Monday, July 9, 2012

What is your opinion on angry and offensive Facebook status messages?

Really?  It's that simple?
Have you or any of your friends been guilty of venting or saying something very negative on your Facebook status updates in the heat of anger?  A lot of us are guilty of doing so, and the results to these very powerful posts vary from sympathy, to shock, to criticisms, to even being unfriended by people.

How do you feel about this topic?  Can you rationalize it by arguing that people have the right to say whatever they want (hey, it’s a free country; and Facebook is free, too)?  Or do you belong to the camp that asks the angry FB users to think twice before posting their gripes for all to see?

Before I tell you which side I’m on, I would like to implore you to watch another video clip from Dr. Wayne Cordeiro’s excellent talk, Dead Leader Running.  It talks about an excellent principle called “Find A Lightning Rod.”  This principle will help our lives (real or cyberspace) immensely, and it very excellently introduces my opinion on the subject.

Enjoy the video, which is based on a church leaders' summit a few years ago.  Please don’t read any further until you see the video in its entirety.



 Now here’s the thing: when one person is full of “charge,” as Dr. Cordeiro explains it, and brings the dirty laundry out on FB for all to see, all sorts of people will see it and become affected.  The kicker is, while all of us should have many friends, not all our friends qualify to be lightning rods.  Not many of your friends know you well enough or have the maturity to take what you’ve just written and ground it.

In fact, I’d say the majority would probably fry; and that manifests itself in different forms like backlash/criticisms, gossip, changing their opinion of you, and some even get fed up and unfriend you for your negativity.

That’s sad, but it happens a lot…and you can’t knock them for it because they don’t qualify to be your lightning rods in the first place, and it’s unfair for you to expect them to be.

It’d be much wiser if you find the lightning rods in your life and verbally vomit on them.  One, it’s not so public so the whole world will not know that you had a fight with hubby or whatever; two, these lightning rods can help you process these issues well; and three, nobody gets fried.

And like a spouse, share some things on Facebook, but share from the victory side (or at least make it a Phil. 4:13 kinda post)

I have several lightning rods in my life, older gentlemen who are very mature Christians and are fantastic family men and professionals.  One of them, I see regularly every month (I even cried in front of him the last time we met; that was embarrassing but I had to vomit big time and he not only grounded it but gave fantastic counsel) and, well, it feels good that they can make themselves available whenever I need them.

"To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, ..."  (Prov. 1:2-3)

My young couples group also serves as my rods, and vice versa.  In fact, I serve as a lightning rod to a LOT of people in all sorts of places, be in my small group, old friends in cyberspace, or students and even co-faculty in school.  For those who give me their trust on sensitive issues, thank you; and I hope I serve you well in not only grounding whatever is bothering you but also giving wise, Biblical counsel.

So, in closing, instead of venting life’s frustrations out on our Facebook status updates for all to see (and frying people with it), there’s a better and wiser option: find a few good lightning rods.

My previous post also features clips from Dr. Wayne Cordeiro's Dead Leader Running.  It's about fighting burnout.  Also, feel free to get his book that the talk is based on:  Leading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and Renewing Your Passion

You can also buy his other books:


Recommended reading on Anger Management:
 

31 comments:

  1. While every body has a right to say what you want, status updates should be given several thoughts especially on offensive ones. As it can affect our image which may be visible to other people and thus creating negative impact on us.

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  2. most people want to get their friends agree with them, an ally and support so it is very convenient to them to get those kind of sympathy given that they spent most of their time online/virtual than real...

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  3. Hmmmm, This must be a tough one but I would stand to believe that if you will choose the "light" you will receive the light, and if you choose the darkness, you will receive darkness. So if you post status updates the angry way, you are just telling who you are and people will look at you to be living in the darkness.

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  4. True, if you don't want to be upset ,don't read other Facebook wall, lalo na yung mga nakakainis na shout out.

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  5. Don't make your life 100% in your FB account. Have even a little privacy kept.

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  6. Nice video...
    It's really not good to shout out negative things in FB, specially when you some of your friends are not that close to you and may not be a lightning rod like of individual...

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  7. Not all things must be posted online. Always remember, its a public media and anyone can see it and affected by it.

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  8. FB and social media is a public domain therefore it is prudent to think before you click.

