From passive-aggressive status updates to nasty comments meant to provoke a reaction, fighting in public has taken on a whole new meaning in the world of Facebook. As more and more people take to the keyboard to vent about relationship problems, personal drama, and life issues, it’s important to remember that feuding on Facebook is nothing to LOL about.
Think before posting, and remember a few key points:
Think about intent
Many people in the throes of an argument turn to social media sites to win the battle for public opinion and support; but broadcasting personal drama to hundreds of ‘friends’ rarely helps the situation. Does the fact that an old grade school friend ‘likes’ your rant really provide the support you’re looking for? There are healthier, more productive, and less public ways to express feelings, settle disputes, and feel supported.
Be mindful of misinterpretation and miscommunication
Most of the problematic tendencies start with interpretation. Digital text often lacks emotion and can leave sarcasm lost in translation. Jokes may come across as attacks, and before you know it, the online battle has begun. ‘Friends’ watching this battle unfold are often confused about when or how to intervene, and many simple arguments quickly become blown out of proportion. Before jumping to conclusions, try discussing important issues in person or over the phone.
Proceed with caution
Is that nasty remark you’re feeling in the heat of the moment worth the damage it will cause broadcasting it to the world? Remember, once it’s out there, it’s very difficult to take back or clarify.
Will a harsh-worded comment be worth the repercussions of destroyed relationships and reputations that might follow? What about the possible legal repercussions or your words used as evidence in the courtroom? Each statement posted online is written in permanent ether-ink.
Try to gain emotional composure. Take a break from the computer or phone before replying. You’ll avoid unnecessary stress and feel better in the long run.
Social media is incredibly powerful, and has plenty of great uses socially, culturally, politically, for businesses, relationships and much more. But when it comes to conflict resolution, there are usually healthier and more productive ways to deal with issues.