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!