Your health
Anger and social media

By Buck Black, LCSW, LCAC

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and all other social media make communicating so much easier. I really enjoy using these sites, and they are the best way to communicate with large numbers of people. Drivers love using social media to keep up with friends and family while on the road, as well as keep up on the trucking industry and the world in general.

In spite of all the positives, there is a downside to social media: the ability to broadcast angry thoughts instantaneously. To top it off, these angry messages are for the entire world to see and are archived on the internet forever.

Often, these arguments appear to be between two people, and they forget that others are able to see the messages. Would these two people really have such an argument in front of a huge crowd of people who can hear every word? The distance of the written word and the fact that, in many cases, the individuals have never met in person, is a recipe for sending messages that will likely be regretted.

Although anger’s appearance in social media is one major problem, another is excessive use. Balance is a good thing. If you are spending hours a day on social media, this is likely too much. When things become out of balance, anger as well as other negatives such as rudeness, pettiness or simply inappropriate statements, can come to the forefront. Remember, social media is supposed to enhance your life, not add stress or complicate it. When social media is no longer fun or you feel so compelled to use it to the extent that your life is being interrupted, it is time to take a step back.

Aside from social media, I frequently see yet another problem related to anger and instantaneous communication: couples who text angry messages. Again, texting allows a person to convey a message immediately. When a person is angry, they are not logical. Therefore, any means of instant communication is very dangerous when in the hands of an angry person.

Remember, social media was designed to bring people closer and be enjoyable. For many, this holds true. Make sure you are using social media with care and it will be a great tool. You are a professional driver, so show the world that you are a true professional by having a positive online presence. Don’t forget, your next employer will be checking your posts! LL

Buck Black is a licensed clinical social worker therapist who specializes in helping truckers and their families with anger and stress management, as well as depression and relationship problems. He does this over the phone, and Skype at TruckerTherapy.com. This column is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Land Line Magazine or its publisher. Please remember everyone's health situation is different. If you have questions regarding medical issues, consult your personal physician.