The Art of Being Unexceptional: How Ordinary Life Trumps Facebook “Sharing”

I love Facebook. What an amazing invention. A real-life yearbook documenting your life. You connect with old friends, new friends, and share the highlights of your life with others. I find it fantastic. And by fantastic I mean otherworldly, too unbelievable to be believed.

Oh, and I don’t have a Facebook account. I jack my wife’s and follow the lives of people I don’t really know.

That disturbing psychological experiment aside, I am fascinated by social media. The documenting of moments and sharing them with the world. It has spawned some epic moments in viewing pleasure for us all, made millionaires out of a few savvy entrepreneurs, and even furthered much good in the world.

But, at the core of my being, I don’t get it.

Do I care that you ate the most epic heuvos rancheros in Santa Fe this morning? Do I want to see Timmy crush it at his local soccer tournament (yup, he’s definitely the next Neymar), and do I need to hear about the beauty of your favorite bed and breakfast in Mendocino?

What happened to modesty and privacy?

What happened to being ordinary with your family in your home by yourselves, watching TV together, swimming in the backyard, or going for a walk? The good stuff; the stuff that needs no fanfare, no sharing with the world, the stuff that makes us a family? Why do we need to “share” our lives with one another? As if some inner part of us is screaming from the depths of our unfulfilled soul that our life is so amazing! That we need to tell everyone and show everyone and share, and share, and share…


When I think of truly sharing, I think of being selfless. I think I have something, generally not more than I need, a sacrifice, that I share with others. It does not have to be a physical thing, it can be my time, love, or just being “there” for someone. Maybe even closing my mouth, looking into someone’s eyes, and just…

… listening.

Isn’t that true “sharing,” helping people and bringing a smile to their face just… just… just because you can? And there are millions of people in this world who are in need of this kind of sharing, through touch, compassion, empathy, and love; like old school Mother Theresa shit.

I know.

The cynic in you is saying “kumbaya.” Trust me, if you knew me you would laugh.

My point is simple. No one really cares about Timmy rockin’ the hat trick at the local soccer tournament, no one cares about your epic tiramisu in the restaurant only you know about, and no one cares about your utterly fantastic life hangin’ and bangin’ with your middle-aged friends rockin’ it like you did in your college days. The beauty of your memories is that they are unique to “you.” They are “yours.” They are your family’s. Keep them that way. Keep them special.

And let’s get back to the true meaning of sharing. The real sharing.

Originally published at on September 15, 2017.

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