We live in an interesting world. The times they are a-changing’ as Bob Dylan once wrote. Not all that long ago, you used to have to think about something before you could verbalize it. If someone made you angry or sad or you were annoyed by something, you told it to your pillow, to your bedroom wall or to your diary. Everyone I knew growing up had rules about being on the phone and so you couldn’t always call a friend to chat about something.
In today’s society with the onslaught of social media, people vent their feelings all of the time. There is no thinking about something, it’s just put there. Now I am guilty of this myself as once my sister and my baby niece were flying home and their flight got cancelled and then cancelled again and the airline was neither helpful nor supportive. My dad was on the phone trying to help her, her husband was on the phone trying to get her help as well and we weren’t getting anywhere until I took to Twitter, funny isn’t it? They won’t pay attention to someone they are talking to on the phone but one derogatory (honest) tweet and they were being a bit more helpful. I know on occasion I have also have commented on the rudeness of men on my train. I still find it shocking that gentlemen seem to be disappearing at alarming rates. These men fight to get on first, pushing past female passengers and rarely do they offer to get up and give their seat to a female passenger or person in need. So I’m not perfect either in my use of social media.
In saying all of this, there are times however where I think people abuse their use of social media. Case in point and I won’t mention names but there is someone I follow on Twitter, who had quite a temper tantrum the other day. They were having a whale of a time ranting away, wishing ill will on someone, hoping something terrible would happen to their ex, complaining about their life and how they were stuck in a certain place. After they called a fellow tweeter a B— for commenting on their negative tweets, it moved into a realm of ridiculousness. What this person needed was to have a time out.
Now maybe it’s just how I was raised in the South, but airing your dirty laundry in public is just so tacky! The pros of where we are right now with technology is the capabilities to be able to communicate with people any time anywhere, the downside of where we are right now is the same thing. No one has that cool down period. If it’s in your head or on your lips, you just say it. I think we need to work harder as a society to not do that. Gone are the days of letter writing by which you had to think out your thoughts through pen and paper. As my grandpa always said if you have something negative to say, write it down, think about it, if you still feel the same way the next day think about it some more and if you still feel the same then send the letter. we have no thinking through period anymore, no cooling down period, that seems to have vanished.
This idea was mentioned about two months ago in a New York Times article, The Lost Art of the Unsent Angry Letter. It is all to easy to use social media as a quick outlet for our feelings, but think before you speak, because you just might regret what you had to say and you can’t easily retract those thoughts!