Have you ever scrolled through your social media feed only to find yourself rolling your eyes or cringe over posts that depict angry rants and people venting their frustrations over personal problems? If not, are you guilty of being a ranter yourself?
Millennials know too well that social media has become somewhat an outlet for people to share – sometimes overshare – their emotions. It’s ironic how we are mindful about sharing personal information like our contact number or home address but disregard the consequences of venting our frustrations to our followers.
There is a thin line between using social media to address an issue diplomatically and airing your dirty laundry for public view. Sometimes we fail to differentiate between the two when we get carried away with emotions.
Before we list down points on why we shouldn’t make it a habit to use social media as an outlet to rant, let’s understand why we do it in the first place.
INVISIBILITY – When one vents through social media, our phone screen sort of acts like a protection. This makes it easier for us to type away whatever we feel and direct it to someone, without actually saying it face to face or confronting them. Ever come across a friend or acquaintance who rant about their dissatisfaction towards other people without naming or tagging them?
DELAYED COMMUNICATION – In contrast to venting our frustrations to someone face to face, in the virtual realm we don’t have to immediately respond when someone reacts. It also allows us to process the conversation and reciprocate when we feel we are ready to. We can choose to post our rants, and deal with comments or reactions later on.
SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT – Again, when we communicate through the screen, we feel protected. Therefore, we feel entitled to post anything we want because duh, it’s our account! If people aren’t fond of what we post, they can hit the unfollow button, correct? Sometimes, we tend to disassociate our online with our offline identities causing us to think it’s alright to do or write things that we won’t normally do in real life.
(Photo credit: Robin Worrall / Unsplash)
Now, let’s focus on why we shouldn’t be that annoying person who rants about everything online.
IT’S POINTLESS – Rants are pretty much pointless because it doesn’t change anything. Experienced a rude customer at work? Posting about it online won’t do much. Instead, talk to a friend and let it out verbally instead of virtually. Seeing an immediate respond or receiving that human touch can perhaps do so much more and help you to get over it and move on with life.
IT WILL COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU – You always have to think before you click on ‘post’ because the things that you say on social media can come back to bite you in the future. Our online lives do impact reality, so think about that. When you post a negative message, it just might be seen by a much bigger audience than you had intend it for. Plus, deleting something you regret posting isn’t a quick fix to your problem because people can screenshot anything easily these days. Let’s just say negativity has that boomerang effect.
THE EFFECT – You might not know this, but your negative post might affect the day of the person reading your posts, even if it’s not about them. This takes the fun out of social media. Limit yourself in sending out negative thoughts to the world.
NEGATIVE PERCEPTIONS – Your behavior on social media actually gives an insight into your own personality. Like it or not, people will perceive you through your actions online. You wouldn’t want to appear happy go lucky in real life, only to be unpleasant in the virtual world. It’s important to know that there is a time and place to rant your emotions. Don’t let your actions online be the cause of your friends or followers to perceive you differently.
Sources: Psychology Today