We’ve all done it. Let loose a whine or complaint on Facebook or Twitter or Myspace (you know, way back in the day). Maybe we woke up late, or broke a heel on our way out the door, or spilled coffee on ourselves. Perhaps that red light ran a little too long, or maybe you didn’t get the phone call you were expecting. I get it… it sucks. What I’m addressing here is not the minor, occasional “bummer” post – I’m talking about those people who take to social media as though it were their shrink’s office or something.
I won’t lie to you, my dear readers. As I have mentioned before in previous posts, I am a reformed over-poster. In a former life, the first thing that came to my mind was almost immediately thrown up on my page. Until friends of mine pointed it out. I quickly became annoyed with myself, and knocked it off. In order to clear the air, and perhaps give some of you an idea of what is and isn’t social media rant-worthy, here it is… a guide.
First, a little persepective.
I can almost guarantee, no matter how shitty your day is, you probably do not have it that bad. Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we?
Here are a few questions to evaluate just how bad you have it:
Did you wake up this morning?
Did you still have all your limbs?
Do you have a roof over your head?
Clean, running water?
Food to eat?
Are you and your family in general good health?
Do you have a job?
Do you have a marketable skill you could use to find a job if the answer to the last question is no?
Do you have friends?
If no, is that by choice?
Now. If you were able to answer YES to 2/3 or more of those questions… I promise you, you really don’t have it that bad. Shit happens, we all go through rough times, but if your basic needs are met, well, honestly, it’ll be ok.
I get my personal perspective from people who have seen true hardship. My youngest brother, for instance. That little dude fought – and beat – cancer. Diagnosed at the AGE OF TWO. He is one of the happiest kids I’ve ever met. I feel like you don’t know what a hard day is until you have to go through something like that. One of my dad’s best friends passed away from cancer at around the age of 35-36, leaving a wife and three kids behind. All three of his children grieved, and still miss their father dearly (as do we all), but they are all happy and thriving in their own way. A few years back, a friend of mine lost all of his worldly posessions when his uninsured basement apartment flooded. He’s now one of the least materialistic and happiest people I know. Sometimes, thinking about what others have gone through (or even what you have dealt with personally) really makes that stubbed toe or spilled coffee look like a walk in the park. I can almost guarantee for everything you’ve wanted to bitch about today, someone you know is probably going through something far worse – and you may not even know about it. Why is that? Because often times, it’s the people with the serious shit to wade through that don’t make it known. They buckle down and work through it.
To Bitch, or Not to Bitch?
I’ve kind of developed a system when it comes to deciding what I do or don’t put on social media. I often find, too, that if I put something up that I think was over the top, it’s typically deleted very shortly thereafter.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when contemplating putting things on the internet:
Is it the end of the world?
Will bitching about it on the internet solve the problem?
Is this something I would text my best friend about and expect sympathy?
- If I were to read this on someone else’s page, would I feel compelled to offer sympathy?
- How strong is the likelihood I would roll my eyes at or make fun of a post like the one I am about to hit “send” on?
If you answered NO to most of those questions (and there is a STRONG likelihood to the last), save it. Feel free to type it out like you’re about to post it if it makes you feel better, but I’m begging you… PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY, DO NOT HIT SEND. Delete it. Take a few deep breaths and remember, you’re not a dead, limbless, homeless, starving person.