Service of Don’t Be Silly & Social Media

March 22nd, 2021

Categories: Anxiety, Fear, Medical Tests

When a friend confides they fear or are anxious about something a “don’t be silly” bromide response is of no help. Brushing off someone’s worry whether it’s about checkups, tax prep, test taking, debt, a medical procedure or coming down with Covid-19 is easy especially when the situation doesn’t bother you. But it’s of no help to them.

Remembering some of the concerns and stresses your friends and family members have shared might help you in other communications efforts such as in social media outreach. This echo chamber amplifies and potentially mocks or irritates many at once. I suspect even the normally empathetic are thinking of themselves when they post on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They don’t consider the potential negative impact of their images and words on some others.

When Covid-19 vaccines first appeared, eligibility expanded as quickly as attempts to snag a vaccine appointment evaporated. Postings celebrating a scheduling success made some envious, sad and more frustrated than the process already caused them to feel, a friend confided. Who knew a boast like that could inflict additional anxiety?

Do those on tight budgets angling for a job or project experience pangs when they see postings of nonessential purchases such as pricey fashion accessories as they determine, each month, whether to pay rent, phone, electric or credit card bills? What do parents think of photos pals post of elaborate meals when their days are crammed with remote teaching and working leaving little time for sleep much less a 10-step recipe for shepherd’s pie?

It’s so easy and quick to text–why not share retail and other victories with the friends who would welcome the news? Before posting a triumph on social media, it might be a good idea to first question “would all my social media ‘friends’ be OK with this information?” Are you thinking “don’t be silly” at my over-sensitivity about what to post on social media because the point is to generate reaction and most social media followers aren’t really friends anyway?

8 Responses to “Service of Don’t Be Silly & Social Media”

  1. Debbie Kunen Said:

    Debbie on Facebook: I think about what I share all the time. And truly, if some are annoyed or uncomfortable, they can delete or hide it. I am not a frivolous person. I love to share a laugh, but I also like to make a point that many would prefer not to discuss.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Social media is a good place to test and address ideas. Those aren’t the posts I’m writing about. I address posts of a personal nature.

    I love many of the funny ones and admit to watching posts featuring animals, music and dancing.

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    Boasting, is usually seen as being in poor taste. Chances are, nobody cares anyway, so why bother? With all the scammers swimming around in cyberspace, the last thing one should consider, is to crow publicly about good fortune unless hoping to attract every crook, shyster and lowlife in the system!

    Those on unemployment and/or with other financial woes are usually too concerned with digging themselves out of a hole. Spinning wheels over what others may think is little more than a waste of time. Again, who cares?

  4. MarthaTakayama Said:

    Thank you so much for this posting. It is a brilliantly incisive commentary on a really annoying element of our lifestyle. I am no fan of social media and think only a slight amount of it is truly “social”. I never understood the sharing of incredibly meaningless trivia that I used to hear about the earlier days of Facebook. I think that there also should be discretion and restraint in sharing more significant information. The whole concept of trying to amass infinite numbers of friends seems gauche, immature and meaningless. Lack of tact, consideration, or diplomacy combined with general insensitivity and narcissism are all hallmarks of the social malady of our era. I think that it is only magnified in intensity when put in writing and foisted on people over social media. Confidences should be best shared with thoughtfulness and consideration. I also remember my grandfather’s words of caution: “Never put anything in writing that you wouldn’t want the Czar to read!

  5. Eileen Dover Said:

    Since COVID, I often choose not to participate on social media. Fomo, the perfect post, criticisms or worse yet no likes/comments have caused my step back. I choose to text/call “real” friends and catch up. I find enjoyable posts that make me laugh…animal and cooking are high on the list.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    The animal videos make me smile. Name-calling makes me nervous. Like you, I text “real” friends. That way I can target the message and not share news that might upset a pal.

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Of late I’ve received a rash of Facebook friend requests from strangers. I ignore them all. If I’ve never heard of you, I’m not interested. And I’ve been told that many are sent by hackers.

    However I learned on Facebook that one friend is having an operation and I wrote him an email to wish him luck–I didn’t respond to his comment. I learned that another friend has been ill for months; another built a custom house and that others have a new pup or are on vacation. You won’t learn most of these things about me on Facebook but I admit to being happy to know what’s going on with others.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:


    You make a point I’d not considered: showing off might lead to negative repercussions making the writer a target for hacking and stealing social security numbers and cracking open bank accounts. Not good.

    You may not care about other people’s boasts but others do. It adds to their stress. Writers don’t care.

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