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Venting and Social Media

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So there’s something I’ve been wanting to talk about for a long time, but I worry it might touch a nerve for a lot of those reading. So here it goes!

We as a whole, as a community (furries) need to stop venting so much on social media. Now before anyone gets defensive, please know, this is coming from a place of experience. I used to vent constantly on Twitter. On a private mind you, but it’s not really about if it’s private or not.

Basically I see it like this. When all you do all day is sit on Twitter or Facebook or whatever, and just talk about how rough your life is, how something upset you, etc, you’re just making a stew for you to sit in. You’re making it a habit and it’s a hard one to break. You just constantly sit there and surround yourself with reminders of how unhappy you are. Plus, when you spend an abnormal amount of time voicing your displeasure, you end up getting addicted to it. It’s so easy to keep doing when you’re used to it. Not to mention it becomes a cycle when you get positive feedback from followers who wish you well. It might feel good to see your followers reach out with warm wishes and offers to help, but it’s not healthy to constantly seek this attention.

I see this constantly from over 100 people I follow over on Twitter, and that’s just on one site. It’s gotten to the point where I debate unfollowing a lot of people I really enjoy just because it’s bad for my mental health to be surrounded by it. That’s the other thing; you really alienate people when all you do is put out negativity. Sure, there will always be people who stick with you through everything, but you could end up losing a lot of fans and even close friends. The matter of the fact is, people don’t really enjoy seeing others vent their frustrations, especially when it’s done daily. (more about this at the end) This is moreso true when your account is mostly dedicated to art or content of some sort. Think of it like standing there awkwardly when your friend fights with their parents in front of you.

The other thing that it does is it normalizes it for others. Sure, you might think you’re justified in calling yourself dumb or saying your art sucks. But honestly, you’re wrong and you need to stop saying these things. Not only is it not helping yourself, but you’re telling other people it’s okay to hate themselves. How would you feel if your best friend, your significant other, your loved ones all started saying that about themselves? I bet you’d tell them to stop. Tell them it isn’t true. But when all you do is say that stuff about yourself, people will start believing it and others will start thinking it’s normal to hate themselves. I mean heck, look no farther than Facebook. They did a study to see if they prioritized negative posts on people’s feeds if it would change how they interacted with the site. Turns out not only did they find people using the site more, but they found that people were becoming more negative and posting more negative content. Luckily it goes both ways though. Turns out, when people are positive, it’s contagious and leads to more positivity.

When I was first introduced to the furry fandom, no one I knew belittled their art. Slowly over the years though, I saw people starting to voice their doubts. Then voicing doubts slowly turned into pure hatred for their art. It was everywhere. I couldn’t meet a single artist that didn’t have to give the fake “Oh, my art’s not that good.” line upon complimenting them. I genuinely believe people only do this because every other artist they met did it to them. Humans are designed to follow the norms they’re presented, and I’m starting to see this with the way people handle their online spaces.

Now obviously I hope you all know that I’m not saying venting is a bad thing to do. It’s healthy to do every so often. But you guys really need to stop posting it for all to see and making it a problem for your followers. Sure it’s totally normal and fine to express anxieties and displeasure to your followers here and there. Maybe your bills are overdue, and you need to express this to take some commissions. Maybe a pet passed away and you want everyone to know you’re not down to socialize right now. Stuff like that is fine and normal! But when you tweet more than several times a week about how miserable you are, you need to make some changes. Sitting in your own misery helps no one and at that point, it’s not venting, it’s an addiction to being unhappy.

I used to be this person. I used to air out every issue, every depressive episode I had. All it did was make me more miserable. I was always eager to tell the world just how sad I was and how hard life is. It just made the way I was feeling worse. When I finally decided enough is enough, I started to feel better. I’ve since really improved my life and I no longer feel as depressed as I used to, and people notice. I’ve made more friends, I’ve become more productive, and I’ve gotten better at art.

On top of quitting my addiction to sad posting, I also started being more active, eating better (I try haha) and I got a therapist. Everyone needs a therapist. I got mine for free on the most basic of Medical. There are therapists out there that are free and will help you. Even if you just need someone to vent to. And trust me, I know what it’s like to be so depressed that you can barely get out of bed, let alone schedule a therapist. But you only need to do it once. Here’s a great site for getting started.

Anyways, rant over. Seriously, love yourself. And if you can’t do that, at least stop sad posting constantly. You’ll find yourself improving. Actually, maybe just limit your time on social media to a few minutes a day. Shit’s toxic!

And remember. People love you and care about you, even if they don’t always say it. Learn to reach out and ask for help when you need it. Take time to let people know you care about them, even your followes. Put positivity into the world and you’ll get it back. Do these things and you’ll find yourself not only feeling better, but finding yourself surrounded by others who care.

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