Yesterday afternoon Tonx (a service that ships you freshly roasted beans on a fixed schedule) announced a new program to allow people to exchange their Starbucks gift cards for Tonx coffee instead. This is an interesting program for people that like Tonx coffee. Those people proceeded to evangelize it for the next 24+ hours over Twitter.
I don’t particularly care for Tonx coffee. I tried it and convinced myself I did, for a time, until I realized I had bags of coffee beans I didn’t want to drink. That doesn’t mean that those people that enjoy Tonx should not tweet about it, or that I should say something horribly rude about Tonx — I would never want to make someone feel bad about something they like just because I don’t share their enthusiasm.
What actually happens is that I feel insecure about not sharing in this euphoria. Many of the people talking about the Tonx offer are people that I deeply respect in the podcasto-techno-blogo-sphere. I get these momentary pangs of guilt whenever I do not like something that they enjoy. There is something wrong with my taste, and I am inferior.
I have gotten much better about reconciling this recently. I don’t like everything my friends like. I don’t like everything my family likes. If they recommend something to me, I am likely to take their recommendation seriously, but I don’t feel bad if I don’t like what they’ve recommended. I realized that the reason I feel bad about the blog-tech-pod-onians is because I feel like I’m disliking something in a dish they cooked for me. As if Myke Hurley has baked me a button mushroom casserole and I have to tell him I don’t like button mushrooms. Instead, I eat the casserole, all of it. “This is so good. My fave. Love it times infinity — plus one,” I say.
It is fine to not like something. I can even say, “Thanks, but I don’t like this.” Because we’re all adults. Myke Hurley will not cry. Marco Arment will not drive over me with his M5. Jason Snell will not ban me from computers. Merlin Mann will not eat me. Same goes for anyone else. Nothing bad will happen at all. Be respectful, enjoy a free trial (you may like it), and don’t worry about it if you don’t.
Tonx was not suitable for me, but it could be suitable for others. We are not all one hive mind, and our tastes in these matters are our own. When Nate Boateng stated he didn’t like Tonx, Linus Edwards and I agreed. Linus also seemed to feel like there was something wrong with him for not liking it. I said to him:
@LinusEdwards @nateboateng It’s not about being a coffee nerd. Tons of other roasters are still in business. It’s OK to not like something. >
I leave you with this parting thought: The title of this post was almost “Not my Cup of Joe”, because I love puns. You may not love that pun, and that is fine.