Unhealthy Online Experience

How ranting and bashing may be harmful in the long run

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One reason why I dont look at the newsfeed as much as I used to is because there's too much negativity now. People ranting about the smallest things and individuals hurling attacks at unnamed enemies.

As I was facilitating a forum on social media among teenagers yesterday, these behaviors came out among the things that make our online engagement potentially harmful. Now many would argue that self expression is a right as long as its practice does not violate any laws. Agreed. But is it healthy?

Ranting may relieve you of some pent up stress. But repeatedly doing so lessens your ability to manage your emotions. And since the whole world may see your post, you are showing everyone how weak you truly are possibly inviting the criticism of others. It demonstrates your apparent need for attention and for people to share your misery.

Attacking unnamed individuals through status posts is even more dangerous. Not only does it prevent a peaceful resolution between you and your supposed adversary, it might worsen it. And I have observed instances when someone else thought he or she was the one being attacked, which inadvertently sparked another unintended conflict. If it reaches a point where you feel that your differences are irreconcilable, as an alternative to bashing that person maybe you should just unfriend him or her and end the toxicity of your relationship.

Stress is something that everyone needs to handle but in a positive way. Attempting to infect others with one's negativity should be avoided. Instead of propagating animosity, self control should be fostered and help make social media a healthier experience for all.

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