Sharing is not always caring

I’m sure we are all familiar with this situation. A friend of yours says you have to watch a certain movie, because it has changed their life forever. There goes two hours of your life. Or maybe they would like you to read a book that has the best storyline ever. You could end up giving it six hours of your valuable time. Or if you are really unlucky, they will recommend a tv-show with five seasons, causing you to spend a whole week binge-watching.

When we find something we enjoy, we want to share it with everybody we know (most commonly our close friends and family). You want to tell them how great it was, that it was so funny, they should absolutely watch it. Your life won’t be complete if you haven’t.

And it got me thinking… I am also the kind of person who likes to share their enthusiasm with friends about these kinds of things. If you have read something that felt important somehow, you want to share it. But while doing this, often we forget to think about our target audience.

Not everybody has the same interests as you. Maybe a dramatic film that has no joke in it whatsoever is not the best thing to recommend to your friend who loves comedy. Sure, you may want to share your passion for this newly discovered picture, but if you don’t keep in mind what your friend likes, this may only result in disappointment. I’ve watched movies that I love with friends who start to tear it apart and pointing out all of the flaws. Maybe after that, you won’t like the movie as much.

We have ALL been in the situation where you show somebody a clip from Youtube of something you have laughed about for days, but your friend watches it with a straight face and a frown, wondering why you would want to show them this video. Usually, about halfway through the video, you will be tempted to say something along the lines of: “Just wait for it, the funny part is coming”. But you already know that this viewing is a bust.

So yes, on the one hand you should think about the person you are sharing your newly discovered awesomeness with, but on the other hand, it can say a lot about you. It is a chance for your friends to learn more about you and what you find funny or moving.

When I was discussing this with my Lyonnais friends, they gave me an interesting new insight. If somebody recommends something that you really love, it proves how well they know you and it can strengthen your connection to that person. I must say, I agree. I always try to think of the person I’m recommending to when recommending something and it can feel rather special when somebody who gives you a recommendation introduces you to something that becomes meaningful to you.

I guess the point of this blog is: be mindful of what you recommend to whom. The philosophy of: ‘They should read or watch this because I liked it and thought it was awesome’ won’t always cut it in the world of sharing interests.

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