Whining on Facebook Makes You Look Powerless
Open letters don't accomplish anything: Adam Kirsch
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2014 12:57 PM CDT
In this May 16, 2012 file photo, a Facebook logo is displayed on the screen of an iPad in New York.   (AP Photo/James H. Collins, File)

(Newser) – Spend more than a few minutes on Facebook, and you're sure to see an open letter of complaint posted by one of your friends: "Dear person sitting next to me, Stop smacking your gum." "Dear Spirit Airlines: I F---ING HATE YOU." You get the idea. These open letters are written as fantasies—"the cutting insult, the outraged rebuke, the detailed catalogue of wrongs that we are all mulling over in our heads much of the time"—but really, all they do is make us appear powerless, writes Adam Kirsch in the New Republic.

Think about it: The person or entity to whom you're complaining will, most likely, never actually see the complaint. "This is a form of complaint that accomplishes nothing, that is designed to avoid genuine conflict, which might come about if we actually got up and spoke the words we confide to the keyboard," Kirsch writes. What if we actually did something powerful, rather than passive-aggressive? "What if all those unsent letters were turned into e-mails? It would be an angrier world, but perhaps a more well-adjusted one." Click for his full column.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Whining on Facebook Makes You Look Powerless is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 24 comments
May 11, 2014 2:25 AM CDT
Yea, i see this all the time on facebook and it gets on my nerves cuz there's no use for it at all.
May 10, 2014 11:43 AM CDT
I think it's great for people to have place where they can express stuff they would never say to anyone, including their therapist, and there is a feedback loop. If you say really nasty stuff, or brag about something stupid, you can end up in jail, or friends will censor you. On the other hand, if you say stuff that people like, you can learn how to be inspiring. That seems like a good thing.
May 5, 2014 8:57 PM CDT
Facebook is a loser's way to "escape obscurity" (to a degree).