ITM Marketing Blog

Does Social Media Need Anger Management?

social media needs anger managementDoes social media need anger management?

Over two years ago, we wrote an article about Misery Poker. For a quick recap, Misery Poker is when people feel like they need to constantly one up the problems of other people. To put it simply, you walk into work one morning and tell your co-worker that you got into a fender bender over the weekend and how stressful it was for you. Rather than receiving sympathy from your co-worker, he or she responds with “Oh yeah? My dog was sick, my kids were driving me crazy and I found out that my spouse is probably losing their job!” In these situations, the person who you are complaining to tries to make their complaint even bigger than yours. What’s fascinating about Misery Poker is that people don’t always tell the truth in their complaints. Sometimes, complaints are embellished to make it sound like the person who’s complaining is having a worse time than they actually are.

Since social media has exploded for both business and personal use, the game of Misery Poker is no longer contained to water cooler talk around the office. Now, to simply view or even take part of your own game of misery poker, all you have to do is wake up in the morning and log into Facebook or Twitter. It doesn’t take too long to realize that some of your social media followers or friends could use a good dose of anger management.

When a person posts a complaint on social media, it’s difficult for other people to not chime in. Even people who aren’t known for picking fights over mundane subject matters all of the sudden shed all layers of their shy personality and jump in on the action. It’s pretty fascinating to see the walls come down and the gloves put on when people are sitting behind their computer screens tapping away on their social media accounts. The social media atmosphere has quickly turned into town hall meetings where people get into shouting matches on topic matters ranging from political views, all the way down to parenting techniques, business techniques and even personal relationship problems. In general, most of the things said on social media wouldn’t be repeated in person, which means that you get a good dose of true feelings. When viewing your social media accounts and conversations, you don’t often find yourself asking “tell me how you really feel” because your friends and followers have more than likely already done so. Does social media need anger management? Maybe, but what’s important to remember is that while you watch people play hardball games of misery poker on a daily basis, you shouldn’t be involving yourself in those grueling matches, especially if you own your own business or you want to maintain a professional image online.

Unfortunately, social media privacy controls don’t work very well. The common argument people make when their social media attitude is brought up is that they have their profiles set to private so it’s no big deal. On Twitter, things are more public than Facebook, but another argument people toss out there is that they are sending direct messages, so what’s the harm? The harm is that you’re trusting too many people to do the right thing.

Social media privacy controls don’t work because it’s up to the people who do have access to your information to keep it private. How many people follow you or your business on Facebook? How many people read your blog? How many people do you send direct messages to on Twitter? A few dozen? A few thousand? Now can you honestly say that you trust every single one of them to keep your information and your social media rants private? People are only your friends and followers until they’re not.

That picture of you partying too hard, the angry status update about your mother, that fight you got into with your significant other, that nasty message you left on one of your customer’s Facebook walls…all it takes is a screenshot to make that information public. No fancy software needed, simply the print screen button on any old PC.

While some people have made it a habit to make their social media accounts their personal therapy sessions about everything they’re upset with in the world, as a business owner, a marketer or any sort of professional, it’s essential to not take part in social media arguments or play a few rounds of Misery Poker. You’re professional reputation will thank you for it in the end.

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Posted on March 14th, 2012 by in Facebook Marketing, Internet Marketing, Internet marketing in social media, marketing mistakes, Small Business, Social Media & Networking / Tagged , , , , / Leave a comment

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