Complaining is the junk food of online media — it feels good while you're doing it, but often times you feel awful afterward.
Twitter is a great platform to complain, isn't it? We all do it. I'm guilty of it, too…
It seems like with the surge in social media and blogging, has also accompanied a surge in public complaints. (*Note: Complaining is also different than giving thorough and thoughtful criticism, just so we're clear.) Mine are clearly of a G-rating, but it's not hard to find others with much more vengeance cutting way deeper, especially to complete strangers.
It seems like CopyBlogger feels the same way. They recently posted a “call to action” for Internet publishers to bring back some “civility” to the blogosphere. Their point? Even if you only have one reader, if you publish online you're influencing the thinking of others, and if we all band together, we can make our global online community a better place to live and work. The author, Sonia Simone, comes up with a list of things we as a whole can do to help the cause. I'm here to elaborate on her suggestions beyond simply bullying and troll-like behavior, but the negativity that reeks on social media and some blogs.
We've talked about not-so-nice commenters before, but what about the whining blogger?
What can you do to separate yourself from a sea of moaning and groaning? Here's four things to think about the next time you're about to serve some whine with that cheese…
1. Every day, do better. It may sound corny, but looking forward is only way to keep yourself on track. Dwelling on what you don't like won't accomplish anything.
2. Speaking your mind is something we trumpet, but be thoughtful of others. Go ahead, explain your stance, stand up for what you believe, but leave out the name-calling and the trivial stuff. It's simple — just rise above it. Be bold if you want to be bold, but always put yourself in someone else's shoes before you jump on the “hate train.”
3. Don't expect anyone to hold your hand. Think this way: “Ask not what you can gripe about, but what you can do about your gripe.” Take what's bothering you into your own hands and fix it. The only thing you can control is yourself.
4. Set the right tone. Remember, YOU set the tone of your blog — it can be whatever you want. If you want to voice your opposition to a brand, do it. But do it with a reason. Just like you would explain why you like a pair of shoes, tactfully explain why you are bothered or angered about something.
For more on this, see our Stop Whining, Start Shining post.
How do you feel about chronic complainers on the Internet? Are you a chronic complainer?
[Photo courtesy of the Marcy Stop]