It read like a transcript of a reality television show. I could imagine the voices raised making vicious, hurtful comments. I pictured the arms waving, faces distorted in anger, and soundtrack beeping as the profanity was bleeped out.
I saw the recipient of these comments crumbling in tears, terrified of the rage unleashed against them, and then withdrawing from the group altogether.
The scene actually unfolded silently through a post in a closed group on Facebook, but the emotions were the same as if it had been face-to-face. The repercussions were resounding and widespread. I’m not even sure now whether the comment was meant in the way it was taken, but it had devastating results.
I’ve seen similar things happen before in person, where someone says something in a group that gets others riled up. They speak in the heat of the moment and seem to disregard everyone else in their rant. Sometimes it seems like they enjoy seeing the conflict they create, or maybe they are oblivious to the harm their comments cause.
It makes me just say, “GRRRRR” about the whole situation! It is so unnecessary!
While it happens occasionally in person, it’s more prevalent in social media, where people seem to lose their filters for courtesy and common sense and will say things that I hope they wouldn’t say face to face. Maybe part of it is the fact that it is typed, and you lose the intonation and expression you would have if you were speaking in person.
At any rate, it’s so easy to get caught up in the need to respond and either try to clarify or defend. But that only leads to more snarky comments or heated arguments. Why put yourself in that position?
I find it is usually better to just let things go. Ignore the post online. Just let the person rant. They likely don’t really want feedback other than for you to agree with how wronged they are for this perceived problem and nothing you say will help or change anything.
How do you respond when someone starts a rant online or in person?