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Katherine Moon
Katherine Isabella Moon
Meow, hello there, my name is Katherine, but you can call me Kat; because I basically am a cat. Anyways, I am a 26-year-old, lifestyle blogger, with an INFP-T personality type, from the United States. I love fashion, the color pink, cats, dogs, and spending all my time on my computer. I'm often seen wearing cat ears headbands.
The Kat Life
The Kat Life

how I'm choosing to live my best life

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Venting On Social Media

Woman using her phone
Photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska of Kaboompics

While I don't believe that venting on social media is the best way to go about releasing your emotions, I'm guilty of it. I'll be honest too, I'd be lying if I said that I was 100% ashamed of it. Unquestionably, some Tweets should have stayed in my drafts, and there are things that I probably should not have publicly aired for the world to see. But let me be real, sometimes, putting it out there feels so damn good. So much so, that I sometimes have no restraint when it comes to making it known to the world that something (or someone) is bugging me. Whether it's something relatively minor or something major, I find that it's a bit too easy to go on a Twitter rant over 10 Tweets long about it. Or, at the very least, retweet or share posts that explain what I'm feeling. I know it's not the best or most mature thing in the world, not to mention the fact that it's not very professional, but I can not even begin to explain how freaking good it feels at the moment. Seriously, I can not.

But on that note, what if venting to social media isn't necessarily a bad thing? Perhaps I am just trying to justify the fact that I still find myself turning to Twitter when there's something on my mind that I need to let out, and I'm still not about to say that it's the best way to release your emotions, but hear me out. While it may not be the best solution to spill your thoughts to the internet, and it probably won't actually solve anything, it doesn't necessarily have to be destructive either. As a matter of fact, what if it can be productive in a way? What if, not only am I getting something that's weighing on me off my chest, but I'm possibly putting into words what someone else who comes across my rant might be feeling? I know for a fact that, personally, when I read someone else's words, I feel less alone. But seriously, what if there is a positive side to venting on social media when you go about it in the right way

Venting On Social Media

Why do I find myself venting to social media?

So, why am I so quick to tell a bunch of strangers on the internet about my struggles? Why am I so fast to pick up my phone or run to the keyboard when I'm feeling crummy? I know that there are better ways to go about releasing my emotions. I'm fully aware that some things would be better left unshared, and that the world seriously does not need to know that I'm in a foul mood over X, Y, and Z. But does that mean that I'm not going to do it from time to time? Honestly, nope, because let me be honest, sometimes it feels better than writing it in my private diary. Sometimes, even after going through practically all of the other methods I know of to release my emotions privately, I still feel the need to turn to the internet. But why, you may ask? Why do I, and so many others, feel the need to shout into the void of social media?

Ultimately, the short answer to that is that we all just want to be heard, especially when we're going through it. So with that being said, social media certainly provides us all with the opportunity to be heard loud and clear. And for those who don't feel there is anyone in their personal life that they can vent to, social media can feel like a godsend. I also have to say that sometimes, it's a lot easier to share with random strangers than it is to share with people that you know personally. Believe me, you're definitely not alone if you'd prefer not to share your struggles with your family, friends, or anyone in your offline life. And even with the incredible online friends that I have that I feel I can talk to about just about anything, I still sometimes find myself sharing my frustrations with the world through Facebook posts and Tweets. Why? Well, there are a few reasons that I, and many others, may find ourselves turning to the internet when we're feeling flustered, but here are a few of mine... 

Browsing social media
Photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

Wanting to be heard by someone specific - Although admittedly, this is not the most mature thing in the world, many of us are guilty of "subtweeting" or making posts directed at a particular person or group of people. As much as I hate to admit it, I still find myself doing this from time to time. Typically I find myself doing this either when I'm unsure of how to bring it up to the person on my own; or when I have brought it up, and they actively avoided the subject. Again though, this isn't the best thing to do, and I realize this; but if you're going to do it, use the kindest words that you can to avoid a potentially messy argument. Now, if you're posting to address a business or company, by all means, go for it, but still, be kind. There's still a human behind the screen reading your post, even if you're posting about a brand.

