Sunday, January 27, 2019

Passive-Agressive and Outright Aggressive Posts on Facebook and Social Media

Have you ever been wasting your day, just scrolling through Facebook, without a care in the world, when, suddenly, you see a post that makes you wince?  You know, the kind of post that makes you wonder, "why would anyone post that?"  I have.  Many times.  And, truthfully, it always made me feel dirty.  It always made me wonder, "what in the world am I doing with my time?"

If you study the posts on Facebook, you will find that the posts fall into various genres.  Some of these are:

PERSONAL POSTS - Generally written by the person posting them.
•Posts about family, real life, travel, or happenings.
•Posts about faith and religion.
•Posts about hardships and advice seeking.
•Posts that brag, often about school, job, income, wealth, future plans.
•Opinion/Political posts.
•Posts that say too much:  Generally posts about love, romance, and things that maybe should be kept between couples. 
FORWARDED POSTS: created by another person, passed on around Facebook.
•Memes, things that make people laugh.
•Religious forwards:  often along the lines of: "If you don't do this, you are ashamed of..."
•Posts about luck: similar to religious posts, but more like "share this to get money."
•Feel good posts, such as "hope your day is swell."
•Political forwards
•Passive-aggressive/outright aggressive posts:  posts that attack something indirectly, and sometimes directly.
This entry is about the passive-aggressive posts that pop up on Facebook.  To me, these represent perhaps the ugliest type of posts, and one reason that Facebook falls afoul of being a place that is "kind, pure, just, wise, etc."
By definition, passive-aggressive behavior is a deliberate and masked way of expressing covert feelings of anger (Long, Long & Whitson, 2009). Motivated by a fear of expressing anger directly, the passive-aggressive person employs a variety of behaviors designed to get back at another person without the other recognizing the underlying anger. Today’s technology—through which anyone can share cruel jabs and humiliating photos behind the cover of a screen and through the remoteness of a mouse click—provides the perfect medium for the passive-aggressive person who seeks to express anger definitively, yet indirectly.  -- via Psychology Today.
We all have a friend who is a bit too angry at life.  We all know someone who just needs to cool their jets and accept that life is sometimes hard.  We all know someone who has fallen between the cracks of society and has emerged on Facebook to tell the world that they are very, very angry.  If you are reading this, you have already thought of someone.  Yes, chances are we are talking about the same type of person.

We all go through stages of depression in life.  Depression is hard to deal with.  I have long believed that if you are depressed, it is best to stay away from Facebook.  Facebook never really makes a sad person feel better.  And chances are, if you are on Facebook when angry or sad, you are going to be tempted to fish for compliments.  You want recognition for who you are.  That's only natural.  You're human.  You want people to understand your problems.  You want to get your point across.  There's nothing wrong with that, for the most part.  The problem is that Facebook is a very, well, strange place to try to get recognition and share problems.  Imagine you are angry at your ex-wife for taking the children.  Imagine you know that a few of your close friends are in Grand Central station, and so are you.  You don't see them, but they are there, in the crowd.  There are also some people you went to school with, but that was years ago.  And some ex-coworkers are there too.  Would you scream, "I can't believe my ex-wife took my kids!  She is such a user!  I gave her everything!  And now this!"
Facebook is like that.  We are screaming our problems to the world, and many people are just scrolling through and thinking, "who was that guy again?" 

There are some very ugly forwards that go around Facebook.  Things that make me cringe.  Things that are dirty and dark.  Posts that represent the foulest and lowest part of society.  The deepest and darkest chasms of the mind.  These are posts that need not be shared or spoken of.  They do nothing to make a person feel good and represent the vilest nature of mankind.  These posts are not seen by many, but some people love them.  These types of posts include posts of a very sexual nature, posts with near-pornographic content, posts that talk about hurting one's self or others, and posts that tear others apart.  Many of these posts are allowed by Facebook, surprisingly!  Posts about "wanting sex" with erotic art that features sexual intercourse is okay with Facebook.  How do I know this?  I had reported many of these, and Facebook said that they found nothing at all wrong with the post in question.  Insane!

Passive-aggressive and outright aggressive posts are, for worse or worser still, a part of the Facebook experience.  I used to watch family members threaten to "delete friends" off their wall if a post was not liked.  I knew one person who literally said: "I don't ****ing understand why my posts don't get more likes."  Parents posting nasty things about their children.  Family and friends ripping into each other.  Words like claws scratching and cutting deep into each other.  Ugly, ugly place!  Relationships that were once full of love, posted and plastered on the Facebook wall, which is now a warzone Everyone watches as the two battle it out, and you are stuck in the middle of it, even after both unfriended each other!  And this is entertainment for the world.  This is what people spend their lives engaged in!

In the time that you have spent on Facebook, you could have started a business, wrote a book, went back to school, found a new job, started a new hobby, got very good at an instrument.  They say it takes 10,000 hours to get good at something.  How much time do you waste reading passive-aggressive posts a day on Facebook?  Think about that.  You could have had a downpayment towards mastering a new craft or skill with all that time that you have literally squandered!  I speak for myself, too.  I look in the mirror and say, "what a waste!  What a shameful waste!"

All hope is not lost.  You still have a lot of life left ahead of you!  You can change your course right now.  Chances are, you have hundreds upon hundreds of hours that you will still log on Facebook if you don't give it up.  Why not trade your Facebook addiction for something more productive?  Why not learn a skill or get in shape.  Ten thousand hours of exercise and study sounds pretty nice, doesn't it?  How much of a language could you learn in 10,000 hours?  A lot!  Why blow that time hooked on (a)social media?

Sometimes when I play Duolingo, a little note pops up that says, "15 minutes a day can teach you a language. What can 15 minutes of Instagram do?"  That is so relevant.  So true.  Unless you are using Instagram or Facebook to build your business and reel in more customers, it's pretty much irrelevant for life.  If you're spending vast quantities of time on either and are feeling a roller coaster of emotions after and during your time spent on these sites, GET OFF NOW!!   It's not worth it!

Have you blown your time through your Facebook or social media addiction with nothing but depression to show for it?  Do you get tired of all those ultra-passive-aggressive and outright aggressive posts that seem to show up on your wall.  Do you know someone who is just really sad and angry on social media.  Is that person you?  Do you want to quit but don't know how?  What would your life be like if you stopped right here, right now?  What would you do with all that time you saved?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

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