“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Sometimes I come across old adages like this and can’t help but call bullpucky. How much does this apply?
Yesterday, I was at the store and we had a customer come in to ask for a World of Warcraft time card. My coworker shook the box, it rattled, and the customer said “Yep, sounds like it’s in there.” Naturally, me, being the person I am, I had to pipe up with what I thought was a joke and say “Yeah, sounds just like yet another Onyxia Instance.”
To which the customer replies “Pfft, so easy. ”
I had been called out. It happens a lot, so thankfully I had the grace to explain that the quip was all I had, I don’t play WoW, I don’t think I’ll ever bother learning anything more than one or two facts about the game mostly because I simply cannot stand being unable to say even one thing about a given subject. I always have to have something to say about anything, even if it’s insignificant.
This is an important thing to recognise. People generally need to feel like they’ve got all of their ducks in a row, but the urge to say something specifically to prove you’re either not an idiot or to prove you’re paying attention needs to be recognized for what it is: participation, not a claim of xpress or espert knowledge.
Chris Brogan just wrote a post about “Feeling the Community” that I think is bang on. Specifically, he mentions that you can’ fake community – and man is that timely. ProBlogger had a guest post from Robby G of Shite I Like.com that talks about the same thing as applies to blogging; if you’re not really into it, don’t bother mentioning it.
It’s good feeling like you know what you’re doing. But it’s also important to recognise and admit when you’re blowing smoke. There’s no problem with bullpucky, so long as you don’t take it seriously; it’s posturing, self-inclusion, and unimportant unless someone’s insisting that their BS is truth. Then it gets dirty. And becomes no fun for anyone.