Hegde: Stop spamming me with negativity

Spams, finstas, and alternate Instagram accounts are becoming an excuse to constantly post what people know they shouldn’t share.


Suchaeta Hegde, Opinions Columnist

“The first thought that goes through your mind is what you have been conditioned to think; what you think next defines who you are.” Perhaps this quote was found during an aimless scroll through Tumblr; however, I find that it applies to how we think today. I have found, though, that social media have turned the tables on what we think is OK to say. The fact has always been that social media allow people to feel like they have a virtual wall protecting them from the consequences of their actions online. That being said, spam accounts are a new breed.

These private accounts are usually hidden from the public world, reserved for close friends; the main point of spam accounts is to have a place where the not-so-perfect moments of life can be shared, the moments that most social-media accounts usually extravagantly present. However, what I have watched is a devolution of proper social conduct. Sure, there are the handful of friends who I enjoy hearing from, with spams filled with funny stories and awkward occurrences. On the other hand, there are always those who treat their spams like their diary and it shows. A stream of negative content is not what anyone needs, especially when that negative content is only relevant to the person posting. Of course, I understand the need to vent; all need to speak their feelings — I am just inquiring whether ranting on a social-media page is the way people would want to spill their feelings.

Spams are the place that people seem to think they can say whatever they want. The logic seems to be “only my friends follow me, so it isn’t like I have to be worried about what I say.” From outright insulting people to admitting problematic views without a second thought, social-media spams are quickly becoming a pool of feelings that people would have kept to themselves otherwise. Yes, your friends follow you, but would all of them want to see this side of you?

Spams are the place that people seem to think they can say whatever they want. The logic seems to be “only my friends follow me, so it isn’t like I have to be worried about what I say.”

Negativity bias is a theory that indicates that negativity has a stronger effect on people’s brains than positivity. From social media to news outlets, our brains are being overwhelmed with information, and often it is clear that there is plenty in the world that needs to be improved.

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Now, adding to that negativity are some well-meaning friends who appear to have no filter on what they think is acceptable to say to an audience. There is a difference between mentioning that it has been a rough day and using three posts to blame your bad day on the people in your life. Not only does this elevate the problem, but it also is overwhelming to read through as a follower — no one wants to unfollow their close friend’s account.

I have watched spam accounts cause more problems than solve them. I have seen individuals find out that a friend is mad at them through a post on a finsta; at that point, wouldn’t it have been better to settle the matter in private? It is easy to feel angry in the moment, but usually, your mood improves, and you can admit you reacted harshly. In the case of venting on social media, a few hours can mean your whole following knows the full details of the situation — and many times, will find it hard to forget and move on, even if you have reached that point. Venting may seem like a release at the time, but at what consequence?