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  9. For me ha, what's the point of posting offensive statuses on Facebook or Twitter, right? I mean even if you're on the right place, you'll be easily misinterpreted by others, and we can't totally avoid that. You just have to think before you click.

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  10. I'm guilty and hindi lang sa Facebook pati sa Twitter pero minsan I can't help to vent out using social media. Anyway, para hindi na lang mainis wag na lang pansinin and don't take each wall post seriously.

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  11. I think that my partner is my lightning rod, but I can't be the same person for him. Oh my.... I actually just negative FB statuses if it's posted randomly and not regularly. But when a friend only posts negative statuses, I do UNFRIEND. Or just hide his posts from my notifications.

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  12. As they say think before you click so you won't be sorry later. I agree that "lighting rods" are definitely better than doing it in FB.

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  13. i hate t hear people talking and slashing but you cant get away with it coz it's facebook. everyone is unique and you'll just have to simply ignore those kind of people.

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  14. I used to be guilty of this, then time came that I had to manage my online 'reputation'. It's not that you don't want to be judged by people who don't know you well, it's just that it's better to stay silent.

    Though on rare occasions.. It can't be helped :|

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  15. i tried as much as i can not to get into facebook posts when airing negative feelings. even if it is targeted to just one in your 'friends (ironic huh!) list) it will still instill negativity. you cannot help it as not all are mature and unemotional or logical. then there are people who don't know the whole story and comment irresponsibly. in the end, will you still feel the same after a few days or will you feel embarrassed of what you did?

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  16. Hope all netizens will be able to read your blog post :) Peace! I agree that there is another way of venting nega status and not of FB nor Twitter. Simply smile and let this evade them from danger.

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  17. I like when Dr. Wayne said that if you can't find your lighting rod, you will talk to anyone who is close. Usually, with all this frenzy in the media the closest people they have are the people in their Facebook friends. Thanks for this post. I will include it as one of the books wishlist for the month of October in Special Education Philippines website, www.specialeducationphilippines.com

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  18. There was this person in FB who always says negative things in his status updates and they irritate me whenever I see the posts in my newsfeed. I deleted him in my friends list. hoho :P

    We should first control our anger and think many times before posting something in our public wall. :)

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  19. Though I follow the Think before you click mantra, its still best to take everything with a grain of salt and simply move on to better things.

    Or if you don't want to see/read those kinds of messages, just delete and think of happy thoughts. ^_^

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  20. That's true; not everyone can be your lightning rod. That's why I never rant in my FB status. I've been tempted to do just that when I'm upset about something, but I always hold back and not do it. I don't mind reading my friends' angry status updates though. Maybe I'm a good lightning rod, hehe.

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  21. for me, owner should know how to control themselves. If they think someone offended then, they should address that person privately, they don't have to post it on their wall for everyone to see to try to get people's sympathy. "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

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  22. I don't get taking seriously when it come to public media it's a matter of showing their thoughs. just ignore it.

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  23. well, if there's a post of message on their status among my fb friends, i would just ignore them...i don't care!

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  24. In my opinion its up to them its their own decision. I never put anything like that in my status..I did not put a lot of personal stuffs in my wall...

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  25. it is a social media, the words should speak for itself, it's socializing so i don't think being angry through your status is acceptable

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  26. It's unfortunate that a lot of people have seek refuge on facebook. Truth is, most of the readers really don't care. I'm glad I have couple of lightning rods and they absorb pretty well :) and I am also glad to be someone's lightning rod as well. I love Dr. Wayne Cordeiro!

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  27. totally can relate to this post, i have known someone who post everything she can so the whole world would know...sometimes just annoying

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  28. I've seen a lot of people post just about anything on their wall. I always make a point not to post something offensive. Post responsibly is always my motto and people have their own interpretation of what you post. They read it differently.

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  29. I post some like that in my Facebook wall but most of the time keep it to myself and not the world knows about how I feel that day or have a problem

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  30. thanks for sharing this one. I recently read a book about Emotional Intellegence and it is a wonderful book which helps us deal with our emotions and how to deal with it on our everyday lives. I am one of those who doesn't like to use facebook as something to write all my angers and frustrations and all. I don't like to talk profanity as well or write it on my FB wall. I know my right, but just because I have the right to do so, I also have the right to think twice about what I do or what I say. I hate it when the word "this is a free country" is being used because a lot of people have abused that power to the point it is just crude.

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    Replies
    1. Very well said. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

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