OK, we're going to play a little game. I want you to look at the below image and read it before you move on to the rest of this. Jot down your initial thoughts as soon as you are done, then continue with the article. But please read the entire article before getting offended.
Now, what if I told you the guy above is pro-gun? Did you come to that conclusion on your own? Please tell me you did.
I saw this image this morning and thought it was probably the greatest sign I'd ever read. And because I enjoyed it so much, I shared it to our Instagram page. Within two hours I was ready to delete Instagram. After sharing it on Facebook I was ready to unplug and become Amish.
Honestly, I thought people would get it. But the vial spew that came out of people on Instagram - which isn't new, to be honest - was astounding. People were calling this guy all kinds of things, insulting his parents, insulting his education. People really went to town on this guy. By the time I couldn't take it anymore and just deleted the damn image, I wondered to myself how this guy survived any protest anywhere with this sign without getting thrown into traffic.
When I posted it on Facebook I included a message at the top about how the image was a joke, but the same insults were slung at the guy anyway.
Between Instagram and Facebook, this image got almost 100 comments. One guy got it. One.
I'm not trying to be mean to anyone here, but we need a lesson in sarcasm. Because I am an extremely sarcastic person, and if you aren't fluent, we're not going to get along. And, frankly, we spend a lot of time complaining about how the USA has lost her sense of humor. Yeah, we have. So let's start fixing it.
Let's start by toning down the outrage. If you are a member of groups on Facebook, especially political ones, you need to know that we sometimes throw in humor posts just to lighten things up a little. When the news is hot and heavy and everything makes it seem like the world is burning, I'll toss in a funny video or image just to help my readers recharge. It usually works. Always read the comments above the image, article, or video. Sometimes they clarify things. Then, sit back and take the whole thing in before deciding if this is a laughing post or an outrage post. Don't walk in assuming everything is an outrage. Some of the stuff you see is good news! Some of it really does warrant outrage. And some is meant to be funny. But if you walk in expecting everything to be an outrage, you'll find something to be angry about.
Let's take in this image. His sign starts out with the following:
Reasons "for" gun control.
That line alone is the tip off that the sign you are about to read is not serious. He put quotes on "for."
The rest of the sign purposely contradicts itself.
He's not calling for a gun ban. He's trolling the crap out of the gun ban protesters. He's making fun of them. And this photo is the nail. Look at his face. Yes, he looks like he just ate a detergent pod! ON PURPOSE! The sign and the face are all mocking the anti-freedom protesters.
If you need further proof, read point number 2 on the sign. Don't forget the item in parenthesis. If you notice, he's actually telling you why that statement is horse manure. Point 3 contradicts itself. And number 4 contradicts number 5. Number 1 is just silly.
Again, I'm not trying to be mean. But I would like to post things like this in the future without the need to go through every comment and tell them he's joking. This was very frustrating all day long today. I couldn't grasp why this was so obvious to me and to literally no one else. Then I realized why.
Look, I know the world is crazy right now and has been for a while. And I know a lot of the stuff I post is very serious stuff that really makes your blood boil. But because I know that, I also want to destress myself and take everyone with me. I want to make people laugh, because laughter really is the best medicine. I also understand that stress causes us to miss obvious humor sometimes. I've posted things that were doctored photos that were meant to be funny and people attacked me for being stupid because they thought I believed the image was real. People misread humorous posts and get angry. I get it. But we need a reminder every now and again to take each and every story as an individual story. Because somewhere in all the craziness is something funny buried deep within.
Everyone gets offended by everything these days, and that is also a cause for stress. What we need to be aware of is what we, ourselves, are getting offended about. Because we're not immune, as much as we think we are. I have gotten offended by things and then later realized it was dumb to get offended by it. No harm was meant.
We need to remember how to laugh. Now, I apologize, because, like I said, I am a very sarcastic person. My sense of humor is very dry, so if you met me in person, odds are you'd get a joke from me that came across as serious. I am also sarcastic, and you need to be fluent. I do anger a lot of people, but again, it requires the listener to sit back and take in what I actually said. People who really know me know my humor now. I don't plan to stop because that's my personality. But come in to everything you see anywhere, especially online, with an openness that holds no emotion. Then you can see things like this guy and his sign more clearly instead of seeing it through perceived outrage.