Recently I’ve noticed a lot of people announcing big life events on Facebook: engagements, weddings, pregnancies, births, etc. And it seems like there’s always at least one person who chimes in with the comment, “It’s about time!” While I realize that the notion of announcing life events on Facebook is still fairly new unto itself, I still see an issue in the lack of tone available from internet comments and the sort of freedom we seem to feel being faceless behind a keyboard.
The comment, “It’s about time!” seems so condescending to me. Not everyone reaches the “milestones of life” at a time that’s convenient for everyone else. They usually do at a time that’s convenient for them. I understand that the majority of people don’t make the “It’s about time!” comment with intentions of being sassy and assuming. I realize that 99.9% of people who type this phrase have the best intentions.
But imagine if we used this phrase for other life events — like when someone loses tons of weight, decides to stop smoking, when someone very old passes away, or when people get a divorce or break up. We definitely wouldn’t say, “It’s about time!” even if that’s what we’re thinking. Why? Because it would hurt someone’s feelings. Like your timeline defines their life.
Speeeeeed it up a little!
It’s odd to say because it’s like we’re assuming that everyone is on the same timeline. We don’t live in the age where life expectancy is around 50, so there’s not really a rush to go to college immediately after high school if that’s not your thing. There’s no rush to hurry up and get the job that will be your career for the rest of your life if you want to join the Peace Corps or spend a year volunteering. There isn’t a rush to find “the one” and make it legal before 20 or 25 or 30. There’s no rush to hurry up and pop out 5 kids to help you take care of your farm. These huge milestones take time to cultivate and develop, especially since you will often live with these decisions till far past 50 years old. Maybe even 100.
So, really, I think it’s about time we stop commenting on other people’s lives with our own expectations, our own, it’s about times. I’m guilty of it, so I should join the challenge, too.
Just a few Monday thoughts.