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Ranting on Social Media and Its Drawbacks

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Ahh, rants on social media…

Aren’t they the worst?

But if I’m being honest I’m secretly amused by them. There’s nothing more entertaining than watching people making an ass of themselves!

Jokes aside, I can’t blame the ones who choose to vent their frustrations on social media. Social media has become an integral part of our life to the point that we sometimes forget what’s appropriate to share and not.

Researchers have also found out that we, as humans, have this intrinsic desire to talk about ourselves. Talking about oneself activates the same areas of the brain that light up when eating good food, doing drugs and having sex. We are biologically wired for it and that’s the reason why social media is so popular. It gives us a platform to discuss our favorite topic: ourselves!

Expressing Emotions on Social Media: Do We Overdo It?

Some of us are guilty of sharing a bit too much on social media. No one really cares what you had for lunch or that you decided to go to the gym after work. But still, we share and share AND share to the point that we display signs of social media addiction. Don’t get me wrong, the whole reason why social media was created is for us to stay connected to our friends and loved ones but nothing is healthy if we do it excessively.

But Why Do We Do It?

There are actually many reasons why people turn to social media to express their emotions. According to Psychology Today, there are six major reasons why we do so:

  1. Anonymity – It’s very easy for us to hide our identities on social media and since our actions can’t be tied to the actual person behind the account, we begin to disassociate our online persona with our offline persona. This allows us to share whatever we want since we suffer no actual consequence from it.
  2. Invisibility – Most online interactions happen through the screen which creates a type of protection for each person. This makes it easier for us to say things behind a keyboard compared to actually saying it face-to-face.
  3. Delayed communication – We don’t have to respond to posts or messages immediately giving us more time to process the conversation. However, this delay in communication can also lower our inhibitions. That’s why we feel free to share something personal because we can post it and deal with the comments or reactions later on.
  4. Filling in the other person – Again, interactions on social media happen behind a screen. That means that there are no verbal and non-verbal cues for us to process. When we read something on social media, we do so with the voice in our head making the conversations less real. It feels like we are talking to ourselves and causes us to share more.
  5. It’s not real – Sometimes it feels like whatever happens in social media is not real and whatever inhibitions we have been dropped.
  6. Lack of authority – This also has something to do with the dissociation of someone’s offline identity with their online identity causing us to say something that we would never EVER say in front of an authority figure in real life.   

Dangers of Oversharing on Social Media

Sharing your information on social media might seem harmless but there are hidden dangers to oversharing on social media.

In this digital world, even burglary has gone online. Instead of looking for physical signs that a house is unoccupied, burglars can turn to social media and check for signs that someone isn’t home. Furthermore, posted photos can also show them what to look for and steal when they break in. In short, by flaunting your possessions and sharing your check-ins on social media, you are making it easier for thieves to rob you. So, don’t share photos of your belongings, never announce vacation plans and don’t tag your location in order to prevent this from happening to you.

Another danger is opening yourself up for identity theft. Even if you set restrictions on your privacy settings, there is still a chance that you can be hacked. Your phone number, credit card details, and address are information required for identity theft so it’s wise to leave those out on social media.

And lastly, your reputation can suffer if you constantly express yourself online. As a former educator, I learned this lesson the hard way. It’s also highly likely that your potential employers could go through your profiles to see if you are fit for the job, so your posts can affect your future career as well.

In the end, it’s your account and whatever you post is at your discretion.  But always think twice before you post because you could be endangering yourself.

How to Keep Social Media at Bay?

I know I said that I find reading rants entertaining but there’s a limit to what I can handle.

If all I see from that person are complaints, frustrations, and anger, I get annoyed. So, I end up blocking them even if I am close to them in real life.

Whatever you post, you project that to your friends and followers. If you spread negativity, you are indirectly affecting the day of the person reading your posts. Spreading hate destroys the peace and it takes the fun out of social media.

If you feel that you have social media addiction, that’s okay. It’s important to understand where you change your ways in order for you to defeat your addiction. Here are some simple things that you can do:Take a break from social mediaTake a break – Deactivate your profiles if you feel like you are spending unhealthy amounts of time on it. If you can’t beat the social media addiction on your own, ask the help of a family or friend and have them change your password. Tell them to give you the account after your break. Make sure you do this with someone you trust though.

  • Limit your daily usage – Have a schedule on how many hours you should spend scrolling through social media. In my case, I make it a point to not use it for more than two hours a day. This gives me enough time to prioritize other important aspects of my life.
  • Pause before you post – This technique works wonders. Before posting your rant, take a deep breath and reflect. Ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish with this. Is it actually going to make your situation better? Or are you just looking for an avenue to let out your frustrations? If you answer ‘yes’ to the latter, it’s best if you contact a family or friend and talk about it offline.
  • Find healthier alternatives to pass your time – Find a hobby. Go out. Spend more time with your loved ones and prioritize in strengthening your offline relationships.
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