How many times have you read those words? How does it make you feel? Does it actually prompt you to run to a faceless search engine for an answer, or does it perhaps make you want to reach through your monitor and slap someone? You can take a guess at how I react to it.
Understand something… I was raised to be self-sufficient and educated. I was taught to look things up in a dictionary, or the encyclopedias that we had, and I did those things quite readily and with proficiency. I am still perfectly capable today of doing the same, whether with a book or with a search engine. In fact, I spend half my day a lot of the time using those tools to look up information for other people to post on my web pages, blogs, and other locations online to help them with health related topics that I work very hard to advocate on. It’s the first and last thing in my day, and I do it because no one was there to help me when I was first diagnosed. It is nice to have a hand up and some direction when you are ill and feeling lost. It is far more inspirational and hopeful to know that a real person that is willing to talk to you has been there and knows something helpful about it. It is even better that they are willing to share their experience to try to ease your distresses a little. Blurting at someone you don’t even know to go type in a search engine when they are reaching out… is just rude. Some people don’t make the effort very often. You might be shutting down the one small opening they were willing to make an effort to offer. You might as well tell them, “Don’t bother me. Do it yourself.” Stop assuming people are lazy. You don’t know. Maybe they don’t know where to start. Were you born on this planet with all the answers from day one? Arrogant.
I have to think to myself when someone does this that they don’t really know either. That… or they have no idea how to explain it. That just tells me that again, it’s something they don’t know – and are unwilling to admit to that fact. The one problem with this is that they are trying to act high and mighty like “everyone but you is up to speed, so it’s just you”…. it’s just YOUR problem and we don’t care. It’s the brush-off. So I ask you, do you like to be brushed off and dismissed? If you don’t, then don’t do it to others. The best form of education comes through human experience and interaction. Our connection to others is far more essential to a healthy life than it is presently being given credit for, and this is documented. If you make the personal choice to remove yourself from humanity, and stop having interpersonal relationships, that is your bad decision to live out. It is not however your right to go around speaking unkindly to others out of your own root of bitterness. If you don’t have an answer for someone that is inquiring, or you don’t care, just remain silent. If you want to disconnect, do it. Don’t try to hack away at the fibers of the connections that other people want to retain. That is not your purpose in life. I repeat this often, because it was said to me in a moment of my own emotional upheaval years ago… We share the same air.
You may see a question as small and insignificant. There is still a significant human being that put the words out there. I am old BBSer, from the early days of modem communication. We sadly saw the birth of this phenomenon there. Trolling and online stalking came into existence before my very eyes and in that arena, and as sysops (admin), it was our job to try to control the damage to some degree. It was astounding to most of us to see that there were people willing to negate the humanness of other users, and act like that username and number was not attached to a real person with genuine feelings. Suddenly it was acceptable to a lot of people to bully, harass, and insult – purely because they could avoid being punched in the face for what they had done. It’s appalling. It was then, and it still is now. I am not impressed.
Stay connected. People become depressed, lonely, despondent, and it affects their health. Having alone time by choice is a great endeavor and can recharge your soul. Being isolated without a choice, and shoved aside when you try to converse with another breathing being can be quite damaging. So ask yourself… is your goal today to help, or to harm?