Don’t be #petty on social media, communicate your problems

November 08, 2016

Hannah Harvey

hharvey@uccs.edu

     I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders the day I graduated from high school.

     No longer would I have to deal with petty drama from kids who don’t know how to appropriately act in an adult situation.

     I thought once I started attending a university and found my footing in the real world, that the misconduct between students would stop.

     But I’ve found that it’s now trendy to be petty, a hashtag that was started on social media and is now popular among millennials.

     Being petty is for naive, immature high school students who don’t know any better. We’re not in high school anymore, and we shouldn’t present ourselves that way on our social media accounts.

     Where does our kindness and humility go when we decide to be mean? It seems that these skills fall to the wayside when we give into rude behaviors.

     Reflecting on my own actions and witnessing others has forced me to think about how I would want someone to treat me and the people I care about in these situations.

     I understand that being petty is seen as a joke, but you sacrifice respect and kindness when you decide to, for example, out your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend on Twitter for doing something you disagree with. It’s not a behavior that a professional would do.

     Bullying for retweets and likes says to me that you take pride in being a jerk. That’s not something I want to be involved with at all, and you shouldn’t either.

     If you’re truly upset by something that someone else does, communication goes a long way, and I don’t mean in 140 characters or less.

     It’s one thing to share aspects of your personal life on your Twitter, and that’s fine; it goes without saying that this is what many people use the social networking site for.

     But causing drama just for retweets shows your inability to handle a problem like an adult.

     Perhaps part of the problem is how we’re communicating.

     According to the American Press Institute, 88 percent of millennials get their news from Facebook, while 33 percent get their news from Twitter.

     The average 18 to 21-year-old uses 3.7 social networks out of seven platforms asked in the API’s survey.

     This increased use of social media is influencing how we are communicating. It’s easier to log onto Facebook and check your friends’ posts, even comment on them, as opposed to touching base in person.

     When it comes to conflict, it’s easier to sit behind your computer screen, phone or tablet and post something condescending to avoid a conflict so that you don’t have to deal with any of the emotional turmoil involved.

     This method harms more than it helps; being petty causes conflicts that didn’t need to be there in the first place.

     Communicating how you truly feel if you are having a problem and picking your battles as a result is the mature way to handle a conflict.

     Think about how you are representing yourself online. Employers and universities see what you post, and it ma y affect whether you will get chosen for the job.