You may have run into a proverb to the effect that the good Lord gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. I'm not sure that the saying is good theology OR good biology, but the point of listening being more important than talking is sound.
I enjoy using the social network called Twitter. If you're not familiar with it, one aspect is that you 'follow' someone you want to connect with so that you see their contributions without specifically searching for them. People trying to gain followers as rapidly as possible frequently follow other mostly in hope of a follow in return. When I get notification that my account has a new follower, I take a quick look at their profile, which contains a brief statement of what they're about, to see if I want to follow their account as well.
Because I am a diabetes blogger, many of my followers also have some connection. It often happens that the profile of a new follower says something about wanting to 'help' diabetics. This has always bugged me without my knowing why, and I usually choose not to follow that account back.
I had that happen the other day, and this time it bothered me enough to make me really think about it. Doing so, I realized that such people are not seeking to be my friend; they're seeking to be my guru or my teacher.
Part of my resentment doubtless comes from the nature of health information these days - the number of people who claim to be experts VASTLY outnumbers the people who ARE experts. And, plenty of the people who claim to be experts are hoping to get wealthy from my money. So, a wise person is a little bit wary.
But, there's more than that. To me, the person who 'leads with their mouth' doesn't fit with the nature of social media and the Diabetes Online Community in particular. Very few diabetes have the presentation of factual information as a primary purpose. Instead we talk about our lives and what we think about things in hope that readers will find connection with our experiences or identification with our opinions. On Twitter, we're all pretty much a community of more or less equals. Sure, some people enjoy strong reputations, and some folks really are able to provide valuable on this or that, and there can alas be some cliquishness (though I haven't seen that myself), but it's sure not a few sages dispensing wisdom to the rest of us.
I have no doubt that I'm being unfair to many whose Twitter profiles express a desire to help - they can't all be selling herbs or diet secrets. Still, if you want to be my friend, don't start by telling me that you're my better.
Two ears, one mouth.