Have you ever had a friend on social media (someone fairly close to you, positive, upbeat, wouldn't say s**t if their mouth were full of it) suddenly 'go off' and start ranting about some random topic? (Vancouver real estate, Vancouver drivers, Vancouver weather.....I could go on) Have you then wondered why they would express themselves to the entire internet in a way that seems so out of character?
Have you ever gotten caught in one of those Twitter storms about politics, and in spite of your best intentions, you end up insulting half the Nation's population? (or more than half...depending on which party won the last election)
Yes, so have I.
Despite myself, I find it a little too easy to express outrage on social media. I think this stems from the relative isolation and anonymity of being in front of a monitor, or buried in one's phone.
It's important to remember the feeling of slight disappointment when someone we previously held in high esteem for their reasonable-ness, suddenly lets the mask slip to expose the conflicted roiling mass of insecurity underneath. If we were at a party when this happened, we would assume they'd had one too many.
To illustrate the pitfalls of negative online ranting, check out this sincere, but secretly hilarious video that reminds me of one of those Kyle Mooney SNL sketches about high school drama students dealing with serious subjects:
The simplest way to prevent yourself from making this mistake is to remember what your grandmother always used to say: if you can't say anything nice about someone, don't say anything at all....or was it Thumper?