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So #Blessed Up: How One Word Ruined The Internet

About the overuse of the word 'blessed' on social media, and how it doesn't work to mask a boast.

Credit: Huntington Woods-Berkley Patch
Credit: Huntington Woods-Berkley Patch

If I don’t remove myself from social media soon, I may end up with some perilously high blood pressure.

After a session of scrolling through my Facebook feed, I often come away wanting to punch someone in the face.

(For the record, I have never punched anyone in the face -- or anywhere that I can remember. I just sometimes want to.)

The venom rises in response to updates like these:

     “I’m truly blessed to have such a wonderful husband who always understands my taste in jewelry.”

     “So blessed that my kids go to the two best school in the district.”

     “On a day like the one I had today, I’m beyond blessed that Debussy wrote that second book of Preludes. Just what I needed to listen to this evening.”

     “Counting my blessings right now before Olivia and I head out to volunteer at the battered women’s shelter.”

Just stop!

These posters seem, to me at least, more eager to have everyone think they are are worthy, rich, cultured, or big-hearted (for example) then they are blessed.

If you want to hotdog, just do it. It’s waaaay less lame if you don’t try to pretend that’s not what’s going on.

Anointing oneself as blessed is akin to saying that you are chosen while others are not.  Who wants to read about that?

I love a good ‘before and after’ montage of home renovation, or watching video of a funny kid. But if I have to read a preface of how special (i.e. blessed) the poster is, I’m probably going to feel that punching urge.

It’s one thing to count your blessings, but being a transparent bore is something altogether different.

What are your social media pet peeves? Tell us in the comments or in a blog post.

 

Denyse Reinglas Larsen February 07, 2014 at 02:01 PM
WOW... I am saddened that you feel this way. Wanting to punch someone because they feel the need to use the word #Blessed. I do find it worse when profanity and hate words are used. If someone feels compelled to say they are blessed in things they do...well God should #BLESS them in everything they do. I don't feel the urge to punch someone. That's a call for #angermanagment . So no need to be annoyed with people who feel blessed...maybe they are just #GRATEFUL. #GodBlessYou.
Jennifer February 08, 2014 at 11:30 AM
Um, Nah on the #grateful. I think I agree with Catherine on this one - #blessed is a warning that some serious bragging is coming. Like the Pharisees wailing and beating their breasts, the reward for #blessed comes in this world, with the admiration (or envy) they provoke in others. I have never understood, for example, why some people proclaim how blessed they are that 25 years ago they married their best friend, blah, blah, brag brag, thank you so much, you are my rock! - When their spouse isnt even ON FB, so the intended audience is not the spouse that they are ostensibly thanking, it is the wider audience to whom they are bragging. Yeah, my hubby rocks, too, and my kids are all insanely cute, but I dont really expect anyone else to appreciate that in the way that I do. It is possible to be grateful without spewing it all over the internet.
William Y February 08, 2014 at 11:41 AM
Can't tell you how many times I heard how blessed someone was after the hurricane. "So blessed our home was spared". Which means those other unfortunate ones weren't blessed. Guess they must have done something wrong. It's a pompous thing to say and I agree with your sentiment. There's probably an appropriate use of the word, but for sure it's been misused and twisted. Although I feel blessed because I'm only annoyed by it, and don't have the urge to punch anyone. So blessed...
LINDA February 08, 2014 at 12:32 PM
Blessed means one feels is personal to them it is a feeling of gratitude. Not that they are more special than any one else. ..it is a feeling one has of peace or happiness. If one does not have personal peace or happiness. .I guess they don't feel the feeling of blessed. Look it up ..interpretation says personal peace and happiness.
Jennifer February 10, 2014 at 09:34 AM
Not arguing with the meaning. I am just wondering how all of our parents, while of the same religions, and going to the same churches, probably a lot more regularly than we do, managed to do without such common contemporary platitudes as "blessed". In those days, "lucky" was the preferred term, or if you were particularly well-spoken, "fortunate". My mother, who in the good ole days of my childhood dragged us to church to get an hour of peace and quiet a week, was perfectly capable, in those days, of saying "lucky", and "good bye" and clasping her hands during the mass. Now she is "blessed" with grandchildren, responds to my "'bye" with a fervent "GOD be with you!" and cups her hands in front of her, eyes closed, like some crazy evangelist waiting to receive the "spirit". If people are annoyed by the word "blessed", it may be becasue we prefer the more traditional , inclusively secular terms. "Blessed" is a new-comer. Sort of like how celebrities are now all "over -the-moon" with their new babies. Yeah, OK, we don't use that expression in the US. UNtil now, apparently. It just seems pretentious, and calling yourself "blessed" in an affected manner is sort of ironic, as the intent of the word if humility and gratitude, but the effect of the word is condescension, "humbly" accepting that what you have is better than what other people have, but it's OK, because we realize that we are blessed.

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