Oversharing and its cousin TMI (too much information) have been top of mind. Not pertaining only to ‘oops’ moments when I’ve said something I shouldn’t, but correspondingly about my demeanour.
Nobody sees airtime as share time.
Social media users don’t wait their turn. Everyone has their bullhorn they can switch on and publish to anyone who will listen – there is no ‘pause button’, no helpful prompt asking “are you sure you want to send this?”
Everyone for themselves, speaking without restriction, without delay. Anyone can stake their claim on space in the internet universe. Unfettered. No self-editing.
I criticize all that.
At the same time, I’m reflecting.
Elbowing my way to the front of every line.
I was young.
Restless to speak up, to speak first, leaping into any fray. Seldom at the back of any line. I was never one to wait or speak last unless embellishing my earlier points.
Noticing changes in myself. Heightened mindfulness of others. Maybe an element of getting older, possibly because my approach has softened. I seem to be getting smarter by deliberately waiting longer in conversations to speak up. Waiting. Nearer the end. Sometimes I’m not talking at all. People who’ve known me long might scoff in amazement that I kept my mouth shut sometimes because they’ve known me to exhibit proclivity for interjecting, not easily forfeiting my share of airtime….
I’ve not lost appetite or capacity to hold forth at length on what I care about – but lately I’ve been more focused on this observation of what I’m doing. Less concerned about some requirement to correct someone’s incorrect take on something – or to laud my self-superior viewpoint. Learning more about people by waiting until they are done. Learning more about people by listening to the fullness of what they are saying, or failing to say. I like this movement I’m seeing in my perspective. But additionally, I’m thrilled to learn more about people I thought I knew by listening more as ‘audience’ than as ‘debater/combatant’ in our fight for airtime….