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.”