The New Forum For Rants About Everything Under the Sun – Or Is It?
The technology age has rewarded us with the ability to communicate with multiple people all at once. No longer do we have to get on the phone and call person after person in order to get our stories circulating through society. Now, we can simply log onto our computers and social media and write anything we feel like and send it out to the entire world in a matter of minutes (or seconds, for fast typers).
Social media is a great way to provide updates on what's going on in our lives. And it works wonderfully for keeping family and friends up-to-date on major road trips like our Colorado to Alaska move and then our Alaska to Virginia move. Without Facebook, I would have been charging my phone a whole lot more during those long road trips.
But while social media makes it easy to share those updates, it also makes it easy to share rants.
What's the point of a rant? It allows us to share our frustration with others. We are able to get our thoughts off our chest and hopefully receive sympathy or validation that our opinions were justified.
But let me repeat something – it allows us to share our frustration with others.
Here's a question: why would you want to pass your frustration onto someone else?
When put that way, most of us (I hope, anyway) would reconsider the things we say when we're trying to get something off our chest. If we started to think about our message in terms of how the reader receives it, maybe we wouldn't be so quick to post a rant on social media.
The problem I have with rants is that they are generally negative. It's in what we say and how we say it. When we rant about something because it's negative, offensive, or irritating, we run the risk of sharing too much information or transferring that negativity to other people. Usually what gets posted is what we say about a particular situation before we've counted to ten. Or maybe we did count to ten and we're thinking, "let me tell you how much negativity I saved you by counting to ten first!"
This isn't about watching what we say because people are a bunch of babies and can't handle a little negativity every once in a while. I think it's safe to say most people can handle it; they're likely going through their own bouts with it.
The thing is, most people want to hear about positive things. Sharing our experiences helps others know that they are not alone, but people also want to know that there is something positive in there somewhere.
Have you ever noticed when people seem to have tuned you out while you're on a rant? They might agree or sympathize for a little while but if you keep on, eventually they'll tune out.
Negativity breeds more negativity. But we have enough negativity in our lives; we don't need more.
So, when you're thinking about posting a rant on Facebook, think about the message the reader will receive. Are you spreading negativity or are you posting something that has a positive spin? Are you trying to see the silver lining? If you were a reader, would you want to see it on your wall?