One of the common complaints about social media has been the huge influx of personal information that “nobody cares about”, but that’s not necessarily true. Those trite little posts that you see on social media can actually have a big impact on your connections to those around you.
Mónica Guzmán, from her book “I Never Thought of It That Way“:
I remember one thing people used to say when they railed against social media in the early days: “No one wants to know what you had for breakfast!” The funny thing is, seemingly little things like knowing what you had for breakfast, along with whether you watched that show last night, or how you felt about the traffic this morning, help people relate. Everyone has breakfast. Hearing about yours makes me think about mine, and though it isn’t breaking news or anything, knowing that I have Multi Grain Cheerios with almond milk every morning tells you something about me, even if it’s a little, tiny something. It also helps remind those of us trading words on screens online that there are human beings behind them.
It goes back to seeing people as actual humans, not as “those others”. People you disagree with still have full, rich lives, and generally have great reasons for believing what they believe.
It also goes back to the idea of disagreeing without dehumanizing. The more you know about the people around you, the more likely you are to respect their opinions.
I don’t share my breakfast on social media very often, but enjoy when others share small pieces of their lives so that I can get to know them just a little bit better.