Do You Use Social Media to Vent?

January 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm 13 comments

Do you head straight to your computer to update your facebook status after an argument with a friend? Are you guilty of tweeting your angst?

Most of us have used social media as a channel to vent our frustrations at one point or another, whether it be on facebook, twitter, or writing a blog post to bash a not-so-anonymous “someone.”

Generally, I try to restrain myself from broadcasting my emotions via social media; but it’s so tempting sometimes! I’ve even gone as far as typing it all up, hovering the mouse above the “submit” button, and then quickly deleting the entire thing. What’s with that?

I was curious what others thought, so I decided to ask the twitterverse. A few of my followers on Twitter chimed in:

Why do we feel the need to use social media as a channel for venting our frustrations?

@bitty_boop I think it’s because we need to just let it out. Plus sometimes someone else understands.

@erob1 Because we want people to care and feel our pain. With SM it’s more like to be read and re-read vs in-real-life where it’s heard and then forgotten.

@abrill Our generation feels comfortable expressing ourselves thru SM channels because of the sense of community.We feel at home, in a way.

@MShahab So that other people can learn from their experience. Stay away from bad service or that the comp can improve their services.

@JasMollica I think it is all part of the “new norm” now.  We all seem to know much more about each other than in the past. FB, Twitter and blogs are the new diaries.

@ColbyWG We like to be heard, or at least feel like we are. SM is a way to do that. Think of all the “woe is me” Facebook statuses you see.

Does publicly venting hurt your personal brand or does it humanize your online persona?

@erob1 Totally depends on what you’re venting about. If it’s a genuine situation, you’ve been wronged, then we care. If not, we don’t (“we” being the interwebs).

@abrill Depends on the subject. No one is 100% positive all the time but there are limits: personal attacks and curse words= big no-no’s.

@ms_elisabeth I think that SM really started out as a way for people to connect with each other regardless of time and space. So how can there be any rules about how you use it to express yourself? As long as you realize your online persona = you in real life and you realize that however you present yourself in SM is how people see you in real life as well. It doesn’t hurt you if u realize there’s a lot of exposure of your personal brand on SM. However, sometimes it benefits you to be open.

@MShahab I think venting on social media is fine..within reason. No swear words. But it adds a dimension of personality to your online persona.

@KathyTingTingYu Venting via social media definitely humanizes you but there’s a pt where you’re just whining + looking for attention. You need to find a balance.

@RLBriones If I have to vent, I tend to do it on FB where mostly friends will see it – I try to tweet for networking/professional contacts. But honestly, we all know how we feel about that person who is ALWAYS emotional on social media – it gets irritating and old REALLY fast!

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13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Evan Roberts  |  January 17, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    There are some great insights here! I want to add that the different SM platforms seem to encourage different types of expression too. Like a statement of truth on Twitter can be responded to in anyway the person who reads it chooses too, but on Facebook, you can only comment or “like.” You can’t just “dislike” without giving reasoning via a comment.

  • 2. @ben_j_a_m_i_n  |  January 17, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    Great topic. Everything is changing so fast, It’s hard to keep my opinion updated and constantly adapting to changes. Social Media is so very personal. When it comes to a successful personal brand, it won’t be successful if it’s not personal. So, using logic, if one is honest when using SM, their personal brand will reflect honesty, This is good, but only if the brand is good. If the brand is bad, I’m going to guess personal venting via SM is just one of a few probs. Again, great topic to explore.

  • 3. lmnovo  |  January 17, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Do we use SM to vent? That’s a great question. I can say that when I first got Facebook Freshman year of college, I used it as a platform to illustrate any and all of my feelings at any given time. Discretion was not in my vocab. At the time, I was too busy having fun to think about possible consequences. Luckily, I whipped into shape before any of it could do me any harm. I remember one time I was so angry about something an acquaintance did to me that I publicly blasted her. I would never do that now. No cursing. No name calling. No direct call-outs. I tend to leave the venting for in-person situations and only share things on TW/FB if there is no one in the world that needs to be shielded from them. But that’s just me… great post!

  • 4. ms_elisabeth  |  January 17, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    This is a great topic. Our generation is really big on documenting everything that goes on in our daily lives online, partly because of the fact that the world is so fast-paced these days & we need SM to keep in touch with our peers and up-to-date. So although initially it may seem like being so transparent online will hurt your “personal brand” but I think it depends on what exactly you are sharing online, and also what you think fits into the category of “venting”. A blog post about your personal opinion on something (like this one right now!) could be considered ‘venting” couldn’t it? But as you know, its also a great way to share your thoughts & opinions on a topic and discover what others think about them too. And thanks for sharing my thoughts up there! 🙂

    • 5. Hesed28  |  September 9, 2017 at 10:12 pm

      Excellent reflection and very well articulated. Thank you for sharing.

  • 6. Jacky Riegler  |  January 18, 2010 at 12:21 am

    I’m guilty of venting via SM. I think it’s generally an ok idea, especially if we’ve been wronged (like you suggested!). I think we do it because we want someone to identify with us and let us know that ‘it wasn’t just me’ kind of thing. SM is all about connecting and relationships (or at least it should be!) and making yourself seem more ‘human’ is a good way to promote your personal brand.

    I do it more out of habit sometimes. When something annoying happens to me, I have the urge to tweet it! ha. Most of the time I edit myself and end up not tweeting it in the end like you do.

    I think most ‘venting’ is ok, just don’t make it an everyday thing! No one really wants to hear a ‘poor pitiful me’ story every time they look at their twitter stream.

    • 7. Hesed28  |  September 9, 2017 at 10:14 pm

      Thank you for your honest assessment. It has helped me understand the topic better.

  • 8. Laura Scholz  |  January 18, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Great post! I would say I vent about harmless things, like weather or traffic or airline travel. I definitely stay away from anything that has to do with client work or friends. My social networks are a good blend of personal and professional, so I always use the “mom” rule. If I wouldn’t want my mom to hear me say it or read it, I’ll keep it offline.

  • 9. LaTasha  |  January 20, 2010 at 1:30 am

    I actually think there’s nothing wrong with expressing your emotions in your blog. A blogger’s true, genuine emotions and feelings are what readers want to read about. It brings about connections and inclusion…which is what SM is all about. Yet, at the same time, there’s a way to do it. I think it is always important to remember your blog as a personal/professional brand. As SM guru, Juliette Powell, mentioned in her book “33 Million People in the Room,” SM creates this phenomenom of the “microcelebrity.” It’s about representation. Readers will believe what they see/read is what they get…or in a sense, who you are. So whatever you say/blog about should definitely be something you can live with. And in some cases, some things are better left unsaid.

  • […] January 20, 2010 by funemployed4life I just read an article about whether or not it is acceptable to use social media outlets to vent your anger or express emotion. The Prep Guide […]

  • 11. When Social Media Becomes Real « The PRepguide  |  March 19, 2010 at 8:44 am

    […] Lend an ear, a helping hand and a shoulder to cry on. As I discovered when I asked the question, “Do You Use Social Media to Vent?” people turn to social media for emotional support or a release. Offer sympathy when someone tweets […]

  • 13. franca egbadzor  |  February 14, 2015 at 4:43 pm



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