22 March, 2011

The power of venting.

Pete Wilson wrote a blog this morning and it got me thinking. It was about a negative tweet he read. How many of us use our tweets or our facebook statues as platforms to say whatever we want about who/whatever we want? The problem is whether it's a company's reputation or a person's feelings, it will hurt someone. 

Pete summarizes his thoughts here:

There is an element of power in our words and it’s not accidental. Our Creator has shaped our hearts and souls to be impacted by the words of others.  It’s part of your design.
I’m not even going to pretend to understand this spiritual principle, but you certainly can’t ignore it. The words that come out of our mouth or through our typing fingers float through the air and land on souls impacting the course and direction of their life.
It’s a free country. I love that you can tweet whatever the heck you want to. Just don’t ever think that your words don’t have an impact.
They do.
And more than you could ever imagine. (site)

I know the sting of being a recipient of some fairly harsh tweets. Some people knew the person was talking about me, others did not - but I knew. I knew those hurtful words were directed at me. Words posted in anger, in needing to vent, in being mad at me... But the impact still lingers.

Tony Dungy (I wish I had the book with me) wrote about venting. It feels good for the moment, it gets the steam off, but then you are left with the wake.

The Bible talks about words said in anger, and the tongue being a mighty sword. Isn't that all tweets and status updates are? Instead of my venting or yelling about someone or something to ten of my friends, I can post it on my site and suddenly 1,000s of people can ready why I am mad at _______ or think the service at ____________ stinks.

It's not that you deny that your upset, you just don't say it! Dungy talks about keeping a cool head. Is yelling, screaming, venting, posting a spiteful tweet going to change anything? Probably not. It might just make everything a lot worse.

So take some time and let yourself cool down. If you still want to post about how mad you are then do it, but don't do anything in the moment you cannot honestly stand by the next day.

Trying to learn this lesson myself, I'll let you know how it goes.

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