To potentially receive advice and/or validation - While this certainly isn't the best reason to be airing your frustrations to the public, I totally get it. When you're going through it, and you don't know where you turn, it's highly tempting to turn to social media, where you could potentially receive useful advice, or at the very least, some supportive messages. I'm not going to lie, social media can conceivably provide a great support system to those who are going through something. That's honestly one of the best things about the modern internet. But bare in mind that when you post to a public platform, not only do you run the risk of not having your post acknowledged and potentially being let down, but there's also the possibility that you may receive some undesired attention. Remember, not everyone on the internet chooses to show kindness. So be cautious if this is what you're after.

Wanting to be heard, but not necessarily wanting talk about it - Have you ever had something on your mind that you wanted to get off your chest and tell someone about, but you didn't necessarily want to talk about it for one reason or another? Because same, and in these moments, I'll often make a post about whatever it is to share my thoughts, but I don't always want to talk in-depth about it with anyone one-on-one. Whether because it's a touchy subject; or quite the opposite, but it's on my mind, and I feel compelled to share my thoughts. Does that make any sense?

To simply share my thoughts and/or opinions - I suppose you could say that this is the same exact thing as what I just discussed, but from time to time, I find myself venting about things that may not be entirely personal to me, but are on my mind. Whether it's something that's happening with someone I know, an influencer I follow, or something going on in the world, I occasionally will take to social media to share my thoughts and opinions. And sometimes, it will turn into a full-on vent session or a rant. For example, I don't even know how many times I've ranted about covidiots since the quarantine for COVID-19 began. Nor do I know how many times I've shared my thoughts on something that just caught my attention on my news feed.

Using a smartphone
Photo courtesy of cottonbro on Pexels

Can venting to social media potentially be constructive?

Okay, so first thing's first, it's essential to keep in mind that anything that you put on the internet is public, and once you publish it, it's there forever. Even if you delete it, there's the potential that it could get dug back up; it takes one screenshot or for it to be archived for it to be easily accessible to anyone forever. It also only takes one wrong person to see your post for there to be negative consequences. So needless to say, it's best to be careful about what you choose to air to the world. Seriously, I know you've heard this many times before, but think before you post, especially before posting any sort of rant. You don't want to post something you'll regret later on, especially knowing it could potentially bite you in the ass.

Believe me, I have Tweeted quite a few things in the spur of the moment that I wish I hadn't, whether instantly or later on. I often cringe at the things that I announced to the world when my emotions were running high, or at least at the way I chose to publicize them. So with that being said, to minimize the cringe factor and potential negative side-effects of going on a public internet rant, I have a few ground rules, I always try my best to follow when I'm choosing to air what's on my mind.

Woman typing on a laptop while sitting on a couch
Photo courtesy of Viktor Hanacek of PicJumbo

Minimizing the potential consequences

Once again, I will be honest and admit that it's probably better not to be airing our frustrations to the internet at all. But if we're going to do it, there are a few ways that we can go about it to minimize the potential negative consequences. There are also a few ways that we could even potentially spin it into something positive and productive, and I'll get to that in a moment. But first, I'd like to share some of my personal ground rules for publicizing my struggles...

Never mention names, and avoid obvious references to a specific person - If you're going to vent about how a particular person in your life is acting, I know this seems like common sense, but do not mention their name in your post. Seriously, do not mention them by name, or make it so apparent who you're talking about that everyone knows precisely who you're talking. As I said before, it's better not to "subtweet" anyone, but if you must share your thoughts on how someone is treating you, try to avoid being too specific about who exactly is bothering or upsetting you. I get that this can be tricky, especially if that person is your partner, and you want to express what you're feeling about your relationship. Or if this is a person you're close with, such as your best friend or a close family member that's been upsetting you. One thing I like to do is try to make my vent posts about other people as general as possible, so it could apply to anyone. But remember what I said earlier about how it's better not to "subtweet" at all?

