Sun was peaking through the windows of the Primary Elementary School in Southampton, MA. as I held up a small, pink dinosaur. I didn’t speak, but just stood there and held it up with my thumbs and pointers for everyone to see. I made no eye contact with my classmates, and I remember feeling frozen. When my turn was over, I sat down on the flat carpet in a slouchy crisscross applesauce, relieved it was over.
Show-and-tell was one of my favorite activities in school, and although I didn’t tell much due to my debilitating shyness, I still loved to show. I could say I’ve grown out of sharing, but it’s obvious with this blog that I haven’t, and neither have most.
Why do we love to share what we have, where we go, and who we’re with? We were conditioned at an early age to share, and it’s something we don’t shake off as we grow and mature, so we continue to do so on platforms like Facebook.
The social media giant will confuse the brain with fast thumb-scrolling. Photos of toasted bagels with cream cheese dripping off the sides are followed by remarkably blurred selfies, dead animals, shiny new cars, milky iced coffees in plastic cups, then someone’s dinner of drippy alfredo sauce on mounds of penne pasta. We’re not sure whether to be impressed, disgusted, or hungry.
The scrolling speeds faster than the brain’s ability to process what you’re seeing making you drool for dead deer and cringe at chocolate cake. Either way, our sharing has grown from kindergarten rubber dinosaurs to new cars and filtered faces.
Do we want people to know we’re doing well, or do we want them to think we’re doing just a little bit better than they are? Attention or competition? Do we think of how it will make others feel when we share something grand, or do we hope to tap the spectators down just a tad with our virtual shiny hammers?
The more I live, the less I share, and don’t get me wrong, I love seeing what’s going on with people I follow. It’s nice to have a place to see kids I know grow and accomplish greatness, friends being silly, and I love looking at what people make for dinner. Sometimes I’ll share something then cringe and take it down. Maybe I’m insecure, or maybe I’m concerned with why I’m sharing, and the reasons are not always altruistic.