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Blogger thoughts: Is it ok to be negative online?

March 22, 2018

Recently i’ve been thinking about the online world, about blogging and about negativity.

As a social media manager, one of the first things I was taught (whether it right or wrong) was to never be negative on Social Media, as well as avoiding politics and religion.

Now for businesses, I can understand that to an extent this is true.

But what about when it comes to personal profiles? Should we apply the same rules?

We’ve all heard that phrase ‘Instagram is a highlights reel’, but what I want to know is why? Why is it people only chose to share the positives in their lives?

One thing I think we’re all guilty of, is worrying about what people think. And this is nothing knew. At some point in our lives whether it’s a common occurrence or not, we’ve all thought about how other people see us, and in Social Media I think it can be even easier to do.

Imagine you’ve had one of those days where you’re on third day hair, you’re feeling a bit knackered, and you’ve ended up bursting into tears because you saw a cat getting bullied on a T.V advert. It’s ok, we’ve all been there.

Now imagine you’ve been on a day out with your friends, dressed up fancy, and spent the day drinking cocktails and constantly laughing.

Which are you most likely to talk about on your social profiles?

9 times out of 10, the answer would be the second one.

Something I know i’m guilty of, and i’m sure others are too, is worrying that our followers don’t want to see the negatives in our lives. Do they really care if we’ve done nothing all day and had a bit of a crappy one? Will they unfollow us if we moan?

I wanted to get some thoughts from other bloggers on this, so I spoke to a few of my blogging besties and here’s what they said about whether it’s ok to be negative online:

“It’s definitely okay to be negative on social media sometimes as life isn’t always perfect and we all get our bad days. Expressing our feelings on those days makes us more relatable and coming online to rant about it might actually help.. If I’ve tweeted about having a bad day quite a few people tweet me back and it’s always made me feel better. As long as you’re not being negative towards anyone online I do think it’s okay to share some negative stuff.” @kiirstenjones

“If social media influencers and bloggers constantly act like they are living the dream with the most perfect life, it’s going to be detrimental to the younger generation and actually, anyone who is watching and is perhaps not living a life as ‘full’ as the person they follow. These types of comparisons is what leads to mental health issues, and is that what we really intended when we posted about our ‘perfect morning routine’? Once in a while we should show the failures and the imperfections to show others that we are REAL” @fessjarmer

“I think that people should feel free to express negative thoughts on social media once in a while because life isn’t sunshine and rainbows. Everyone experiences a cloudy day. By expressing themselves as how they are feeling, it is much more REAL rather than faking positivity because people expect you to be 100% positive vibes” @steph_vivienne

“I feel sometimes we worry that if we aren’t positive all of the time, people will get fed up with our tweets, even if this isn’t true! Although that being said, I do feel I can be more honest on social media about my feelings during the day than I can when I meet people I know.” @JessicaCantell

One thing that’s become really apparent when reading these responses, is that fact that we all have concerns about the outcomes when being negative on social media.

When thinking about our own content, we worry about sharing the low points in case our followers get bored, but then we contradict ourselves because we want the people we follow to be more relatable, more real.

For me, it’s all about balance. As well as seeing your highlights, I want to get to know you, I want to see what else goes on in your life, even if you’re having a boring day. Seeing you in your pjs with a cup of tea is relatable, and shows me you’re just as much a ‘normal’ gal.

I like to think i’m a pretty positive person, in real life and online, because that’s just the type of person I am. And honestly, i’m not going to follow accounts that constantly moan or bitch, because it doesn’t interest me. But to be honest, who would?

Ultimately though, I think it IS ok for us to be negative online, as long as we have balance. And that’s not me trying to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, I just think it’s what will come most naturally to us as we face the ups and downs of life.

If you’re having a bad day, chances are people are only going to want to help you feel better, rather than just unfollowing you, and in the end you will be building a stronger connection with your community and followers.

So maybe negative is the wrong word?

Is it about us being real and admitting there are times where we’re not feeling our best, or are just not doing anything particularly ‘Instagramable’?

I think so.

Do you think it’s ok to be ‘negative’ online? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Esther xo


26 responses to “Blogger thoughts: Is it ok to be negative online?”

  1. It’s definitely okay to be negative online occasionally, especially in a non-business capacity! And I think it’s important to show that side if you’re in the creative medias, or ‘famous’ as a blogger/singer/actor/similar, because there is that perception that these are the jobs that are 100% happy and 100% fulfilling. But every job has its downfalls, stresses and frustrations. And it’s important for our own mental health to acknowledge when life isn’t as great, rather than just pretending it is. Constant moaning is detrimental, but I think acknowledging the bad is a good thing.

  2. Rachael says:

    I agree with your thought that we need to show the good and bad in our lives. But I see that more as being realistic. When I think of “being negative” online, I generally assume you are talking about tearing other people down. I’m fine with people posting about their bad day and showing the not so perfect side of life. But I see so many people on twitter who are just bringing down other people. I think there is a fine line, and we should be very careful about “being negative” about other people. If it’s unkind, it’s best to leave it unsaid.

