What makes people think I want to cry so much?
It seems like every second post on my Facebook newsfeed is something or the other which is intended to elicit extreme emotion, whether it is Angelina Jolie’s acceptance speech which seems to have caught the attention of people trolling google for things to cry about, or Indian jewlery ads which, although admittedly groundbreaking, is hardly something that can elicit hysterical tears. Or there could be the “amazing” commerical from Thailand, or picture stories of animals, or if all else fails, a dip into a childhood bag of emotion that hopes to revive some latent trauma. This morning alone, it seems like everyone on Facebook has been crying about a list of rules for dads of daughters.
I see these, and variations of these, from day to day and wonder about people’s need to reduce themselves and others to tears. Are there not enough real life sad things to cry about? And is there not something to be said for a heartfelt reaction to something as opposed to a newsfeed that seems to want to bully people into a cowering mess of emotion?
And what if I don’t? What if I happen to be someone who doesn’t, let’s say, like crying and would rather just suppress the emotion? What if this said picture/article/video/list doesn’t make me cry at all? Something about the way these things are titled makes me feel like I would be considered an utter jerk for not complying with the screaming headline instructions. If I end up laughing instead, or rolling my eyes, two entirely plausible and possible (perhaps probable) reactions, I will end up feeling like an asshole who has no sensitivity.
And what am I supposed to do when the headline challenges you with things like “Dare you to make it through these without crying.” I mean, this is confusing. Am I expected to give in to the challenge, thereby nullifying the challenge altogether? Or am I expected to accept the challenge, in which case you KNOW I’m not going to cry.
Call me crazy, but I don’t like to be directed towards feelings. I happen to think that actually defeats the purpose of feeling because at that point, you are really acting more than feeling, having been told what emotion it is that you must produce at what sight. I would much prefer the solitary act of sitting, thinking, and absorbing something. Crying, yes, but if it is a natural response.
Perhaps these things are intended to be offset by the equally maniacal declarations of things that are intended to “make you laugh,” “split your sides,” or “have you rolling on the floor.”
Even if that is the case, and I am just caught in a battle between those who will have me rolling on the floor in laughter and those who will have me going through a box of tissues an hour, I have to ask: Why must I be asked to spend my whole day oscillating between sobbing and manic laughter?
Why can’t I just look at the singing toilet and just be mildly amused, or look at funny videos and just hope that my kids don’t do dumbass things like these, or just take in C.K Lewis quotes without falling off my chair in hysterics?
I’m thinking it might be a good idea to post these things without instructions so the world can feel free to react as they want. And by the world, I mean me. And by react, I mean I’ll laugh when I want, and I’ll cry when I want, dammit. Stop telling me what to do!