A Penny for your Thoughts

Don’t you ever wonder what you spouse, family and friends actually think about things?

For the most part, I have a pretty good feel for what Misty and the boys think; I haven’t the slightest clue from day to day what Jaclyn is thinking, if in fact she does.

I am sure Misty and the boys know what I think about most topics. In case you haven’t noticed, I am fairly opinionated.

I am not sure about everything. Actually I have come to the conclusion that I don’t know way more than what I do know. But how do you know what you think is even remotely true, unless you put it out there and face the music?

None the less, I have ideas and we can call them opinions. I tend to put them out there just to see what happens. I am not trolling for likes but I do enjoy the feedback. It’s kind of a shame, but the closest we can get with many of our acquaintances is through their feedback on your posts. It kind of gives a glimpse at something.

You can figure out pretty quickly if your thinking is out of the main stream or if it is flawed. Not that either situation is patently negative.

Being out of the main stream is kind of weird in that in some instances you feel like, “I am seeing this and I believe this, why don’t you? It is an uncomfortable feeling. Not like you are not fitting in per se, but, at times, a feeling of disbelief or incredulity. This seems totally obvious to me. What am I missing?

I like being told my thinking is flawed, that I am missing a point or not corroborating related information. You are wrong because..

The interesting thing to me is that there are a few levels of sharing your thinking on social media. Be like me and just put your thinking out there. Be like some pretty smart people I know and don’t actually put your opinion out there, but hint at it by showing where you disagree or find fault in mine. Or people that appear to have no ideas or opinions that they care to share.

The second group is fun, because while they won’t actually tell you what they think they will leave it to you to deduce. You will look at their likes and shares, their comments on posts and come up probably a 70% accurate picture of what they generally think. But they will never confirm or deny their stance if you ever make a comment to them about your guess.

They want to commit to something in their minds, but they’re not ready to lay it on the line. I have even asked people face to face, where are you coming from and have been told that is private information. If someone asks for your opinion or what you think, why not give it? They asked for it. What is there to lose? A popularity contest?

Or you have people that pick apart your thoughts or opinions, but are otherwise elusive as to theirs. I find that kind of funky, because their counter point to your point, certainly paints a picture. Maybe it makes them look troll-ish, but it is a picture none the less.

Then there are people you know and respect generally speaking but you don’t have the slightest clue as to what they are about. They mostly like stuff. They rarely post, share or comment. They’re lurkers. They are there watching but rarely participate and if they do it’s about something vanilla.

If they post something it is generally something benign like family pictures, activities they participate in, etc. GO PENS! You wish they would open up a bit and you’d get to know them better, on the inside.

My favorite social media types are the schitzos. Their posts, shares and likes are all over the spectrum. Are they following the flavor the day, following the crowd or are they mad geniuses? I am sure to many I appear to be schitzo too, so I don’t use the term as derogatory in this context. I am a strange mix of libertarian, conservative and liberal in terms of social, financial and legal. I am about what makes sense in the context of itself and in the big picture simultaneously, while weighing compassion and fairness in the mix.

Being a schitzo is rough, because there has to be some rhyme or reason, some congruence, to what appears to be your spattered approach to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness or you genuinely look like a nut ball. Your philosophy might be complicated but you had better be able to explain your thinking.

I know fairness is a touchy word. I will tell you what it means to me; equal opportunity not equal outcome. As in,not fair the rich can own their own politician and the rest of us can’t. That isn’t equal opportunity.

The schitzos, if you pay attention are fascinating. They are pro-environment but anti-liberal. One day they will like big business and the next day they like workers rights. We take some hard core studying to get the slightest grasp on.

The hardest obstacle, I believe, to social media is that you are putting something on your permanent record and maybe that reveals some people’s reticence to let their hair day and tell it like they feel. I, for the most part, am not overly concerned about that. I don’t think too much of what I say is controversial in a big way. As the Dude in the Big Lebowski sort of said, just my opinion man.
Yes, I am critical of our government and politicians a lot of the time but if they’re out to get little old me, then we are in big trouble.

Then of course we have the old saw, never discuss politics, religion and finances in polite company. That pretty much limits us to all the important topics like sports, weather, celebrity gossip and cat pictures. At least we can discuss music or what passes for music today.

So what I want, once in a while, is when people can be comfortable around each other and discuss these taboos and more. I want to really know what people think. Don’t you? What can more interesting than discussing ideas and opinions in a non-judgmental way? What is more expanding and eye opening? Don’t you want some added texture to the nuance of day to day life?

I like changing my mind. Change it. Educate me. Enlighten me. Tell me your secret thoughts.

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