Venting is almost as natural as smiling. After a rough day at work, fight with your partner, or unexpected calamity, you organically want to release your passion and frustration. It’s crucial to have someone you trust in those moments.
Why? When you don’t have a safe outlet, you will choose the next best thing: whatever is close by. It used to be the random coworker in the breakroom or bartender at your favorite bar. But social media has changed the game. Now people are sharing a divorce on Twitter, degrading former friends on Instagram, and discrediting coworkers on Facebook. The online landscape is now a dumping ground for dirty laundry.
Growing up, my grandfather would casually greet people with, “Hey, rattlesnake.” By my late teens, I developed enough curiosity to ask why he called people rattlesnakes. Most Scorpios would appreciate his answer: Anyone is capable of being a snake. From the Garden of Eden to now, rattlesnakes don’t ask for permission to hurt you, but they always announce before they attack. I applied this thought to venting and discovered three dangers of posting your pain and problems online.
1. Venting Attracts People with Horrible Motives
You just broke up with a lying, cheating partner on Facebook. Your last post about your promotion at work only received 20 likes. But, this post’s thread is longer than an anaconda. People from Antarctica to Australia are sending you hearts and condolences. No, you don’t know 10% of them, but you feel validated by the love and attention.
Then, it happens. The first DM appears. “Hey, sexy. Sorry to hear about your situation.” You look at the screen, and your mouth drops open just a bit: Is this person hitting on me right now?
Yes! They are. And, as more messages flood in, you realize that posting drama is like bait to people with ulterior motives.
2. Venting Attracts People with Harmful Mouths
Let’s take the same situation. While you’re trying to figure out how to respond to the flirtatious messages coming into your inbox, your ex’s best friend decides to chime in. “You weren’t any good for him anyway.”
Some people live to “read” people. I swear some members of the LGBTQ community earned doctorates in reading and will come for you. That bitter post just opened you up to all kinds of attacks. And well, (I hate to say it, but) you asked for it. Privacy is a right until you shine a light on your situation. If you don’t want a potential negative conversation, don’t share the information.
These people aren’t always “haters.” In this new opinion-based society, it’s safer to accept that some snakes will share their venom when you put your business in their face.
3. Venting Attracts People with Harvested Misery
Let’s take it a step further. Now, you decide to go live. As you begin ranting, the viewer count skyrockets. Maybe you think you have a lot of support. You gain the confidence to share extra details about the issues in your relationship.
Then, it happens. “Don’t worry, sis! You don’t need a man anyways.” While a part of you wants to agree because you’re hurt, there is a rational side in you that knows this person is miserable. Your live feed isn’t drawing just supporters. You have bitter and broken people tuning in too.
Someone heartbroken will see this live stream and say, “See! Relationships don’t work anymore.” There are people that harvest pain like a farmer harvests crops. Your situation only validates theirs. So, while you think you have a supporter, you only have a mourner.
Next time you want to post pain, take these steps:
- Stop! Don’t post anything.
- Wait! Take a nap or do an activity you love.
- Think! Consider what you want to say and why.
- Consult! Ask someone you trust about your thoughts.
- Post! If you are okay with your actions and consequences, go for it.
The Simple Truth
When you’re in pain, find someone you trust with your heart. Hitting send on that fiery post may give you a burst of pleasure, but you will only attract more snakes into your life. Use the power of social media to spread love and healing by sharing your story of how you overcame hurt, abuse, and shame. Raise awareness of mental health battles, depression, and anxiety. Let your platform build a community with hope, not tear it down with hate.
Don’t Feed the Snakes!