There may be some irony in writing about my issues with people who complain online, much like those people who are online for the days leading up to Lent broadcasting their giving up of Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/something online. My hope is to share my reflections on all the complaining I read online.
What is your purpose in sharing with everyone that you can’t stand your boss or how tired you are because you stayed out too late last night? Attention? Advice? (Hint: Probably the former in almost all situations.)The ability to share has become so easy and readily available that we often fail to filter our thoughts properly – or at all. It’s one thing to vent to a couple friends over a drink at a bar. It’s more private. It’s conversational. Your friends can corroborate with you in real time. You can banter back and forth. But most of all, your friends can speak (or smack) sense into you if you sound like an idiot.
When you examine someone’s stream of consciousness on Facebook or Twitter, for example, take note of overall themes of content. Is the content focused on a certain topic? Or is it completely random? But perhaps most interestingly, what vibe does it give off? I have a few friends on Facebook and some I follow on Twitter who seem to find it difficult to find positive things to say. I often wonder why they choose to share the things they do on such a consistent basis. After a while, it gets really old and nobody wants to hear it anymore.
I also wonder if those who do complain about themselves or everything else in the world really think it’s so terrible that all that’s left to try and feel better is vent about everything online. By the way, this also works well in the “I can’t sleep so I’m here on Facebook” or “should be doing something else more important than Facebook, but am on Facebook” situations. Pro-tip: Facebook friends will not help you sleep or get back on task. Ever.
Though perhaps I take the biggest issue with those who complain merely to complain. Don’t mistake me for someone who think you should bottle up everything that bothers you. The problem comes in when venting or complaining is happening strictly for the sake of itself. Have a problem with your workout schedule or lack thereof? Start going to the gym, running outside, or otherwise get off your butt. Spending too much time on social networks? Spend less time on them! Got a beef with something the government is doing? Sure we can talk about it, but if you want to try and be part of the solution, contact your representative and make your voice heard. Besides, I’m pretty sure those pictures you share on Facebook that have some slam or inspirational quote about how government should be something it currently isn’t has little to no effect on the actual government.
My main point is this: if you’re going to point out flaws in something, at least put the energy into finding or being part of the solution. Otherwise, I’m not really sure what your point is in making a big fuss over it. It’s a waste of energy and time that could be better spent doing something else.