Friday, March 23, 2012

Hey, Whiners, Cut It Out! (But Not Too Much)

During my tenure in social media (particularly Twitter and Facebook), I've observed a lot of whining, complaining, and overall negativity. I confess, I've been known to gripe now and then. Everyone needs to vent sometimes. But I try to keep the public venting reasonable and infrequent, while the more everyday venting gets handled in private by my friends. (Love you, friends!)

There are mega-extremes, of course. Those people who reply to agents' form rejections with F-bombs and C-words. Most of us aren't that far gone. (And those who are kind of scare me.)

But there are the little things, consistently and constantly griping, that actually annoy me more. The expletive-spouting writers I can assume are crazy. Others are just negative to the point it affects the image they portray to the world at large—especially the professional image for my fellow aspiring writers.

People with spouses, boyfriends, etc. who never do anything but complain about them. (Ladies, I have to say, I've yet to see a guy trash-talk his wife on Twitter. Husband-bashing, however, is rampant.) People with children and/or jobs who whine about those, too.

I'm pretty sure there are people out there who wish they could find a romantic partner, who wish they had kids, who wish they could earn enough money to make a living. Can we have a little gratitude for what we have?

But wait...

Going to the other extreme annoys me, too. People who never stop gushing about how they have the best. Husband. EVER. Or how adorable and wonderful their kids are. Ugh.

I don't believe we need to be sunshine and happiness all the time. Let's keep it real. When we don't approve of something, it's okay to speak negatively of it. When we're excited, there's nothing wrong with showing enthusiasm. But real people have both highs and lows, likes and dislikes, good days and Mondays.

Share the whole spectrum. Keep it balanced. If you find your tweet-stream (or timeline, or whatever) is full of negativity, take a minute to evaluate. What can you do to get yourself to a more emotionally healthy place? Maybe some things are better shared privately with those who will help you get over life's speed bumps. That's not the same as putting "Pity me!" attention-seekers out on social media.

On the other hand, if you're constantly raving about how thoroughly awesome your life is ... stop rubbing it in to the rest of us poor saps. ;)

1 comment:

Mindy McGinnis said...

Agreed. I can't tell you how many people I know that don't even look at their Home page on Twitter, they just go straight to their own page to see who interacted with *them.* And sometimes... sometimes I totally get that.