Why You Should Think Twice About Which Opinions You Put on Social Media
It’s not unusual now days to see someone posting their opinion on social media. After all, America is all about freedom of speech, right? Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, as you’re scrolling through your feed you are likely to pass an eye-roll inducing personal opinion that was better left unshared.
The most annoying posts we tend to see are usually related to politics, religion, relationships, or just straight up airing dirty laundry. I think this trend started, not surprisingly, during the Myspace era. I remember being in middle school, having a MySpace, and it was just an early, but popular social media site at the time.
With Facebook coming out with a dislike button, it’s likely going to be a tool for people to target those with strong personal opinions. As we all know, it’s easy to get annoyed with overly personal and strongly worded posts on social media, especially when those opinions are different from our own. I have many friends, and even family, that either don’t care or just don’t realize how annoying their posts can be online. Unfortunately, it’s an all too common occurrence on social media these days.
If you are that person who takes to the keyboard to post a rant from time to time, you should really start to think twice before you hit “share.” With many public and even private posts (hello, screenshots) going viral nowadays, your thoughts aren’t shared with a limited audience, and can really come back to bite you.
Maybe you don’t care what others think, or maybe you don’t care about being judged. Maybe you feel you have every right to be outspoken and share your opinion. But let me ask you this, if you had zero friends in Facebook, would you still post it? See this is the key component here. Like it or not, we post for attention — good and bad.
The purpose of a diary/journal is to write about personal thoughts and rants, for your eyes only. It feels good to write it out and get it off your chest, even if no one ever sees what you wrote.
Now people take to social media to do this. Maybe it’s for attention, maybe it’s for validation, or maybe it’s just to stand out in a crowd of millions. Whatever your reason is, it’s just not a good one. It will always create conflict of some sort, even if it goes unmentioned. I refer to this as silent conflict. When a person takes issue with someone they’ve seen online, but instead of engaging in the digital world, they let it impact their opinion of the poster in real life.
To avoid this, I simply I never tell the person it bothers me, I just silently unfriend them. I’ve unfriended several family members because I just don’t care to read the nonsense they post all day. (You can also “unfollow” the person and hide them from your newsfeed or “mute” them on Twitter).
I do this to keep my online spaces clear of negativity, hate, and unwanted opinions. But just because I’ve unfriended someone online, it doesn’t change how I feel about them as a person. I’m old-fashioned like that. I believe that social media should never come in between two people. And this is especially when it comes to family; I try to never let social media become a reason for conflict. I simply explain to them that if I unfriended them, it was just because I don’t care to read those posts and possibly cause conflict in the future. I want to always have a strong relationship with them.
This is a key reason as to why you should think twice. You may possibly be starting conflict with someone and you may be unaware of it.
Social media is a great way to stay in touch, keep up with local news, read good articles, and even post a few major life events. But it’s certainly not the place to air your dirty laundry. Next time you want to post a personal opinion, a rant, or even gossip, think twice. Maybe go start a journal, or maybe go talk to a close friend. It will be satisfying for your health and more proactive for your relationships.
It’s important to shy away from doing what everyone else does, and to not always strive to be part of the crowd. Be your own unique person, have your personal opinions, but share them where it matters.