t very nice, then perhaps it’s best to scrap the post, and use that precious time to write something else, e.g., an email to a family member or someone I love and care about, or a daily dairy to remind myself what makes me think so hard today. These personal writings, of course, can include the narratives involving dissatisfaction. That’s what your friends and family members for: to hear you out and to make you feel better about yourself. They, presumably, know your personal side and emotional thrust more than anyone else (maybe not everyone but I know for sure that my mother who has been listening to me patiently and offering gray advice for thirty something years knows me more than I know myself — thanks, mom). Because the point is, if that post happens to be your last post — accept it you never know when you’ll die — you would like it to be something that represent the best and most admirable (and also deeply moral) side of you, not the side of you that happens to be stuck in the temporary moment of dissatisfaction, or the side of you that is completely driven by immature emotion. One has to make an effort to post something. Posting something isn’t something that happened by itself, or naturally.

Think about it. You’d have to get on the Internet, type in or click on the website’s button, log in to your account, write the words or sentence(s) and eventually click post for it to be posted. It takes time and energy, so anyone who reads it would know that what makes you do something like this is both your conscious self (so, a lame excuse such as “I wasn’t myself when I posted it” wouldn’t work) and your conscience. Your words represent who you are. Would you like your last words to be, “I hope this XXX person die with great pain,” or “I disgust this XXX activity so much that I could bend the reality of the world to hate it too?”

Here’re some of the posts that (I found on the internet) shall not comment any further why I wouldn’t want them to be my last post, therefore I would never post anything like these:

“I am working hard.”

“Eating pizza on the street — so cool, never done this

“Today I feel that I am so stupid.”

“I never miss anyone like I am missing you right now.”

(pictures of food)

(pictures of babies)

(selfies)

Well. On selfies, let me make it clear. I am okay with funny selfie. I am also okay with family selfie. What I think shouldn’t be allowed are selfies that are misleading. I don’t think any of us has any morally legitimate reasons to post an egregious self-promotional representation of oneself, with the intention to mislead people since usually such photos are taken with the intention to mislead others to believe that such self-photographic representations (a means of limited two dimensional photographic manipulation) has a set of physical qualities of which the society ardently approves.

That said, everything should have an exception. There are times when I’d allow myself to sound emotional, and my post to represent my deep sense of anger, which usually only happen when I really feel categorically passionate about something, which often has something to do with morality, and our social responsibility. For instance, I have never been a fan of the US gun policy, whenever there’s a news about another incident involving mass killing and a gun that could have been preventable had people with power done something to make gun less easy to be available, the I get very upset and usually want to write something to express myself.

In this case, I feel that the lack of gun control undermines the most basic need of civilians which is the right to be protected against corporeal violence. Citizens can only work hard and produce for the betterment of the society if they feel safe, protected, and as thought they are being cared for by the society. I personally won’t be able to work well if I don’t feel safe. I won’t be using my laptop writing my papers at a place where I don’t feel safe, such as at a quiet sidewalk at night, as someone who sees the monetary resell value of my laptop could simply try to use force to take it from me and pawn it. The lack of gun control makes everywhere an unsafe place like that. I feel the urge to post my anger so that everyone who thinks the same way I do knows that he or she is not alone, and that we might someone be able to make a difference in the world if we work together. There are times when my anger led to a series of great collaborations — precisely because the like-minded who had read what I posted also felt the same emotional sensibility to act, do something, and not letting the senseless trick got us.

For instance, I use Facebook to read news through its (pretty awesome I must admit) news feed. In fact, I have turned off all private and personal notifications from friends on Facebook because I only want to read the news and interesting stories from the media. Whenever I read something that I feel deeply passionate about, and resonate with, I always post my responses regardless of whether or not I think anyone would be reading them or not. Here’re some of my thoughts on some current issues:

On China’s sexual revolution: “This is a critical question: how to educate young people to understand the meaning of sex, in a country where the history of such form of education has always been written either by men, or by the authority whose idea about it is based entirely on the convenience yet deeply unfair of subjects namely the female citizens? Because of the economic reform, people are now more free to think outside of the rubric of duty o reproduce, while being unclear about the path to pursue. I agree with the article that China must embrace the reality of the kind of society that economic freedom also brings.

