Let them be twelve.

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I’ll be honest. I really try to avoid scrolling through my Facebook feed. Some statuses I see are borderline depressing or so completely asinine, I wouldn’t even know how or where to begin confronting the poster, so I don’t. However, you should know, your passive aggressive status updates are banal and oh-so-passe. I try to write pieces in hopes in inspire some of my Facebook “friends” to give up the smack-talking, but I think most were too busy making crude remarks that they didn’t get my memo. At any rate, here’s another spoonful of food for thought.

We’ve all been there. Someone says something that strikes you the wrong way online, so you come up with a witty rebuttal, and as soon as you think the ordeal is done and over with, they come back with a sassy remark, and before you know it, you’re in a heated debated…on the Internet…with a twelve year old.

Here’s an inventive concept : Let them be twelve. Sometimes I have to remember that I was young and dumb once. I said ignorant things, acted in ignorant ways, and make ignorant choices. Why? Because I was young. And ignorant. If anyone tried to step in and correct me or find flaws in my reasoning, I would bash back. Because I was just a kid. A wise, all-knowing kid with something to prove. And, I know what you may be thinking – What in the hell are these kids doing on the Internet anyway? Shouldn’t they be off galavanting with their new toys? Playing legos? Making mud pies? The truth is, it’s the I-generation, meaning most leisure these days revolves around technology. I remember playing Hot Wheels with my brother, drawing road maps on poster board and leaving 97% of play up to our imagination. Now there’s an app for that. So it goes. People are spending more time logged in and less time outdoors, which means more kids are checking their notifications rather than the air in their bike tires. Such is life.

Me, at twelve.

When it comes down to it, it isn’t worth the hassle or the headache to argue with people who refuse to be swayed. Wash your hands and move on. As tempting as it is to correct someone who uses the incorrect form of “your” or find fault or hypocrisy in some stranger’s statement – get over it. Spend your time on improving yourself and doing what’s right for you. Strive to be a good person and set an example for others. Instead of complaining about how dumb the girl is you work with, talk about how rad your day is. Refrain from lashing out on what a slut your ex is and insert an inspirational quote about moving on or breaking up. “Be the change you want to see.”

At the end of the day, you can omit some of these heart-retching or teeth grinding statuses by a.) deleting negative people who fill your news feed or b.) spending less time on the Internet and more time with your nose in a book or hands in the dirt outside. Getting wound up over petty status updates or blog posts can not only be a waste of time, but it can be detrimental to your health. Feeding energy into such things can get you nothing more than a headache.

Let people make mistakes and figure themselves out. Let them say things they’ll later regret. Let them think their break-up is the end of the world, their life is hard to handle, or the world revolves around them. You learned, so let them have their lesson. It’s easy to forget that you were once young and naive. Give other folks the chance to be so, and spend your time practicing patience, understanding, and worrying about you. You were once twelve.

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