What’s On Your “To Don’t” List?

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July 21, 2017 by T. Gregory Argall

Last Sunday Facebook was abuzz with excitement for not only the start of the new season of “Game of Thrones” but also the announcement of who would be taking over the title role on “Doctor Who.” Since then I have seen a surprising number of posts from people saying that they have never seen “Game of Thrones” or that they have never seen “Doctor Who.”

It’s surprising not for the fact that they don’t watch the shows, but for the fact that they felt the need to announce it to world. Is this a thing now? Is this something people do?

Last weekend also saw the finals of Wimbledon tennis, yet we didn’t see a single Facebook post declaring anything like this:

Why not?
Television ratings clearly show that while there was a significant number of viewers for the broadcast coverage of Wimbledon, yet, compared to the world population, there were still people who did not watch. Why are those people not speaking up for no reason at all?

Wimbledon is a major sporting event with a history dating back to 1877. It showcases some of the greatest tennis players in the world. It is a prestigious event known and respected around the world. You and everyone you know has heard of Wimbledon. It’s kind of a big deal.

Don’t you think it’s important enough to not be watched?

While we’re at it, I’ve never seen the movie “Titanic” nor have I read the novel “War & Peace.”
I know what you’re probably thinking. You’re probably thinking, “Big deal. Who cares?” and the answer, of course, is, “No one.”
No one cares.

Facebook is essentially a very large room where multiple conversations are all happening at the same time. You can flitter about, joining any conversation that catches your interest, agreeing or disagreeing as the case may be, but generally contributing to the overall discussion.
Then suddenly, some person steps into the conversation and declares, “I have absolutely nothing to say on this topic.”

That’s weird, right?

Ok, imagine you’re at work, walking around the office, and as you pass a co-worker’s desk he is just finishing a phone call with his wife. You overhear him saying, “That sounds lovely. Can’t wait. See you tonight, honey. Love you.”

When he hangs up, you pause, leaning casually on the cubicle divider beside his desk, and say, “You know, Jerry, I’ve never slept with your wife. I’ll probably never want to, either. She’s just not a woman I think I could ever find attractive. Ever.”

How is Jerry expected to respond to this?

“Um… Thanks, I guess? Should I let her know?”

There’s really no reasonable response because there was no reasonable point in volunteering the information in the first place.
As Jerry’s wife will tell you.

But this seems to be becoming a thing anyway, telling people what you don’t do. If we really want to be socially defined by the things we haven’t done, wouldn’t it make more sense to focus on things that are a little more ethically and morally unambiguous?

“I’ve never robbed a bank.”

“I’ve never punched a homeless person.”

“I’ve never bludgeoned a puppy to death with a size 10 left shoe on a Tuesday.”

Things like that.

Personally, I prefer when people define themselves by the things they actually do.
Which is why I finish every blog entry with the words “Try to be nice to each other.”

Try to be nice to each other.



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