Asshole

I don’t think I’m better than you.

And that’s what makes me better than you.

The person who inspired this post will most likely never see it, so don’t bother asking if this post is about you. This post is about the chain letters that I see making the rounds on Facebook and other social media (Gotta love Twitter for that, 140 characters is not a lot of characters to forward a chain letter), but mainly on Facebook.

This afternoon, I was catching up on some Facebook browsing, I love reading what you guys are doing. Scrolling backwards through my newsfeed, I noticed a post warning me about the “New Facebook Privacy Issues”, and asking me to un-check some option in my settings in order to prevent people from seeing what this other person was publishing on my timeline.

When I see a post like this, I always do the same thing: I reply to the post explaining that this is a hoax, and I add a link to hoaxbuster, snopes, or any other relevant website where more information can be obtained about the hoax in question. That’s it.

I don’t call you stupid.

I don’t make fun of you.

I don’t send you emails full of threats.

I just try to inform you, because I believe that knowledge is power, and I want you to have more power.

I admit that after a couple of those posts from you, or if you email me multiple times to tell me that you know that most chain letters are dumb but that you know for a fact that this one is not a hoax, and that you’d be so grateful if I would just follow the instructions and forward the message to all my contacts, I may lose my temper a little and write a very nasty post on my Facebook timeline along the lines of this one:

Seriously, just look at all that vitriol dripping from that post.

What you fail to understand is that even if this post seems to be about you, it really is about me.

About my strong desire to make people better, stronger, brighter, smarter, and how I seem to be failing miserably at doing this with you. This post is not saying: “You are inferior to me”, it’s saying: “I have a hard time understanding what I’m doing wrong, why am I not getting through to this person?” or more literally: “Why the fuck do I keep trying to do this?”

Normally I get a few funny comments from dear friends and I move on. Until next time.

But this time, you replied to my post:

I’m sorry, Superior being.

Wow.

I try to help you and you think that I’m calling you inferior? I have a hard time understanding why you would think that way – if I’m about to stick a screwdriver in an electric outlet and someone tells me that it’s a bad idea, and sends me references to electricity and wiring a house, my first instinct is to thank that person, not get frustrated and call him names.

I’m smart enough to know that I don’t know everything (but I’m working on it) and I’m always grateful when someone takes the time to teach me something. Especially when it’s done gracefully.

Unless you think that all teachers are all secretly thinking that all their students are inferior.  Remind me what you do for a living again? Oh right. You teach math in a high school. I sure hope that when you grade exams lower than 100% the kids don’t think you’re calling them inferior, and that they didn’t nicknamed you “The Superior Being”. I’m sure that after having to explain twenty times the same thing to the same kid, you never got home, cracked a beer open and vented to your significant other.

Oops, my bad.

But here’s the good part. You know those privacy settings you wanted me to change so my friends wouldn’t see what you post? I did you one better. You never have to worry about my friends seeing what you post on Facebook. I won’t see what you post either. That’s what the unfriend button is for.

If you somehow manage to find this post, let me leave you with this one final information.

This is one of my favorite non-fiction book ever. I highly recommend it if you ever want to truly understand why we’re not Facebook friends anymore.

Spoiler Alert: It’s because you’re an asshole.

See? I’m really not better than you.

 

The one where I tell you I’m an asshole

I’m an asshole.

There. I guess I should tell you why.

I never feel the urge to give money to any cause. In fact, the more a cause is publicized, the more I’m asked to donate to X or Y, the more this disaster or that disaster is covered by the news, the more of an asshole I become.

The flavor of the day is Haiti, obviously. Mind you, I have nothing against Haitians, I think they’re awesome and I really enjoy the Haitian on Heroes.

My point is that I absolutely hate being asked over and over again to give money to some cause or another. I’m not saying we shouldn’t give money. I’m saying can we just give one time and be done with it? When my alarm clock went off on the morning of the Haiti disaster, one of the first things I heard was that I could send money to help. Then I drove to work and again heard that I could give money to another organisation from a different radio station. I then received an e-mail from our university President, thanking us for the money the university community had already gathered for the United Way campaign and asking us to give more money for the Haiti Victims. Then on Friday it was a jeans day at work, if you wore jeans, you had to give 5$ for the Haitian Fundraiser of our service. I went to pickup my kids from school and the school is also collecting money for Haiti, by asking every student to give at least one dollar. Then there’s the whole Twitter thing – give money whenever someone mentions Haiti on Twitter, during this or that show, etc.

It never stops.

I should stay, it never stops until something equally as tragic happens. Just wait until there’s a volcano that decides to steal a school bus and run some kittens over. Then you’ll get asked to donate to that. Forget about Haiti and give to the volcano bus kitten thing. Sigh.

I mean seriously, how often do I need to be asked to give money? Is it better to give 5$ to 10 different organisations, or to give 50$ to one organisation? Come to think of it, why are there a hundred thousand million different fundraising efforts? Don’t get me started on all the different scam charities that sprouts in the wake of major disasters.

Of course, what is the most common reaction when I tell people I already gave money for whatever they are asking? Disbelief. If I don’t give money whenever I’m asked to give money, I’m treated like a big fat liar. Someone who doesn’t care. In a word, an asshole.

Can’t I get some sort of signed document that says “I’ve already given money for whatever you’re asking money for – move along.”? Again, it might just be easier to wear a t-shirt that says “Asshole” on it, or maybe just hum that song all the time.

What else can I say really?