Jerk Alert! Stop the Social Media Bashing

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It’s Monday, and it’s the first time I have logged onto Facebook in a few days. As I scroll through my feed, I see a very distinct pattern begin to appear: negative comment after negative comment fill my screen. Something about Monday mornings just brings out the worst in people, and I can already begin to feel my anxiety level rise.

Sally Mae is feeling irritated…
“So my ex returned the kids after having them all weekend and their clothes are filthy and smell like dog. He also let them eat junk the whole time. I bet he didn’t even brush their teeth. Why do I always look like the bad guy for being the responsible parent? #worstdadever”

Bobby John is feeling tired…
“My kid’s teacher sends home so much homework! Doesn’t she know that my kids have sports all weekend? My Sunday nights are always ruined because the kids are exhausted and have to do two hours of homework and projects. Isn’t it your job to teach them? #lazyteacher”

Sarah Jane is feeling aggravated…
“So my stupid husband has been on the couch for two days complaining about his man-cold. I had to cook, clean, and take care of the kids completely on my own the whole weekend while he pretended to be sick and watched TV. #uselesshusband”

Since when did passive-aggressive become the standard, and when did it become socially acceptable to air your grievances publicly? How does this help resolve conflict? How does this lead to productive relationships?

As humans, our lives are complicated and full of strife. We have to deal with difficult people on a regular basis. Bosses, relatives, customers, significant others, etc. Even our own kids can cause us a tremendous amount of grief! But how is publicly shaming or bashing them even remotely productive?

I have to admit that I am guilty of griping (in a more private forum) about frustrating people and situations, too, but I certainly can’t imagine turning to social media to put my offenders on blast. We are here to set examples for our children, and what kind of example do we set when they see social media feeds about how horrible one political party is over another, or how subhuman-someone must be for not doing, thinking, or acting exactly how we think they should? Or worse yet, what lesson do they take from us bashing the very people who are supposed to help us and love us?

Attitude is everything. Putting a positive spin on situations or trying to find the good in them is no more difficult than griping about the bad. We as humans are ALLOWED to have these icky feelings, but the constant spewing of negativity is not only demoralizing to the people you attack, but it also makes you look bad. Social media is about being SOCIAL. You have to decide whether you want to be and socialize with Negative-Nellies, or whether you want to inspire, be grateful, and promote peace.

I am certainly not perfect, but I would be crushed if someone that I thought I had a personal relationship with attacked me instead of openly addressing the problem directly to me. If trying that approach doesn’t work, then change your outlook:

Sally Mae is feeling accomplished…
“My ex just dropped the kids off, and based on the laundry, I can tell they had a good time. While they were gone, I was able to spend some time with friends and get the Christmas decorations up. #metime”

Bobby John is feeling grateful…
“I am lucky my kids have a teacher who sees the importance of giving and grading homework when it would be easier for them not to. Bonus, I now know Common Core! #weloveourteachers”

Sarah Jane is feeling blessed…
“Steve has been sick with a terrible cold all weekend but finally seems to be on the mend. I am beyond blessed that he has never suffered any serious health issues. #healthylife”

We can only control so much in this life, but how we think about, relate to, and act towards others are things within our control. So, next time you start to feel the need to take to social media to vent your frustrations, try to take a more positive approach, and don’t be the JERK.

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