Rant or Rave?

By , February 17, 2014 8:46 am

Are you more likely to flock to social media to rave about something… or rant about something? Do you have a personal policy about it?


On my blog, I will get in to a rant from time to time – I even have “rants” and “raves” as post categories. I currently have a rant post drafted, titled “Why do I have to chase companies down to give them my money?!” Ha ha. And you may remember my rant about the Texas Half Marathon.

But I purposefully keep rants off of Facebook, because I think of Facebook as a place to share a glimpse as to what is going on in my life, and since I personally find most* rants to be negative and annoying, I don’t want to create that perception of myself there. I would rather write a longer post, here, to get the full rant out, than a short little “woe is me” blip on Facebook. Ha ha. I know, to each their own and everyone has a right to post what they want, and I don’t have to read it! I “hide” those super negative posts on Facebook.

I thought of this because I was reading an article in SELF called “Reel in That Social Media Rant“** (pdf here). The article says that ranting is “on the rise” because of how easy it is to storm over to Facebook or Twitter to complain about things after something happens (and get validation in the form of “likes” and comments). But the article warns that that is not a good way of dealing with your issues:

But using social media to have a public tantrum triggers others to join in with more negativity, which only adds to the frustration and contributes to an inability to face your issues head-on — and that’s a skill you need to navigate your career and life,” warns Margalis Fjelstad, Ph.D., author of Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist. Meaning you have to learn to communicate, not foot-stomp and tantrum-throw. Most of the time venting ends up making everything worse.

Ha ha. I thought that was interesting because I am normally thinking about how annoying these posts are (when there are a ton of them, anyway), NOT the fact that they do nothing toward solving the actual issue, other than make someone feel momentarily better as others relate and join in on the bitching. The article suggested three steps to help break the social media rant cycle, which I think are actually useful when reacting to any issue, whether or not you are going to put it online.

The article basically said to see the issue for what it is (don’t make it even worse), calm the eff down, and if you need to vent, make it productive. I should really follow these tips, as I tend to stress the heck out as soon as most “issues” come my way. I usually vent to Steven or my close friends though… I don’t want everything online!

Oh! And while this is not what I had in mind (I was thinking life rants, not product rants) I have heard that ranting about product issues online can be an effective way to get something fixed. I try to contact the company via phone or email, first. Just thinking about that one from a small business perspective… 

*Of course, really awful stuff happens to people and they should share as they please! I’m thinking about the small stuff, here.
**It is interesting to me that the title of the article in the hard copy of the magazine was “Reel in Your Rant.”

16 Responses to “Rant or Rave?”

  1. YES! I try to keep ranting on FB to a minimum because what is “woe is me” for me might be NBD for someone else. And, as you said, it doesn’t solve anything. I tend to hide people who are overly whiny or negative as I have enough going on that I don’t need their drama, too.

    Note: I totally checked my FB page before writing this to make sure I’m not a ranter. I’m not. I’m an oversharer of pics of Miles and an occasional whiner about winter. I should probably be hid.

    • kilax says:

      That is what I have been talking to a lot of my friends about – these rants ARE NBD things for other people… (and really, us, after we put it in perspective!). And I just don’t care for drama. Some people really seem to enjoy it, though?

      I am not sure if you can overshare Miles pics?! Too bad we weren’t FB friends when he was a baby!

      LOL! I have been ignoring all weather whining though. But I enjoy winter… and that seems to be unusual.

  2. Erin says:

    Several years ago my mom said to Jason that reading my posts on Facebook made her sad because I seemed to negative and sad. After he told me that I made it a habit to stop and think before I posted. And now, if I do have to post a rant of some kind I try to temper it with a silver lining. Occasionally it just feels good to get it out, but, the article is right in that it doesn’t solve anything.

    And I’m looking forward to your post on why is it so difficult to give some companies money 🙂

    • kilax says:

      Ha ha. You know the story behind THAT draft post 😉

      I must have written similar before because I remember me asking you why your mom said something to Jason and not to you. Time for some new topics, lol!

  3. Meghan says:

    I try to keep it positive on social media. Sure, my posts aren’t always rainbows and sunshine, but I find myself rolling my eyes at the people who constantly complain, and wonder if they do it for attention or they’re really that miserable. A girl I’m friend with from college CONSTANTLY complains on Twitter and Facebook, and honestly, I just feel sorry for her. So I suppose when I do complain, I still try to keep it light and funny as a result:)

    • kilax says:

      That is the same thing I wonder, too. Then it makes me think that I don’t want to be around someone who is always that negative, anyway!

  4. Maggie says:

    I try not to post negative things on Facebook because that’s just unattractive. Like, it makes your personality look unattractive (and immature and narcissistic). Be an adult and deal with your problems in a productive way, don’t drag everyone else into your negativity.

    But Twitter on the other hand … that’s just a free-for-all. I at least try to make my complaints funny.

    As for the customer service angle, just going on my experience managing social media at my last job, that can be helpful for getting attention. It’s sad though when that’s the most effective way to get attention (versus a phone call or email).

    • kilax says:

      YES, what you said.

      I did wonder if Twitter would have more complaints. Why do you think it happens more, there?

      I have had some good luck asking for help from a company on a Facebook page (after phone and email) and some STILL ignore me, or delete my post. It really makes me question their company!

      • Maggie says:

        At least with Twitter, you are limited to 140 characters, and it’s not like FB where replies are nested, so you don’t have to see whatever conversations or likes come as a result. Plus I think Twitter is more like, the entire internet’s conversation, versus Facebook is more for your personal relationships.

        Deleting posts on FB pages is such a no-no. I too would question them.

  5. Yeah, focusing on all that negativity can’t be a good thing. I’d rather move on with my life unless it’s something really important (“Hey, the doctor botched my surgery!” vs. “Hey, the Starbucks barista put whip on my latte when I said ‘no whip!'”). I honestly don’t post a ton of stuff to Facebook as it is. My life just isn’t that interesting. 🙂

  6. Marcia says:

    I don’t put much personal stuff out on social media to begin with and I’m not much of a complainer. I do find consistently negative people draining.

  7. Michelle says:

    I think we are all guilty of both ranting and raving….I like to keep it real, without being too negative. I can’t say I am always successful though, lol.

  8. chezjulie says:

    I had to check and was relieved to see that I don’t rant too much on FB.

  9. Kandi says:

    I have to admit that I roll my eyes at a lot of the rants on FB. I try not to use FB too often and usually only post positive things when I do. I probably rant more on twitter but I try to limit that as well.
    I also try to stay out of the comments of rants on FB unless I disagree to a point where I think I should speak up. It doesn’t happen very often though.

  10. Alyssa says:

    I also just checked my facebook to make sure I wasn’t ranting. I try to just keep it neutral on facebook–not negative and not super positive all the time. Because sometimes I get annoyed when people are always writing about awesome their life is. I mean I think my life is awesome too but things aren’t always rainbows and butterflies.

    I have written really complain-y posts on facebook and now I regret them. So I try to think about what I am posting before I post it.

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