You know the feeling. Friend posts something on Facebook, links to an article or post or a poem or photo on Twitter. A relative or co-worker sends you an email and there’s a note: “Nails it.” “Hits it out of the park.” “The writer is on fire.” “This is beautiful.” “This made me think.” “Read this and immediately thought of you!”
If you’ve gotten enough of these you click on the link with dread. Because you know. You’ll open it up, read whatever it is, and think, “What the---?”
You can’t believe your friend thought this was a home run. Can’t believe your brother thought you’d like this. Nails it? The hammer didn’t even touch the board! Beautiful? If the trite, trivial, clichéd, incoherent, corny, and just plain dumb can be called beautiful. Thought of me? That’s what you think of me?
What were they thinking? What’s wrong with them?
What’s wrong with them is that they read it in a mood you’re not in, while thinking about things that haven’t crossed your mind, without having read any of the sixteen articles you just read. They read it and applied it to situations you haven’t lived through. They read it remembering events you weren’t there for, seeing it in light of experiences you did not share.
What’s wrong with them is they read it without being you.
Maybe a better question is What’s wrong with you?
And the answer is you read it without being them, without taking their thoughts, their situations, their feelings into account.
Or you’re right. It is complete nonsense. All those things combined to cause them to misread it, miss the writer’s actual point, overlook obvious flaws in logic or style. Maybe they just had a momentary and forgivable lapse in judgment or taste.
Let it go.
Meanwhile, did you see the link I just posted on Twitter?