On how many hours we should sleep per night:I always question the “8-hour rule” just because I really, really, like the tranquility of the nocturnal hours, which often allows me to indulge myself in the beauty of silence, tasty homemade cocktails, delirious reading, and theatrical entertainment at the comfort of my sofa. Sometimes, I’d even give up making love for these activities because I often enjoy morning sex rather than giving away my nocturnal hours just to be deadly tired and therefore have to sleep. I got scolded at almost every time share with others that I think we should all be having passionate sex in the morning because it’s better for the body’s adrenaline movement (as it is back by science to be true). Personally, morning sex under the sun light (and morning sunlight is good for you) makes your see your partner clearly and therefore make you appreciate her/his body more, which, in turn, strengthen the love between the two. I guess lesson learned from this article is that we should always question the convention, and live our lives in the way that we believe to benefit our physicality as much as possible — and of course without inflicting on other people’s rights.

On whether or not I think Bernie Sanders is electable: “Of course, Bernie Sanders is electable. His belief aligns with the majority of us, who believe that methodological individualism (i.e., respect for the freedom for all), and social capitalism that drives innovation, technological advancement, and therefore a better society for all, can work together under the banner of “setting a moral limit of the market economy.” The only concern is whether he would be able to convince those who only believes in one of the two moral systems to align with him. And to give him to benefit of the doubt, I am not certain that Hilary can conveniently achieve that neither.”

On how often I think a couple should have sex: “I agree. There are two points to make here. First, there is a proliferation of research and open thoughts (on media and so on) about sex, which may in some way express our collective inquiry about its usage today beyond the realm of temporary fulfillment. Second, the best thing about sex, at least to me, is providing yourself and your partner the confidence that both of you are still attractive enough to each other, are still naturally excited when seeing each other in the most natural form, and are still enjoying the activity that hard capitalism can’t force you to do and is still something entirely under your sole moral control.”

On Jeb Bush’s comment about the refugee crisis: “I mean, I believe that a change of regime, from one party to the other, from time to time, could help foster the notion of check and balance in the society. So, although I am always been inclined toward the Democrats, I also want to Republicans to take the stand from time to time. There have also been many great Republican presidents in the history of the US. So, whenever I see or read a comment like this from any GOP presidential hopefuls, all I can say is that they should be more thoughtful about what they think. Sometimes, all they need to do is to think twice, with the help of their intelligence unit, to come to senses on the big picture of issue, before making any public announcement about their views.

On Richard Dawkin’s view on the Paris Attack: “Knowing Dawkins’ work, I think the purposes of this message he is sending are: 1) praying to God doesn’t do anyone any good — someone will misinterpret the meaning of praying, and bring about another hate crime against humanity in the name of the unknown superpower; and, 2) instead of praying, brainstorming about how to bring about peace through scientific ways (thinking empirically, instead of praying noumenally) might be more useful. Long story short, despite how this message might sounds a bit harsh, I don’t think he is saying anything that falls outside of the realm of our collective ability of tolerate. In a way, it’s another way of making a lemonade when life gives us lemon, which I think is more useful than picking them up and throw them at each other. I think we all have in all of us the innate ability to sympathize with the victims of and the non-direct victims affected by the tragedy. It’s already a very sad thing. What’s much worse is to see people hating, criticizing, bashing each other simply because their views on whether or not to pray, whether or not to post that they pray (even if they don’t pray), or to shout against people who don’t pray (whether or not the people who shout really know what praying means).”

On women’s right to orgasm: “I firmly believe that all women deserve this basic, natural, and human right. The right to orgasm is as important as the right to be loved. I don’t think men can get away with fulfilling themselves and then go to bed. In fact, I always believe in this natural right, and always do my best to make sure that the woman I love reaches the climax she deserves at the same time or before I reach mine. I refuse to reach that point before her.”

On people debating the origin of cuisines and dishes: “Ask two questions: first “who cares?” and then “so what?” If the question about the origin of the cuisine being asked doesn’t entertain these two questions, “put them to flame” (said David Hume and Michel de Montaigne in two different occasions).

You get the point.

At the end of the day, as I remain true to my principle, I wouldn’t mind if my post about my hatred for the lack of gun control be my last post ever. This view represents who I am morally, and it will go down in the history after my time has long past that many like-minded people aren’t alone.

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