My B+ Attempts at Being All That

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To Complain or Not to Complain

on August 24, 2014

Keyboard courage: it’s not just an alliterative delight. It’s real, and it’s really frightening how unfiltered it has encouraged our social media attendees to become. And it has gotten the best of us. Who among us hasn’t griped in a post, gotten indignant in a comment section or fired off an emotional response to an online attack in the heat of the moment?

Been There; Done That

I’m guilty. Yep, that’s me. I have spoken the unspeakable, asked the passively aggressive, accusatory “innocent” question. I think back to those times and feel my stomach knot up. I close my eyes, reverting back to the childhood game of “If I can’t see you, you can’t see me” to hide my impulsively shameful behavior. I shudder. I was simply fortunate enough to grow up in a time when those embarrassing slips were verbal and, in some cases, forgettable and not indelibly inscribed into eternity by way of a screenshot or old-school printout. And my times of typing out a fiery response or post? I have been able to remove most of the evidence and mitigate negative exposure.

 

Minute to Win It

Like it or not, we live in an era of instant gratification, one that gets impatient with the microwave, one that needs 20 checkout lanes open to ensure no waiting, one that gives rewards for speedier service. These “gotta have it now” moments have infiltrated our lives. We don’t want to leave messages, wait for replies. We want to have our concerns addressed immediately. We have lost touch with the art of waiting. We demand answers. Now.

 

Why? Just Why?

Why do we do it? What is our motivation for typing impulsively and emotionally? I think it’s because we need to process somehow, and we need validation for feeling angry and hurt. We need someone to say that we’re right. We need justification for feeling the way we do. We’ve been wronged and need to let people know. And we do it sometimes under the guise of “just making sure this same thing doesn’t happen to someone else.” Sounds good. But is that really the reason?

Before you Post . ..

Ask yourself why you are posting Are you righteously angry? Are you trying to effect change? Are you trying to help someone, fix something? Or, are you angry? Do you want to vent? Do you want the world to know how you’ve been wronged? Do you want someone to pay through social media attacks? I absolutely feel that some of the “angry” posts can be productive. They get people thinking, get them debating, get them aware. But ask if the whole purpose of your post could be achieved in a message that will not receive 126 likes and “You go, girl” and “(((Hugs)))”. Ask if the discreetly objective, well thought-out message will achieve the same results, if not more effective ones. And ask if you are posting in an appropriate forum.

 

The Cringe Test

Will you be proud of your post in a month? A year? When your kids read it (because they will)? When your pastor reads it (because he might)? When Jesus reads it (because he does)? Will you be able to convince yourself that you meant well, that you truly didn’t intend to stir the pot or to attack or something else undesirable? If the future memory of this post will make you cringe, don’t post it. If you would get angry at someone else for posting it, don’t post it. If you wouldn’t say it to the person’s face, don’t post it.

 

THINK and Count to 10. Or 936.

Before you hit enter, THINK. Is your post:

True

Helpful

Inspiring

Necessary

Kind

If it is not, I would propose you stop, breathe, eat some chocolate, go for a walk. Ask yourself if your post will pass the cringe test in a year. Ask if you could send a private message and get the same point across. Ask if you are posting this for you at the expense of others or if you are providing a necessary public service. Ask what would happen if you joined an imaginary debate team, argued for the other side and recognized that your argument had more emotion than merit.

 

I don’t mean to complain, but . . .

Then don’t. Here’s another little tip: when you start off your post with these words, we figure out really quickly that you do, in fact, mean to complain. Other gems that say roughly the same thing: “Isn’t it funny . . .” and “Hopefully, this isn’t whiny, but . . .” Well, take it from someone who is an expert at all of these. They’re whiny.

Be Better.

And if I use those nuggets, call me out on it. Because I am probably so caught up in my indignant self-serving petulance that I have forgotten to think, forgotten to count, forgotten to remember that disappointment is a part of life and that the world is not here to serve me. I have forgotten that I probably would not say that to the person’s face, given the opportunity, and that I will probably cringe in a week when I realize how many have witnessed my petulance, that I will try to hide but will ultimately have to hold myself accountable for my immature whining. I’m positively sure that the negativity isn’t helping us. Let’s be better.think before you speak

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3 responses to “To Complain or Not to Complain

  1. Kris says:

    I deserve a medal for participating, even though I didnt contribute.
    I should be able to prevent everyone from induvidually succeeding, because I am incapable of accepting challenges that i may not overcome and unwilling to develop the personal fortitude to either keep trying or accept that there are some things that I simply am not able to do. .

    Apply to most of the people in todays society, apply it to their kids, too.

    Free trade and capitalism is bad because it strips equality. Nevermind that the best required more time energy and resources, the incompetent ones tried, and should be put in the same class, because I cannot bear to admit that I cannot be praised or criticized.

    I should still get to be a surgeon because I really like the thought of doing that. I shouldnt be disqualified because I didnt finish high school because I got pregnant when i was 14 and ran away with the carnival. I should be able to sue the hospital for their discrimination towards my ineptness.
    My neighbor shouldnt get a nicer house because they went to college and work two jobs. I was too busy going to the lake and sleeping in until 11:00 every day, I couldnt look for one job, much less work two. But still, my kids shouldnt have to live in a dinky apartment when their classmates have a nice house, and a pool. It isnt fair to them.
    I should get to expect the same representation both legally and legislatively even though I do not pay taxes or contribute to society. I couldnt work two jobs, like my neighbor, remember?

    Classless society, equality, exceptions for the unmotivated under-achievers.

    Bullshit.
    Want what others have? Do as they have done to get it. Dont expect an exclusion because youre too lazy or too stupid…er, ambitionly delayed.

    Like

  2. Kris says:

    It isnt fair…
    I deserve a medal for participating, even though I didnt contribute.
    I should be able to prevent everyone from individually succeeding, because I am incapable of accepting challenges that i may not overcome and unwilling to develop the personal fortitude to either keep trying or accept that there are some things that I simply am not able to do. .

    Apply to most of the people in todays society, apply it to their kids, too.

    Free trade and capitalism is bad because it strips equality. Nevermind that the best required more time energy and resources, the incompetent ones tried, and should be put in the same class, because I cannot bear to admit that I cannot be praised or criticized.

    I should still get to be a surgeon because I really like the thought of doing that. I shouldnt be disqualified because I didnt finish high school because I got pregnant when i was 14 and ran away with the carnival. I should be able to sue the hospital for their discrimination towards my ineptness.
    My neighbor shouldnt get a nicer house because they went to college and work two jobs. I was too busy going to the lake and sleeping in until 11:00 every day, I couldnt look for one job, much less work two. But still, my kids shouldnt have to live in a dinky apartment when their classmates have a nice house, and a pool. It isnt fair to them.
    I should get to expect the same representation both legally and legislatively even though I do not pay taxes or contribute to society. I couldnt work two jobs, like my neighbor, remember?

    Classless society, equality, exceptions for the unmotivated under-achievers.

    Bullshit.
    Want what others have? Do as they have done to get it. Dont expect an exclusion because youre too lazy or too stupid…er, ambitionly delayed.

    Like

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