I often see memes and posts on Facebook that usually share some fact or statistic that ends with “Let that sink in.” Sometimes I agree with what the person is trying to communicate and sometimes I don’t.
What bugs me is that the people saying this think that the facts are not enough by themselves. They don’t think I will think about what they are sharing. I need to be reminded to read the words and understand what they mean like a child. That’s what it means when people feel the need to add that phrase. I mean, let that sink in. No really. I don’t believe that you understand what I’m trying to get across. Do you understand the depth of what I’m trying to say? Don’t you see what’s going on? Do you understand what’s happening or the way the world REALLY is? Do you? I mean, just think about it.
What is the expected response to the use of this phrase? “Hey, there friend… I was just skimming through Facebook reading about all the ways the world sucks and things are messed up. I didn’t think much of it until I read your post where you said ‘Let that sink in.’ Well, that made me stop and finally think about it and now I see how messed up everything is in a whole new way. Up until now, I’ve been living a lie. Now that I let your statement sink in… I mean, really sink in… I see the world completely differently. Thanks for changing my mind and probably my whole life.”
Who is the intended audience for this tacked-on phrase? Is it people that wouldn’t agree with the preceding statement? I’m pretty sure adding “Let that sink in” will just annoy and irritate people that wouldn’t agree with the statement anyway. It definitely won’t change their mind. Is it people that might be on the fence about agreeing with either the statement or some way of thinking that it represents? This seems the best possible option. Maybe it is an appeal to people who, if we could convince them to ponder this fact or statement, would inevitably be recruited to “our side.” Does this even make sense though?
People are not blank slates scrolling through Facebook just waiting for YOU to give them an opinion, ideology, or political party to join. If you really want people to engage in whatever idea you’re sharing, there are much better ways to do that. Share your own thoughts about this fact. Or invite others to share their thoughts with a question at the end like “What do you think?” or “What does this mean?” or any thoughtful open-ended question.
I think the reason most people use this phrase (most likely and hopefully subconsciously) is virtue signaling. It’s meant to show other like-minded folks how in the know or how “woke” they are. It’s like saying, “I have thought very deeply about what I just said and understand it in a way you probably don’t unless you’ve thought about it as much as I did.” In other words, adding “Let that sink in” creates a Gnostic statement. It means that the author or poster has some special knowledge that you don’t have or couldn’t possibly have until they shared that little phrase and changed your world. It’s patronizing, condescending, and totally unnecessary.
So please…stop adding that phrase to the end of your posts and statements! I’m not going to make it my life’s goal to end the use of this phrase, but the world would be a better place if we stopped using it. I mean… let THAT sink in!