Don’t Be “That Guy”
Or “that gal.” Last week my buddy got a new M1 powered MacBook Air. His first new computer for his personal (non-work) use since 2012, and he was really excited about it. He shared a shot of the packaging on social, noted it was his first new one in 9 years, and simply said, “Time to install some native apps and play.” That’s it. Time to install some native apps and play.
Of course, “That guy” had to come and comment:
What was that person hoping to achieve with that comment? What do you think my buddy thought when he read that comment above? Do you think he thought, “Wow, this person is so much smarter than me” or “This person is right — I should return my product and get what they have (so they feel better about their choice).
My buddy didn’t mention PCs, didn’t compare his new Mac to them, but yet “That Guy” felt he had to stop what he was doing and post a comment to defend his choice to use a PC rather than a Mac. Do you know what he could have done instead?
He could have just kept scrolling through his feed and moved on with his day, but no, no, no — he has to stop and defend his decision, even though the conversation didn’t mention him or his product in any way. Can you imagine how exhausting it must be to go around the Web, and if you see someone has chosen a different product than you choose, you have to stop and post a defense of your product? You drive a Ford F-150, but if someone mentions they washed their Chevy Silverado on social, you have to stop to tell them their truck isn’t as good as your truck.
Here’s another comment from his same post:
My buddy is excited about this computer, but you tell him yours is better because he way overpaid for his computer. Seriously, what the heck is wrong with this person? You walk in the door with a balloon and they’re standing there with a pin to pop it. “Looks like you’re having fun. Let me fix that.” That’s “That Guy.”
My buddy’s post is showing the new computer he just bought. He already owns it. How does this comment help? Essentially, you’re saying, “You were dumb for not waiting. I’m waiting for the M2. I’m smarter than you.”
Or how about this one (these are all from his same post):
Essentially, what he’s saying is, “You made a mistake. This product isn’t as good as you think it is. But I’m smarter than that — you won’t catch me making that mistake” Nice guy. I mean, “That guy.”
We have other options:
If you see someone get a product you don’t use and have no interest in whatsoever, and they’re sharing it on social because they’re excited about it, you have two reasonable options:
(1) Just be nice. Comment, “Use it in good health” or “I’m happy for you,” etc.. Or:
(2) Don’t say anything it all. This person sharing their excitement about getting a new camera, or a new computer, or a new phone, or whatever doesn’t reflect poorly on your choice. It doesn’t affect you at all. You don’t need to try and make them feel bad, or attack their choice, or mention why your choice was smarter or better, or whatever. Just let. it. go.
Thankfully, most folks post kind, supporitve comments. If you’re reading this, and you realize you’ve done this type of thing yourself in the past — it’s not too late. You can stop being “That Guy” (or “That Gal,” but it’s been my experience this is more a guy thing — rarely do I see women engaging in this type “my choice was better and smarter” garbage).
Either support this person (which you chose to follow, by the way) or just ignore the post altogether and keep scrolling. Don’t we all have enough going on right now amid this pandemic that maybe the world doesn’t need another snarky defensive comment that does nothing to add to the conversation. It doesn’t move you up in life by dampening someone’s excitement about something cool happening to them.
Next time you’re tempted to be “That Guy” and make a defensive comment or put down the person who posted, instead pause for a sec, instead write something short and friendly, but then take note of how you feel afterward. Do you feel anger, like you do after posting a snarky comment, or do you feel differently? Being nice to other people feels…nice.
Maybe what we all need is to just be a little more friendly, a little kind, even if you don’t use the same product.
Here’s wishing you a great week and lots of fun new stuff to enjoy. :)