Soy Milk & Chicken Nuggets

 

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I went in to get my teeth cleaned yesterday and I had a different hygienist than I typically do. I’d met her before– she usually does my older two kids’ teeth– but I’d never been in her chair. No worries. She’s very nice, and I’m really not very picky.

 

We chatted for a bit. Realistically, she chatted and I “mmm hmmm‘ed” a lot, because, you know, mouth wide open and all. But, at the end, we had a few minutes to chit-chat while I waited for the dentist to come in and check out all my chompers.

 

Now, during my cleaning, when she was essentially giving her monologue, I was listening and enjoying her stories. Among other things, she told me about an obsession with McDonald’s chicken nuggets, giving her son tons of chocolate soy milk for the good protein, and using really large amounts of stannous fluoride.

 

Here’s the thing. 

 

I don’t do, enjoy, or believe in any of those things. And, if anyone really wanted my opinion and/or reasons, I could and would certainly provide them. Honestly, I have some strong feelings about at least a couple of those things.

 

So guess what I said? Guess what I shared and addressed just as soon as I was given the chance to speak?

 

Any guesses?

 

Those of you who guessed “nothing relating to those issues” are absolutely correct. And why not? Because I didn’t need to. No one asked me and, honestly, it would have seemed kind of bizarre and awkward for me to suddenly lay into this woman because I didn’t agree with her.

 

But isn’t that what we all do online CONSTANTLY? Can you imagine if we behaved in person the way we do on the internet? Good gravy, it’d be ridiculous.

 

“Michael spiked a little fever after his shots yesterday. I felt so bad for the poor kid…”

“Vaccines are evil and horrible. I would NEVER expose my child to all those chemicals. You do realize that you’re just buying into Big Pharma’s lies, right? You clearly have no idea how many children are vaccine-injured. If you’d do some research…”

 

SERIOUSLY?

 

I don’t know anyone who’d do that. I really don’t. It would be an utterly bizarre interaction, not to mention rude and inappropriate, but that flies out the window when a screen is involved.

 

It’s not that I’m just so sweet and non-confrontational and that’s why I didn’t go all nuts about the soy milk yesterday… it’s that, when we’re face to face with people, we all tend to show some kindness and understanding that gets abandoned when we sit at a keyboard.

 

Did I tell her I thought chicken nuggets and chocolate soy milk sounded like an awesome snack I couldn’t wait to feed my kids? Of course not. There’s no need to lie.

 

I just let it pass on by me. Roll right off. I just didn’t address it.

 

This is a skill that is SO natural, to most of us, at least, when it comes to in-person encounters.

 

If we can do such a good job of just letting stuff roll off of us in person, why must we constantly confront or attack online? Arguably, it should be EASIER to just click away and forget about it. Honestly, if you really can’t stand the way someone lives, just stop reading about her! Truly, online relationships should be even simpler than the IRL variety.

 

Looking back, when I read blog comments from back in, oh, 2008? I actually see evidence of it online too. Not only did more people comment, but the comments seemed to fall more in the “if you don’t have anything nice to say, ….” camp.

 

I’d really, really like to bring that back.

Is anyone with me?

 

 

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11 comments to Soy Milk & Chicken Nuggets

  • Celine

    definitely with you….

  • Jennie

    I totally agree with about it being a skill. It’s a tough one. I also agree we all need to work on it. Finding the balance between getting in one’s face and offering a different point of view is difficult.

    • It is tricky, Jennie. For the most part, though, I think most of us would do well to refrain from offering up our opinion unless it is sought. The online world makes it all too easy to share our views on anything and everything whether someone cares or not. :)

  • Susan

    I’ve been reading the Food Babe blog which is a super right blog about food…basically all you can eat is organic seeds etc. While I think many of the things she talks about are ridiculous, I do read it and think about it. After digesting it, I actually have started buying more organic, less food dyes and corn syrup etc. We can learn from others even if we don’t believe everything they say.

  • Carol B.

    Totally agree with you. I’m all for people sharing different opinions and knowledge; like Susan said, we can learn from others. However people get ridiculous and so aggressive with each other. I rarely read the comments anymore in most blogs, except for a small handful, like this one.

    Another good example that I JUST saw not 10 minutes ago: on FB I was scrolling my news feed and came across IMBD’s post for the first trailer for the movie Noah that is about to come out starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connely, Emma Watson, and (the fantastic and great) Anthony Hopkins. I clicked it, watched the trailer (looks EPIC IMO, by the way). Then I shared it on my wall. When you do that you can see the comments, you know? The two that I could see were comments to the effect of “Why are these great actors, director, and writer wasting time with this load of lies and fairy tales?” I was aggravated about it and I almost commented. I stopped myself because while I wasn’t going to say anything terribly bad, I wasn’t planning on telling them I loved them either. ;) Plus, would it have made any difference if I had? Did they want my opinion? And did their opinion change mine? The answer to all is no.

    • Good for you for not even getting involved, Carol! I find that, on the rare occasion that I put myself into one of those conversations, I waste too much time checking back to see how people responded… when, really, what do I even care??? So you were very wise to just let it roll off your back. :)

  • Katherine

    I am with you! Not everything has to be a debate, especially for us moms. I like the way my husband and his buddies are with each other. There is no judgement and they can just be themselves without getting an opinion or lecture. Every family is different so of course we need to do things our own ways and we really are only the experts on our own stuff so why we feel the need to chime In on things that don’t concern us I have no idea. Now that I am older I am more laid back but in my 20′s I really thought I knew it all. I knew nothing though so it makes me cringe thinking back at what I thought and said.

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