I recently saw this tweet and it immediately got my “devil’s advocate” juices flowing. I often like to look at the flip side of an idea, even when I agree with it, as it often creates content worthy of discussion.
Yup your day is hard; some of your followers have it HARDER. Complaining about little things magnifies their hardships. Quit complaining!
— Social Media Belles (@BelleStrategies) July 24, 2014
While I actually agree, for the most part, with the message and premise of the tweet, it got me thinking, and prompted this article! This is in no way a “slam” on the tweet. It stirred up an idea – and that’s exactly what items shared via social media are meant to do! No ideas = no discussion, meaning there’s no reason to post and share at all.
Back on topic. Consider that one of the main concepts behind smart and savvy social media connection and conversation is “being human.” As humans, things irk us. Irritate is. Makes us go for the “SMH” acronym.
Most of the time these irritations are pretty little in the scheme of things. But they’re part of what makes us human. Part of what drives the emotions and thought processes that make us sentient beings.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t smile and laugh 24-7-365. Mistakes are made, glitches and outages arise and irritations of many sizes are part of the daily running of our business. Sometimes apps or social media platforms go down, your computer crashes before you’ve saved your work, or your business partner bugs the crap out of you.
Clients, too, can create irritations. As I’m not a mind reader, I know it’s a little frustrating when I get vague design direction from a client. Deadlines sometimes pass through no fault of our own when clients don’t deliver content or other needed items. And sometimes clients are slow to pay, for whatever reason. Those situations don’t normally bring a smile to my face. How about yours?
If we consider that it’s often the little things, the daily details that help flesh out our personality – what make us uniquely us, then it stands to reason that those little things make those around us their unique and special selves, too … right? And each day we all face our own unique tasks, issues, celebrations and more.
Consider the oft-used phrase, “Caring IS Sharing.” If we dig a little deeper into that, beyond the sharing of an article link to the sharing of an idea, it stands to reason that, when we’ve made a real connection, built a real relationship, we care about those things good and bad, big and small, complaints and celebrations.
It’s social to commiserate or sympathize when someone in our circle shares a complaint that resonates with us. We have likely felt the same irritations, voiced the same complaints. You can take anything too far, and you NEVER want to come across as someone who constantly complains and finds no joy in life or business. But, life and business aren’t pretty, pink and perfect all of the time. Shades of gray and blocks of black sometimes cloud the more positive color of our activities and interactions. We’re not alone. Sometimes the act of commiserating and empathizing creates even deeper connection.
Of course our minor daily foibles might not gel with someone facing a serious life crisis. I think it really depends on how you share that complaint. There’s a reason that the article title uses the phrase “careful complaints,” as, when carefully crafted, our posts can often add humor and understanding to the things that are only human.
What do you think? Can you share a complaint carefully in a way that generates conversations and build connections. Or do complaints always drive people away?