Watch your language - By no means am I saying that you can't swear. Hell, this very post has profanity in it. What I'm saying is, when you're venting on the internet, try to watch your tone. Certainly, you can express your sincere emotions. It's okay to express sadness, heartbreak, anger, or whatever you may be feeling, but it's still important to watch your words, as you don't want to come off as being an entirely bitter person. Or even more so, you don't want to come across as being hateful. Seriously, watch your words, and try to avoid wording that could come across being hateful. There are ways to express what you're feeling, and even give some criticism, without resorting to saying nasty things about anyone. Remember, what you're posting is public and can't be taken back once it's seen. So even when you're pissed, it's best to be as kind as possible and watch your wording.

Generalize; don't be too specific - More often than not, you don't need to "spill all the tea" and share every minute detail to tell your story. Say as much as you need, but when it comes to details that you feel should stay private, keep them private. As I said before, while I do share my personal thoughts and experiences, I do try to generalize as much as I can.

Read it a few times before you post it - How many times have you posted something, and regretted it shortly after? Honestly, there are some things that I regretted putting online the second I posted them. So with that in mind, if you're feeling the need to rant, by all means, type out your rant, but refrain from hitting the post button right away. Take a moment to read what you wrote a few times, and consider whether or not this is something you really want to put out to the world. Do you really mean it, or are you just upset? Do you like how you sound in this post? Are you potentially making the situation worse by posting this? What is your goal in posting this? One thing I recommend is stepping away for at least an hour, to give yourself some time to cool down before, then reading it a few more times. If it's still something you want to post, consider whether or not you may be able to word it better. If you have any reservations about posting it, at all, then don't post it and save yourself the potential headache.

Woman using phone and laptop while listening to music
Photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska of Kaboompics

Turning it into something positive

So, to answer the question as to whether or not venting to social media can be constructive or not, I believe so, but it heavily depends on how it's done. Now, you may be wondering why I believe that venting to social media can potentially be constructive and positive. How can such a heavily frowned upon means of sharing your less-than-cheerful thoughts be productive in any way? How can it be beneficial in any way for anything other than just blowing off steam? To give a simple answer to all of that, I say this because it is a form of self-expression, and it can potentially be a great creative outlet for working through your emotions. It gives you the means to share your story, and possibly help others learn from your experiences, or at least let them know that they are not alone.

But with that in mind, I believe that for a vent post or a rant to be constructive, you most definitely have to put some thought into what you're posting and avoid making it entirely negative. Personally, when I'm venting to social media, I do like to throw in a little bit of positivity within my rants, or at the very least, find a way to shed some light where I can. I often like to use my creativity when I'm venting, as well as share some insight where I can, both for myself and for any potential reader. I'll be honest too, sometimes, I'll also try to use humor when appropriate. Laughter is the best medicine, right? There are a lot of ways to vent, without being entirely negative, you just have to put some thought into it.

Typing on a laptop
Photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska of Kaboompics

Productive and creative ways to vent on social media

As I said, there is a pretty wide variety of ways that you can use the internet to express what you're feeling, without it becoming destructive or toxic. All it takes is some thought and at least a little bit of creativity. How you choose to go about it depends on you and how you prefer to express yourself, but here are a few of my favorite ways to express myself on the internet, as well as my favorite types of content to consume when I'm going through it...

Venting On Social Media

Get as creative as you'd like, and express yourself in a way that works for you, just be sure that whatever you're doing to express yourself, it's constructive; online or offline. And don't forget to practice self-love, and do things that bring you positivity and joy. It's okay (and necessary) to release those pent up negative emotions, but you don't want to dwell in negativity either. Also, if you're going to be posting on social media, don't forget to share some positivity on social media as well!

While I'm not about to say that it's great to use social media as your primary medium to release your emotions or share the not-so-great moments of your life, I'm also not going to demonize it. What I will say is that you certainly need to be cautious about what you choose to put out there, and consider the potential consequences of what you're airing to the public. And if you're going to vent in a very public space, try to do so in a constructive way. It's okay to share your story and what you're feeling, but remember, the internet is forever, so think before you post.

Venting On Social Media
Thank you for reading, and I hope the rest of your day is wonderful!
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