Cynicism: Does it make you happy? #MicroblogMondays

There’s this trend I see of late and it’s  a fairly disturbing one. I see way too much cynicism on social media, the kind that makes people pull out their claws, bare their fangs and make enemies out of perfectly good friends and acquaintances.

Cynicism seems to rule the roost on platforms like Facebook and Twitter and I wonder what ever happened to the nature of civil discourse? Why is goodness frowned upon? Why do people who post good, happy things have to be treated with snide remarks and sarcasm? 

Stephen Colbert saysCynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us.

Cynicism

The more I see of social media, the more I wonder if this is a world I would ever want to open up for my child one day. A part of me wants to tell those cynics that they don’t constantly have to see the glass as half empty.

It’s okay to take a sip and savour the contents of the glass once in a while.

Would you call yourself a cynic? 

How do you deal with cynicism on social media?

Linking up with Microblog Mondays

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24 thoughts on “Cynicism: Does it make you happy? #MicroblogMondays

  1. What upsets me is the one who behaves cynical is not aware of his/her actions! A lot of them lot of statements publicly about what should be done and not done, but when it comes to them, they are the ones who spread the most cynicism around! And social media.. it is a scary place.. I sometimes want to share so much of the stuff, but don’t do it.. you know the reason how it works there, right?!

    Very well articulated Shailahja 🙂

    Cheers

  2. I can be a little bit pessimistic at times, but not to the point that I am cynical about everything. I think it would help everyone to take a step back and see the bigger picture, recognizing the positive to encourage ourselves and seeing the negative so we know where change and growth would be important. So many people seem to get into only seeing the negative and getting in that doomsday mode. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Am I a cynic? Not all… but you are right… there is a lot of cynicism in the owrld in general so that translates into social media…

  4. Am I a cynic? No, I don’t think so. If so, I’d start to imagine that everyone is my friend because they want to take advantage of my ‘awesome services and skills’ – dont smirk 😛
    Which to be honest, has been proved to be true on more occasions than one but hey, I’m a nice person. I like to spread joy and happiness.
    [Maybe I’m Santa Claus!]

  5. What can we do other than bringing down interactions with such people online or offline? For me, the worry is more when I see such people in the real world. Some dear friends are there in this group. I try not interact much with them. But the negativity they are spreading is alarming.

  6. I hope you don’t call me a cynic for saying what I am about to say now 🙂 But you know enough about me by now to know that I don’t shy away from saying what’s on my mind. So here it goes, my two paisa worth of ‘interpretation’ of this observation that you share here. Saying it with all due respect and totally in the spirit of sharing a point of view….

    When it comes to people getting into nasty online arguments on topics that are more about people’s life choices, behaviour, etc. I think most of it arises from a certain inner state of being of the discussants, perhaps some insecurity or dissatisfaction etc. [I can only guess, because honestly I haven’t seen or participated in discussions that have to do with individual life choices, social behaviour etc. I stay away from those or maybe my online friends are all nice people 🙂 I limit myself to participating in a good, amicable, informed and reasonable discussion on political and other bigger social-cultural matters 😉 and that too only with people I know and respect, no matter what their point of view may be.]

    But then I also feel compelled to say that this need to comment on others’ online behaviour probably also stems from a somewhat different inner state of being – of feeling left out from some fun, rustic action perhaps? I don’t know of course, I am only guessing here.

    I guess my point is simply this: different people come to social media for different reasons. That’s how it will always be, that’s how it has always been with any medium of communication, ever since the invention of printing press. Rather than worrying about why others behave in a certain way, we may be better off figuring out what we want to get from this medium – which has great potential for good as well as bad – and then act accordingly.

    Cheers!

    1. I think we may be talking at cross purposes here when it comes to the term cynic. I am all for people holding their own views and where I disagree with them, I do it amicably. For the most part, that works well. However, my specific reference to cynics in this post is about those who only see the bad in anything and everything. In addition, they put others down as well, and I am referring to personal behaviour traits- not social or political contexts.

      I agree that we each come to social media with different purposes but the negativity affects us all. This is not me speaking, but several studies that have gone into depth on the effect that social media has on people’s well being. The reason I am concerned- not worried- is that I have a child to bring up in this world and sooner or later she is going to step into this world of social media. She is going to face cynics, skeptics and downright rude people too. What I want from the medium is something I am very comfortable with, although it took me a whole year to become comfortable, develop a thick skin and move on from the negativity of social media.

      And no, I don’t call you a cynic. 🙂

  7. I don’t think I am a cynic… See, this is what I was talking about in my facebook status the other day!
    If I am a nice person – why am I viewed with such suspicion? What’s wrong with just being nice. No ulterior motives.. no agendas. Just simple, straight forward nice?

  8. I don’t think I am. But maybe a better barometer is the fact that I often feel turned off by people if I spend too much time online. I can always tell when I’m hitting my limit because I’m shaking my head over some of the stuff that is written.

    1. Oh you said it perfectly! Shaking my head is what I find myself doing very often. Then I stop following the news feed for a few days and that helps too.

  9. I see what you mean, Shailaja. But there doesn’t seem much that we can do about it. I have developed a strong outer shell over the years, and I just let negativity slide off, and only give my attention to things that are positive, and encouraging. It is a choice that I make – every single time.

    P.S. That quote is truly the best way to define cynicism.

    1. Lovely quote, isn’t it? Letting negativity slide off takes practice, lots of it. It’s harder when it comes from people you have known for a while too.

  10. I would say I am the exact opposite… I need to believe in rainbows and unicorns. I cannot stand grumpy people who keep talking sneeringly of how failure is inevitable. Have faced it even recently during something as simple as the recent Secret Santa (not ours) where people just mocked and taunted me for participating, suggesting I ‘would lose’ if I did not get the exact number of gifts specified.
    I never considered such a thing myself – i was happy to give a gift to someone and see them happy. To call it a scam and belittle something that was just a fun holiday gesture reminded me that I was living in a world where there would always be Scrooges and Gringes who needed to be converted 😀

    1. Yes Roshan, I can see you being smiley and spreading rainbows too 🙂 You make it possible. I love the 1000 Speak posts for this reason. I love gratitude posts for this reason. It’s incredible how much good there is in the world and yet people insist on focusing on the bad. That has got to be unhealthy somehow.

  11. I think the social media and being there all the time leads to this. Earlier, our cynical views were limited to our close group of people or family. Now – that friend list is too big and people are quite open about sharing things that otherwise were not spoken of.

  12. Earlier we just had to deal with the cynicism of few family members and maybe some school/college mates…now in this hyper technology enabled world, we get to hear all the cynics of the world. It’s a difficult task to be happy now 🙂

  13. I think that has been the trend since Aristotle. It is almost as if being happy and cheerful, with happy thoughts is a crime.. and looked down as silly, while brooding over something, a stubble look, negativity are always sources of intelligence! keep away cynics! phew!

    1. Yes, it seems to be the in-thing to exhibit snide sarcasm and overall lack of concern for people. There are people who do this every single day. I just feel sorry for them. Really.

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