September 22, 2017

Putting Things Into Perspective

We live in an instant gratification culture. People want things when they want them and how they want them. And if they don't get whatever it is they want at the time they want it, it's time to complain and to blame and to hate. It seems like people will say anything on social media. I don't know if that's because the Internet provides some kind of shield from the real world (Catfish, anyone?), or if people really, truly feel that the only way to cope with their impatience and frustration is to take to an app or a .com.

I am just so. tired. of opening up a social media site just to scroll through complaint after retweeted political hate after social injustice claims after complaint. Especially on social media, there’s a fine line between voicing an opinion and just flat-out complaining, and I don’t think most people know how to keep themselves on that line. I'm not sure if I'm just more tuned into it, or if there's more negativity as of late, but it's sitting even worse with me than it used to.

Over the last week, I've been seeing tons of complaints directed at FPL (Florida Power & Light, for my non-Floridian friends). Some people are still without power following Irma, and yes, being without power sucks. I would know. But perspective. Entire counties lost power. Restoring it takes time, and the turnaround has been far faster than it was when we lost power when Wilma rolled through back in 2005.

Some people lost their homes. Entire communities, islands, were decimated. People lost their lives. And you're going to aggressively and persistently complain that you have to sleep without A/C and take cold showers?

More than anything, I'm disappointed. That people won't look past a minor inconvenience to acknowledge how lucky they are. Hurricane example aside, there's always something that mass numbers of people will complain about. There's always someone that mass numbers of people will hate on and threaten and treat as less-than-human.

If you've been reading this and are starting to wonder whether you're a social complainer, fear not. You can fix that! Before you take to social media to vent, ask yourself:

What will posting about this accomplish?

If the only answer you can come up with is that it will make you feel better, reconsider. Maybe call a friend instead.

What will you think of this post if you scroll past it next week?

If re-reading it would embarrass you, don't post it. If this won't matter in the least after today (maybe you're bogged down with schoolwork), why even mention it?

What would you think of this post if someone else posted it?

If you read this in your feed, what would you do? Would you interact with it? Ignore it? Be annoyed by it? Your answers should make it pretty clear whether posting it is worthwhile.

What's the flip side of the coin?

Your commute is the worst.  But at least you have a car to drive and good music to listen to. You're tired of the Instagram algorithm. It's just a number. You get the idea.

Who do you want to be known as?

Maybe you only complain on social media because you know that your real-life people don't want to hear that from you. So be that person online, too. If you allow yourself to speak negativity, that's what you're going to exemplify: negativity.

I'm just saying that we all could use a little perspective sometimes :)


  1. This is so important and I'm really happy you posted this. Hopefully it gets through to or helps someone!


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