    • Esther Wyse says:

      Absolutely, I think it’s all about balance! I completely agree there is no place online for nastiness or bringing people down and I will always try and block that sort of thing out. Thank you for your comment Rachael it’s really interesting to hear your thoughts x

  3. very interesting post! I`ve been thinking about this lately and I believe it`s okay to let people know you`re having a bad day, because everyone knows that nobody has only good days in their lives. it`s weird how despite knowing that, many of us act like nothing. I also believe that we shouldn`t necessarily share ups and downs just to show the younger generation a more realistic picture of what life is like. I think we should do it simply because it`s normal.

    • Esther Wyse says:

      Thank you for your comment, I totally agree and think like some of the other bloggers in the post and you have mentioned, it’s so important to show the younger generation that life isn’t always perfect! Absolutely, that way we aren’t pretending life is anything it isn’t 🙂 x

  4. Interesting read! I actually have been trying to more positive this week, just in general, so that spills into my Twitter feed. Just like if a friend is constantly a downer and isn’t making progress towards a more adjusted life, it can get old sometimes. This is keeping in mind that a serious mental health problem doesn’t already exist. I think we need to be careful about posting a “trying situation” just to get attention. That can be dangerous as well. I am still trying to understand mental health (good or bad) as a whole, so maybe my views will adjust as I learn more. 😀

    • Esther Wyse says:

      Thank you so much for your comment, there are some really interesting points there, and I think it’s really interesting to hear that since being positive in life that’s reflected onto your Twitter feed – I can imagine that feels pretty good! I think it’s all about balance and I completely agree we all need to be well educated about mental health to understand how that reflects online. Thank you for your comment!

  5. Great post and I agree with your points to a certain extent.
    Although I can see where the ‘highlights reel’ can be potentially negative, I often see blogs as a form of escapism.
    After a long day at work, getting shouted at by customers or whatever, it’s nice to sit and read about a great cafe someone went to or a post about wellness.
    I think it’s all relative to the reader, there’s not really a one size fits all.

    R x

  6. This was a great post! I understand where you are coming from. I usually am more positive and uplifiting on my Instagram (Realizing this now), but on my blog and twitter, I am more real, so if I’m not feeling so hot, I don’t want to be a debbie downer, but at the same time, I like to remind my followers that it’s okay to not feel great. To feel down, anxious, alone, sad, etc. I guess this answers your question though. I think it’s okay to show how you’re truly feeling. Like you said, not everything is a highlight reel! Again, Great post xxx

    Melina |

    • Esther Wyse says:

      I’m so glad you liked the post and I completely agree with what you’re saying I am the same. On Instagram i’m usually more positive and I guess on Twitter we post more so are more likely to show a range of feelings? It’s a bit of a funny one really! Thank you for your comment it’s great to hear others thoughts about it! xx

  7. aimeehodge says:

    I love this post!! Its all about keeping it real in life both on & off social media 💭✨

  8. fessjarmer says:

    Loved this Esther ☺️ It definitely something we forget about when posting online. Definitely going to try harder to show more of the real me 😂 x

  9. Zoë says:

    I think sharing the good and bad in life is excellent, but I wouldn’t necessarily classify the bad as negative. When I think of negative, I think more of someone b*tching about someone else online, and it is that sort of thing I hate. Its pointless, and gets you no where. Sharing however that you fell out with a friend and are upset is completely different. Same sort of situation, but how you deal with it determines what connotation it has with it. (if that makes any sense?) I love people who share the good and the bad, but as soon as they put someone else down (without even naming) they lose my interest. I am not into that sort of negativity! Great post, and I definitely agree with your points! xx

    • Esther Wyse says:

      It makes complete sense and I totally agree. I’m absolutely not interested in drama and bitching but I am interested in peoples lives and that includes the natural ups and downs of life. I am so with you! Thank you so much for your comment and for reading lovely – it’s great to hear everyones thoughts! xx

  10. Hello!
    This is a great read! I really like that you’ve gathered different opinions as well as sharing your own.
    One of my very first posts was about feeling homesick on my university placement year and coming home early, not to put down everyone’s amazing experiences, but to show anyone out there in the same boat that it’s okay to be homesick. I wasn’t trying to share negative vibes, rather I was trying to reach out and potentially help anyone experiencing the same feelings. For that reason, I agree that it’s okay to share your boring day rather than putting on a front for your social media friends/following but by the same token, I try to share positive vibes often because looking on the bright side helps me through the dull days!
    It is certainly about striking the balance and being real, in my opinion.
    Hope you’ve had a nice Monday x

    • Esther Wyse says:

      Hi there, thank you for your lovely comment! It sounds like a really interesting post and i’m sure your readers really appreciated the honesty. I think so too, balance is the most important thing and I think people appreciate people being real on social. Thank you so much for reading and commenting and I hope you’ve had a great day xx

  11. […] She tells you about her favourite beauty products, or shows you the fabulous bits she’s been sent, but also keeps it real. If she’s having a down day or not feeling motivated she will come on and chat about it, and I think that’s something to be seriously admired. Being real on social media is something not a lot of us can honestly say we do, so I think it’s important to show some of these moments. (i’ve recently written a little post about being ‘real’ online, which you can find here) […]

  12. Em says:

    This is such a good post, with many valid points raised!
    For me, I think negative post after negative post, it would get a bit gloomy, but balance is important. No one has a perfect life all the time (no matter what their Insta might suggest) and I think its important to enforce that its totally normal! I think balancing the good with the bad makes you far more of a ‘human’.

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