Who are they really motivating, anyway?

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

I have ‘unfollowed’ a lot of friends on Facebook. (No, not you, of course!) But my newsfeed can be pretty slim some days because of it. On a good day, there might be a few vacation photos, someone might announce an engagement or baby news, and there are always the tried and true news reports and weather posts. Mostly, though, there are motivational quotes.

Why not unfollow those people who post motivational quotes, you might ask? Because honestly, I’d have nothing left to look at. But what exactly are those uplifting, witty, wise snippets of prose supposed to accomplish? Should I suddenly feel better about myself and the world? Does the person who posts them feel inspired? Will I soon be inundated with more of these words of wisdom until I rise up off the couch and launch into song? Nope, nope, and nope. More likely, it means I’ll scroll past those posts as fast as I can so that I can find out what the forecast is going to be.  I know. Just unfollow.



But why do people post motivational quotes? Come on! Most times, they aren’t even motivated enough to actually find the quote, create a unique display, take a nice photo, and tag a few people who could really use some support. Most of the time, people just Google and post.  Or worse–they just repost. (Isn’t that the opposite of what they’re trying to accomplish??)



For this post, I didn’t even have to make an effort to find a quote. I went to Unsplash (my favourite photo stop), and searched for ‘quotes’. Someone did all the work for me. Easy, peasy. No motivation at all required! It’s beautiful, and it reminds me to stop and smell the roses. I guess it worked. I didn’t have to waste a lot of time finding the nonsense quote, and was able to fully get on with my life with very little hassle.



I want to stop and ask my friends why they’re posting drivel like this.



And then…I realize something. The reason I’ve unfollowed so many people on Facebook is because they rant, or they brag, or they post every single thought and action all day long, until I lose the will to live. But maybe these regular motivational posts–inspired or not–are the bright lights that someone has chosen to shine on the world. These days, there is too much of the dark stuff. We don’t need hatred. We need positivity. We need motivation to do good when everything around us seems bad. We need a reminder on a coffee mug to love each other.



So go ahead and post. Fill up my newsfeed with jaunty little coffee mugs, and ice cream coloured cookies, and babies dressed in adorable clothes. I want to see them all. And I promise I won’t unfollow any of you who do so. (I’m really tired of the weather….)



heidi sinnett




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