I am far from a serious social media user most of the time. At least for this blog, anyway. It’s a personal blog and as such, my social media reflects me: sometimes happy, sometimes grumpy, often lightly mocking food bloggers on Instagram, and sometimes whacked out on painkillers from cramps.
I posted that photo yesterday morning on Instagram and called it “breakfast” – inverted commas included. It was funny, sad and lame. Which was kind of how I felt yesterday.
What then made me wonder was a comment I got from someone I had never heard of before, asking if I used essential oils instead of chemicals. And it annoyed me at first. I don’t like being judged. I especially don’t like being judged by a stranger. (I don’t buy the “you put it out there argument”. But that’s a topic of its own.) Number one: it’s none of your business when I make my decision to take painkillers. Just so you know, I’d really rather that my uterus didn’t cause me a large amount of pain every month for anything between 0-48 hours, but I have no control over that unfortunately.
But what then really bugged me was the assumption that because I take painkillers for one thing, that I take them for everything and am clearly anti any other option. Life is grey. This person made an incorrect assumption about me based on one Instagram photo. Really? That one photo really told you everything about me, did it?
The irony here is that I actually do use essential oils for some parts of managing my health. I’ve found that eucalyptus oil in a steam shower works a lot better for my sinuses than any drug I’ve tried over the years. I’ve gone through daily ones, as needed ones (that I still keep on me at all times for severe issues), CT scans (that gave me a false reading of a brain tumour) and in the end, and in conjunction with advice from doctors, that is what works best for me. It might not for you, who knows. We’re individuals.
Assumptions don’t work. Assumptions made on the basis of one photo don’t work. Assumptions made even by people close to us are often wrong. Because life is grey. I am pretty anti label and anti niche and all these things that just irritate me a lot these days. I am me. I am a lot of things. Labels feel exclusive.
I use essential oils for one thing and painkillers for another. Where does that put me on the natural to “chemical” spectrum of health? Is there a label for this? Can we give up on labels and just let people make the choices that they want to for themselves? Most people on the internet are adults, legally at least!
Now: I haven’t replied to this person and this is not a post about them, it’s the questions that their comment has raised in my mind about assumptions and the internet.
What labels annoy you? How do you deal with assumptions made about you?
19 Replies to “Life Is Grey”
This post goes along perfectly with what Kylie Purtrell from Study in Contradictions blog posted today about judging people on snippets of their lives. As I commented on her post, I’m so over judgmental people. We just need to be more kind and open minded, remembering we are only seeing a snippet of what someone chooses to share in that particular moment. ‘The clothes do not maketh the man (or woman)’
I was reading along thinking the same thing- so reminded my of Kylie’s post!
I’ll have to go check that post out, thanks! 🙂
Beware essential oil commenters- lately they’re all young living or DoTerra sales people!
I agree though- one picture might speak a thousand words- but I know I’m many more words than that 🙂
Yes, what a great analogy – even a thousand words still isn’t enough to describe a person.
People really need to stop sometimes and ask themselves if they need to butt in. Did you read Kylie Purtell’s post today. Along the same lines.
I think everyone read that – I’m just about to go over and read it!
It sounds very similar to Kylie’s post today, but maybe the post wasn’t judging but a suggestion? I haven’t seen it so I have no idea. We all just have to do what we feel is right, no judgement here!
I would say there’s a pretty fine line between judging and suggesting on the internet – but what you’ve made me think of is how comparatively easy it is to tell the difference in the two in face to face communications!
People waste too much energy on judgments and labels – if they looked at their own life they would see how they are nuanced – no-one is one dimensional or a stereotype so it makes no sense to judge on that basis. I especially think when it comes to health that people should be kind with advice but not judgemental of others decisions. We each have to live in our own bodies.
Yes, and no one else knows what does and doesn’t work for us – even doctors sometimes! I had a debate with my doctor about how I felt daily allergy tablets made me feel and he said they don’t work that way. I sit in the “my body, my opinion” field for things I have noticed over long periods of time.
Ain’t no essential oil on this planet that can substitute for ibuprofen + codeine. Hope ur feeling better x #TeamIBOT
Yep, it did the trick, thanks 🙂
Yeah, it’s annoying when that happens. Sometimes people are just oblivious, other times it really hard to gauge the tone of their comment then they’re just being downright judgemental.
Life is grey. And we all need to remind ourselves that there’s always stuff going on with people that we have no clue about. So best not to judge.
So true, what I share is most certainly not my whole life!
The trouble with calling out this sort of behaviour, or just replying to their comment is that they come back with ‘I was just trying to help’. They don’t see that sometimes we post stuff just for the hell of it, not because we need someone to fix us.
Thanks for linking up with The Lounge!
I had that happen when I was really into Harry Potter fan fiction – I posted a small story in the fluff section of a website and received a comment critiquing it – and it was genuine constructive criticism, but also, it was in the fluff section – you don’t put good writing in there!
I’m of the opinion that you should just use whatever work whatever it is – life’s to short to either suffer or make judgements (or even to care about what other people think) – I hope breakfast took the edge off it, mine was remarkably similar this morning!
Yep it worked well – I’m grateful it’s just a day or two per month, I would struggle with chronic pain.