Image by Rain
So why do serial complainers lose credibility on and offline?
We all know these people, the kvetch or worse, the troll, the person that always brings a storm cloud whenever they discuss an issue.
Publicly everyone listens, privately they get dismissed on the back channel as a hater or worse. Eventually, people stop listening all together.
The title alone is the answer, specifically, repeat complaining.
In social communities the consistent malcontent becomes the equivalent of the boy who cried wolf. In fact, if the malcontent goes so far as to hurt others, they breed a form of reciprocity that no one really wants to see, vengeance.
A German study from the Institute for the Study of Labor shows that negative acts create a similar responsive reciprocity, a willingness to harm those who previously acted against the surveyed individual.
Image by Anonymous
There is a lot wrong with the online space. Heck, make that with the world. It is really easy to pick apart people, industries and society. But in the end, a constant anti-attitude really sucks, and it gets boring, too. What works better and makes life interesting is providing a solution.
Running counter current has its values, it certainly causes people to view things in a new light… Initially. But if there’s no substance or path towards a better answer, the “anti” simply becomes a malcontent. At that point, why bother complaining? No one will listen anyway.
For example, there’s a lot wrong with social media marketing, including an oft ridiculed influencer bubble. But if we as a collective group of unsatisfied industry members don’t provide answers and show different directions and possible outcomes, then we’ve done nothing better than become yet another arm chair cowboy/girl with a negative opinion. And which is worse, creating bad practices, or whining about them while doing nothing to better the situation?
When anti social media is tied to personal or organizational profiteering, anti moves at light speed from punk to poser. Especially, when you use the exact same tools and methods to promote yourself. If you want to be anti then walk the talk, or you will be seen as hypocritical.
Point out a problem? Fine, then provide a solution. But anti for the sake of being anti has gotten really tired in record time.
P.S. If you hate this post feel free to flame away on the Geoff Livingston Anti-Fan Page. :)