Get Off Social Media if You’re in a Bad Mood
Shôn Ellerton, January 17, 2020
It’s bad idea to interact with social media if you’re angry, depressed, drunk or tired. Seems obvious but many of us do it intentionally or not.
We all have our ‘down’ days from time to time.
Maybe you get landed with a hefty speeding ticket fine.
Perhaps your most recent interview didn’t go down all that well.
Or simply, you’ve had a tiring and hectic day and don’t want to interact with anyone for a while; perchance, a time to recollect your thoughts.
Your first thoughts might be to grasp your smartphone and start browsing on social media. However, you’re not there to get the latest and greatest news but rather to hope that you find somebody feeling more depressed than you are or have fallen on hard times. There is a word for this state of feeling, and it is known as schadenfreude, and it’s very unhealthy.
The best thing to do is not open up any social media apps, at least, until you’ve had a few moments to recuperate your thoughts. If you have a book or something downloaded on your smartphone like a movie or an e-book, this is a far better option.
The last thing you’d want to see on social media is someone writing about their success stories or, heaven forbid, read some condescending article telling you that you should do these ten simple things to get you on the right track. There’s nothing wrong with such articles, but not if you’re in a state of mind not willing to receive rationally and gracefully.
I’d also extend this same line of reasoning to those who are angry.
Grrr! Pissed off! That’s it! I’m going to peruse a few posts on social media, particularly those with smug posts like ‘How to be Your Own Successful Manager’ or ‘Five Things You Should be Doing Right Now!’, and then contradict the hell out of everything in the comments section. I’m going to troll and burn everyone to the ground!
Short answer. Don’t!
Likewise, don’t start actively looking for and praising those articles which you happen to agree with during this time of sadness or anger. It’ll only perpetuate the toxicity of the conversation. You’ll only look back on it in the near future and regret commenting on it in the first place.
I think many of us do it on occasion, including me, and often, it’s not always intentional. When we’re really tired, it often clouds our judgment if we’re in a rational mood or not. For example, before dropping off to sleep, I try to read a book rather than browsing through social media posts, because the urge to comment irrationally is much stronger.
The same applies to drinking alcohol, of course. Not a good time to post comments. I remember that funny scene in the movie, Sideways, when a couple of guys went wine-tasting up in Napa Valley on a sort of ‘stag party’ trip. The best man was divorced and after having several wines, gravitates to the nearest payphone and starts to ring up his ex-wife to which the groom says, ‘Hey! Stop that! You shouldn’t be drinking and dialling!’ Something like that anyway.
Although not social media-related, the same principle applies to responding to e-mails which have upset or stressed you. I had a few bouts with a local council and, looking back on some of the email correspondence going back and forth, I probably should have applied the principle of sleeping over it more often.
I’m beginning to recognise patterns through regular comments made by readers when posting new material on social media. I’m pretty confident that I could identify those readers who are perpetually angry (just like a Glaswegian my Scottish friend would say!) or generally happy and content. It’s quite interesting to be honest.
There’s a lot of great material out there on social media, particularly with platforms like Medium and LinkedIn, but the minefields of cesspits and abuse lurking on platforms like Twitter and Facebook are damaging and dangerous to some. I do post links to my material on Twitter and occasionally send a little snippet of something in a tweet but, my golly, there’s some filth in there!
So, this is my one little take on social media today.
Don’t interact with social media if you’re not up to reading and commenting with rational thought and reasoning. In short, if you’re in a bad mood, get off social media.
I’ve done it myself on more than one occasion, but hopefully, I’ll keep this article in mind before I do so!