Some things don’t mix well with social media.
Alcohol is one of them. Any Saturday or Sunday morning, take a peek at some of the late night tweets and status updates from your friends that were out drinking. It’s not pretty, but always good for a laugh. Some folks need to look into a breathalyzer app (or maybe just drink less.)
Anger is also a poor match for social media. I was angry last night. Totally pissed off. One way I address anger is a long run with some loud music until I get a little clarity. Or until I just can’t run anymore, and I fall down on the trail, lay there for a minute staring up at light through the leaves and forgetting to be angry. It was 10 pm and raining, so running was out.
I shoved some frustration into my Tweetdeck. And deleted it without hitting “send.” And then I did it again. And deleted it again. Nothing too awful. Something midway between “Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr” and a Gordon Ramseyesque, F-bomb laden tirade. I ended up tweeting some passive-aggressive grumpiness (and later deleted that too.)
I don’t like to spew that stuff onto Facebook and Twitter. I don’t mind people knowing I get angry. Anger is part of life. But do I want to take negativity and dump it out on anyone who happens to be reading my twitter feed? I wouldn’t take my trash can around to all my friends’ houses and leave a little bit on each of their doorsteps, so why do it online? It’s great to hash things out with a friend who both listens and reflects back to you honestly. But random negativity and senseless tweets of anger? Not helpful to anyone.
So what then? Should we all agree to make Myspace the anger dumping ground? No one’s using that anymore, right? There needs to be a place to go when you just need to take a few minutes and deal with your anger without paying it forward and spreading it around.
Oh wait…there is:
Instead of tweeting when you’re angry, how about Tonglen?
So I closed up my laptop. Closed down my tantrum. Took my time. Let go of all my defenses, my offenses. Let myself just be breath for awhile. It didn’t really matter anymore if I was right or if I’d been wronged. Instead of taking my anger and sending it out across the wires to whoever might catch it, sending and taking, and sending and taking.