What do people get out of rage tweeting/status updates?
I’ve recently been somewhat befuddled by folks who watch something on TV (say, a particular channel or program) and then spend time posting anger filled tweets directed at said TV show. Now, I know there are “media” watchers whose job it is to blog or comment on the program’s quality (or lack thereof). I am not talking about that. In fact, the couple of people I follow who are in that field tend to tweet about them other than in a comical manner. They save their rage/real critiques for their jobs.
No, I am talking about someone like me – an accountant by day with no connection to the industry – spending my time and energy watching something that I clearly do not like and then spewing all those angry thoughts out onto the internet (either via twitter or facebook).
I read those thoughts and immediately pass judgment – not on the program you are criticizing – no, I pass judgment on YOU for being dumb. Or, perhaps for being a deliberate drama addict. You know you don’t like it, so DON’T WATCH. Or, maybe rage-watching is cathartic in some way as was pointed out to me once by a rather trusted and otherwise reasonable friend. OK, I can maybe get that – but the same friend also agreed that SHARING the rage is a mystery. So you choose to wallow in it – why post about it every single time?
Once in a while, maybe, but every single day?
Yeah, not only are you clearly ENJOYING the drama, but making other people enraged is also a thrill for you so – goodbye. In keeping with my own rule of NO DRAMA, I had to start removing people with that habit from my social networks.
However, in a somewhat similar vein, people who spend status updates whining ABOUT what other people post is also tiring. We get it. You don’t like ________ (sports/tv show/talking head/singer etc).
This particularly happens on Sundays as there seem to be equal amounts of love for certain Sunday night TV shows (Downtown Abbey comes to mind, but Mad Men/Dexter…there’s lots on Sunday night I think)…or you really really don’t like pointyball…err….football.
So then, you know what to expect on Sundays, right? Don’t log onto twitter and get yourself all irritated at people tweeting on topics you don’t happen to like. You are free to not like them! I don’t happen to watch any of those TV shows I just listed, but I know lots of my friends do and that they LOVE them. It does not offend/anger/irritate me in any way that they wish to express and share their love of those shows with others as they watch. In fact, that’s kind of the POINT of social media. Just because I personally do not enjoy that topic does not mean I should then spend equal amounts of time raining on their fun.
And now you are thinking – hey – first you are critical of people who rage tweet about TV, now you are telling people NOT to rage at people who tweet about TV. Double standard!
It’s subtle, but not really. In the first group, the hate TV watchers are sharing just that – hate & rage. In the second example, people are having FUN and then you get the haters who rage AT the fun. In both cases what I am lamenting is the people who are spreading anger and irritation on a regular basis.
I get that there is never going to be 100% peace love and understanding. But there should be a balance.
If you don’t like something, don’t watch. Scroll past tweets of people talking & enjoying a topic you don’t happen to like. If those tweets are coming too fast & furious on some particular days, log off. It’s easy to turn the TV or twitter off and avoid the irritation, right? Read a book! Listen to a podcast or music that makes you laugh and smile.
Just don’t knowingly walk into a situation that you KNOW will make you mad and then scream at everyone else about it.
No whining and no gasbags!
I will rise to defend the first group, kind of. There are TV shows out there (*cough*glee*cough*) that I once thoroughly enjoyed. Then, these shows slowly (or suddenly) become something else. Walking away from a television show that you loved is really difficult, so you continue to watch it despite no longer really enjoying the show. Sometimes the show manages to “right the ship” and you’re rewarded for your persistance (I give you the early half of The West Wing’s fifth season as an example). Other times, the show never recovers. The trick is that it’s hard to know which show is going to do what, so you keep watching a show whose internal consistency is so broken that you start to “hate-watch.” You almost start to cheer on the show’s failures, because you want to see how absurd it can go.
This is the experience I had with the above mentioned “Glee.” It seemed to be tailor-made for me, as someone who graduated from high school with 6 credits of choir (two of them show choir). Television high school bares little resemblence to reality, but the show was fun, and I enjoyed it. Then it went off the rails in season one with too many “theme” episodes, but it sort of fixed itself. Then it went off the rails in season two when they decided to write, score and choreograph an entire song the night before a competition. But the early third season recovered with an excellent storyline and musical theatre numbers (the fastest way to my heart), before wildly careening off the rails again. Eventually, I had to make a decision how much more I was willing to let the show put me through. And it came at an episode that was the perfect example of what was excellent and terrible about the show. An amazing portrayal of a gay teen’s attempt to kill himself that was probably the best 10 minutes of drama the show has ever produced, followed by a singing competition that included a Kelly Clarkson song that includes the line “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” The dissonance was so bad, that I knew I couldn’t continue watching the show. (The student getting broadsided by a pick-up truck while texting was only further reason.)
But all through this time, I would say I was guilty of hate-tweeting about this show that I was willingly watching but not enjoying, but it was because I cared enough about what the show could be.
As for the people who spew hate at other people’s tweets about things…Most twitter clients have a mute feature. It’s excellent for escaping the next few hours when someone you otherwise enjoy following is deep in some show you can’t stand.
I absolutely relate to your and agree with your Glee opinions! I guess the only difference is that I stopped tweeting about the show while I watched it as soon AS it started to make my stomach turn which seems like it was about at the same time (a texting accident? Really? and oh look – she walks again! Yeah….). FWIW, I still watch it, but with a lot of fast forwarding. I simply forgot to cancel the DVR before this past season and then, yeah, I hold out hope. It wont last though because I will most likely be canceling my TV service in the summer so there will be no more temptation!
Now, if we all properly used hash tags when we tweet about large events/shows, then I agree this wouldn’t be an issue because you can mute the hash tags – which I have done. BUT….I am guilty of forgetting to use them so I cannot rage at folks for forgetting that too 🙂 And frankly I follow way too many people to try and keep track of who I individually may have muted or not and then to go back and turn off the muting? Way too much work. That’s why I said this is pretty ironic, I know…but my strategy is – hush up with the CONSTANTLY raging against stuff you CHOOSE to watch (have you seen the daily rage-tweets against Morning Joe? Tiring!)
And for nights when folks tweet about a TV show they love – I just scroll faster or, like I said – go read a book. But I’m not going to yell at them Every Damn Time.