Friday, 13 December 2013

Is Venting good for you?



Okay, so we all like a little rant now and again. I'm good with that. It's fine.  It's normal. Isn't it what Facebook is for after all? Something annoys you so you have a little rant and release all that pent up angst and fury.  Keyboard warrior comes rushing to the fore.  Let it all out. It’s good for you.    But is it? 

I’m a member of a forum of which I’m quite active.  A few of the people on the forum are personal friends...well..as much as the internet allows relationships with people you don’t actually know in real life.  A few are also Facebook friends.  I’d posted something on Facebook which I thought was ironic, witty and sardonic.  However, someone to exception to the status and proceeded to lambast all similar posts on social networks on our little home (the forum). 




Now, I’ve taken this a wee bit personally as my status was clearly supposed to be humorous . This particular person waxes lyrical about being pious and saintly yet has the audacity to take others to task over something which is a personal choice.  What followed was a debate about people who don’t send Christmas cards, preferring to donate to “charidee.”   I think the “friend” was more cheesed off with the fact that people were posting it rather than the actual act.  What’s wrong with that?  Isn’t it a personal choice? The “friend” thought it was tacky publishing it for all to see, but isn’t it a way of letting people your FB friends know that you won’t be sending cards to them all?  
"Charidee?  Charity?  Wassat?"


 I send cards but the list has gotten smaller these days.  Relatives dying off; friends moving out of your life; lost addresses.  I used to love writing Christmas cards but now it’s just a chore.   Looking through my Christmas card address book (oh yes, I have one) I see the names of those no longer with us.  It makes me feel sad and it makes me feel vulnerable.  I send cards to people who are important in my life and people who I don’t see as often as I’d like, not to send a card for cards sake.  I send a card to a friend each year in the hope that one day we’ll be friends again; and I send a card to Mrs B down the road, so that she doesn’t think she’s been forgotten.  She’s not on Facebook.

But charity is a choice and there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s nothing wrong in letting people know you won’t be sending them a card, is there? 

One year I sent a card to a friend I hadn’t seen in years. We sent the yearly Christmas card but that was about it.  Soon before Christmas I had a phone call from her. 

  
“Is everything all right?” she asked 
“How lovely to hear from you! Everything's fine. Why?” I replied.   
“It’s just that Connors name wasn’t on the card and I wondered why. “ she said warily.   
“No, Connors fine...but he’s the dog”. 



 
Whilst it might feel good to get it off your chest research has shown that that “venting” could make you less happy and more angry in the long term.  Andrea Weckerle, president of CiviliNation, a nonprofit organization working to reduce online hostility and adult cyberbullying, said "Online hostility is a public health crisis. Lives are destroyed through aggression online,".

Actually, I feel a bit better now...thank you for letting me vent.   And she’s off my Christmas card list!

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