Decorum is Overrated; Dignity Isn’t

Dignity. Some (most) things should be beneath yours.

I don’t mean decorum, which I consider to be a refuge of scoundrels. Decorum is all about going out of your way to employ visible trappings that signal you are a Very Serious Person.

Dignity is more about restraint. Some (most) things don’t need to be shared with the world.

We’re in a voyeuristic age, pushing to their limits the new toys of social media and ubiquitous recording devices.

I’m a big fan of openness, learning out loud, removing pretense, and dispensing with decorum. These also tend to “perform” well on social media, which has led people to do more than just be themselves and tell the truth in a mad rush to get “engagement”. It has led them to share every single thought and detail of their life.

Being truthful and open is not the same as having no dignity and sharing everything with everyone. One is about not hiding from people, the other is about begging people to look. One is honest, the other is embarrassing.

Weaponized authenticity is has become a favorite for the passive-aggressive and humblebraggarts.

Add the fact that victim is the most highly prized social status right now, and you see what happens. People start falling all over themselves to share all of their shame, pain, and indignity. The more others can see how pathetic you are, the more cheap digital praise will come.

You’ve gotta kill that impulse. You’re clowning yourself. You’re willingly playing the fool for the thinnest reward imaginable.

Respect – starting with self-respect – is better than “engagement”.

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