One of my worst habits, and also one of my favorite, is angry tweeting. I especially love angry tweeting when I feel let down by someone/something I trusted. This probably makes you think I’m subtweeting my frenemies all the time, but first of all, I’m way too old to have frenemies (or also too young, I suppose) and second of all, no. I’m talking about clothing companies – well, at least 90% of the time.
Sometimes I’ll also angry tweet about airlines – airlines love to let us down, don’t they? Amtrak has gotten a few angry tweets and don’t even get me started on my Uber tweets. Basically, any transportation companies are fair game in my mind.
The last thing I really love to angry tweet about? People who think general civility is completely unnecessary to them. You know, those people who walk down the sidewalk smoking in the wind, ruining everyone’s life? Or the people who lean over the sneeze guards at Chipotle or the people who behave as if they are literally the only people in the world? Those people SUCK.
So something bad happens to me – either Rent the Runway screws up my order YET AGAIN or Loft loses my sweater dress that I got on sale for $35 and really, really want or someone leans on a pole during rush hour making me have to reach for the tall pole even though, hi, I’m short– and I just go nuts on Twitter. Well, most of the time.
See, almost every single time I angry tweet, I regret it within 25 minutes; the exception to this rule is of course, Rent the Runway, who I will hate with a fiery passion until the day I die. But most of the time, after 10 minutes or so, my heart will stop racing and I’ll stop thinking that everyone in the world is an insufferable monster hell-bent on ruining my life. I’ll stop ranting and move on, especially if my really, quite annoyingly calm fiancé is with me and is totally chill and looking at me like maybe I’ve lost my mind. Then, I’ll open my Twitter account, having seemingly blacked out the time I was angrily typing away, and be horrified to see my childish temper tantrums on display for everyone in the world to see (okay, yeah, I know a tweet last 40 seconds, digital people).
Oh my gosh, everyone is going to think I’m insane. Oh no, they’re going to remember some time I was for-play ranting at a party about how people piss me off when they are snobs about the Kardashians. (Really, you guys- stop being snobs. It’s not a good look.) They’re going to think this is what I always am! This certifiable yelling lady who gets mad at a clothing rental company, for crying out loud (you can burn in hell, Rent the Runway).
So then 90% of the time, I delete my tweets, but I’m not dumb. Deleting tweets is lame, y’all and I so know it. UGH people probably already saw it and what if they have Tweetdeck like literally every other person in the world or what if literally no one cares but me but now I’m obsessing? WHY DID I HAVE TO YELL ABOUT THAT STRANGER ON TWITTER? I’M SO EMBARRASSING.
This happens every time (except for my tweets to you, Rent the Runway –you deserve every one). Why do I do it if I regret it so much? And why do I regret it so much? Probably, my mom and my best friend are the only people who even saw it.
Well, honestly, I regret it so much because I start spiraling, thinking about what it is to yell your feelings all the time. I’m not about to go on some anti-millennial rant about how social media is making everyone think we want to hear their opinion about everything, when no, we actually don’t. First of all, I am a millennial, so no. Second of all, uh, I have a blog, so clearly I am down with people sharing their thoughts/placing value on their own stories/believing their voice has a right to be heard.
But I do often think, why do I have the right to be yelling at people, especially strangers? They may never hear me (they won’t, because it’s on the internet and not actually to their face), but why do I have to react to things that are small injustices with such vitriol? And if I feel so personally offended by people being inconsiderate jerks, why do I think I’ll make it any better by yelling into a void about the people who’ve wronged me?
The answer is, every time, that I never feel better, really. Instead, I feel silly and sad and like I sunk to the level of the people who outraged me in the first place.
There’s this great Nora Ephron lesson that she teaches us in You’ve Got Mail. Of course, there are so many lessons in You’ve Got Mail (for real- watch it more closely), but the one I mean is how Kathleen Kelly learns both how to speak the mean things in her mind (that are totally right!) and then, more importantly, how to show restraint in the face of rudeness.
I so wish we could all, but especially me, learn how to show a little more restraint. We are not each uniquely entitled to yell about stuff that annoys us. Sure, we all can! But wouldn’t we be a better person, a better citizen, if we asked ourselves what kind of energy we are putting into the universe? Are my words making things better or making things worse? Is this really something I need to speak out on (like people being racist or sexist) or is this something totally random and inconsequential and most likely unintentional? Is this something I will have been proud to have said in 20 minutes, in a week, in a year (ugh, Timehop, you big shame spiral)?
Let us always remember what queen Nora taught us- whatever anything is, it should start off by being personal. Really, she means much bigger things than tweeting, but if there’s anything social media could use, it’s people remembering that everything they say is personal to someone. And that restraint in the face of frustration actually feels SO. MUCH. BETTER.
No more angry tweeting you guys – okay? The universe will thank us.