You’ve had a bad day. Your boss was unreasonable, your colleagues were unsupportive, and when you gave a presentation during a monthly meeting, you found someone snoring at the back of the room. You get home, fed up. You’ve worked really hard, and for what? No one understands you. Your fingers, almost as if on their own volition, move furiously across your iPhone.
“Sick of working my ass off when no one else does the same! Can’t stand this shit anymore!”
You hit post. Friends gives you likes and comments.
“Chin up! You’re a strong person!”
“Oh dear, yeah, I can’t stand lazy people too!”
“Who’s the bitch that’s doing this to you?”
You feel better. You feel understood. You feel validated. You go to sleep, convinced your feelings are vindicated.
The next day, your boss compliments you about your presentation and says she found the analysis enlightening. One of your unsupportive colleagues makes a joke about the guy who was snoring at your presentation, but tells you that he’s always sleeping anyway and you presented well. You feel better at work, happier. You think, hey, maybe it’s not so bad after all.
A week later, the situation changes again. You can’t put your finger on it, but the air in the office has changed. People aren’t as friendly to you. There’s a distance. And then you find out, someone has shared your posting. But, but, you thought you didn’t have anyone at work on your Facebook. Too bad. Damage done. There’s no backpedalling out of this.
The above is merely an example of what could happen when you vent about work on social media. I’ve seen many worse cases – the worst, being a girl put on indefinite leave from her job for something she wrote on her social media. I felt quite bad for the girl in this case, because she hadn’t been expressing any dissatisfaction about her job but was commenting on the country’s political situation and her unhappiness with it. Oops. Wrong move. The whole thing snowballed, and her company got dragged into politics. Company had to distance themselves from the drama, and she disappeared for a while.
That was an extreme case, but venting about your job on social media usually just comes back and bites you in the ass. Yes, there is a temporary validation you might feel, but you’re giving off the impression of being a whiner, a complainer and an attention seeker. Your complaints might be perfectly justified, but it can come across the opposite. People who aren’t even the target of your complaints might even think you’re talking about them.
It doesn’t matter even if you don’t have colleagues on your social media. In today’s day and age, as long as it’s up, it’s up, and it can never be taken back. Not every single one of your friends on your social media networks are supportive and rooting for your success. All you need is one, tiny trouble causer to stir up a little drama. Don’t give them that ammunition! Don’t allow them that power.
So remember, if you’ve had a bad day at work, don’t vent on social media. Vent to your friends. Vent to your family. Vent to (extremely trusted) colleagues. It’s equally cathartic, and without the consequence of a Facebook post going wrong.