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Being Cranky

IStock_000005012363XSmall Sometimes you know it is going to be one of those kinds of days. You can't find the right clothes to put on. Your team lost the big game the night before. Or you were up all night with a crying baby. The night passes, you wake up the next morning and you're cranky. We all have days like this – and maybe we fight that crankiness with a slightly larger morning cup of coffee. Or by wasting an hour or two surfing around on YouTube instead of working. Cranky is a state of mind, and when you can get enough time passing – you can generally get over it.

If you happen to have a job that requires you to use social media to engage people online though, cranky can turn into a big problem. If you blog when you're cranky, you end up being "snarky." If you tweet when you're cranky, you end up ranting. Even if your crank-inspired snarks and rants are fun to read for a few moments … that moment is fleeting. Yet while the moment passes quickly, the content remains online forever (or until some freedom-hating supervillian finally perfects a world altering electromagnetic weapon to kill all previously published content on the Internet).

Supervillians aside, the point is that getting cranky online can stick with you for much longer than you imagined it would. And if you engage socially online on behalf of a brand, it can be taken far out of context and cause problems you never anticipated. So amidst the advice you may be reading online about what to blog about and worrying about how to craft the ideal social media strategy to engage your customers, don't forget the most important lesson of all: if you're feeling a bit cranky, skip the blogging or tweeting and just find a few more YouTube videos to watch until you feel better.

PS – I am not cranky (today).

5 thoughts on “Being Cranky”

  1. Good advice, not being in the right mindset to do something and doing it anyway is rarely a good idea, especially when your interacting with customers.

    Before I move into virtual interactions (email, social media, etc) I always make it a point to go have a few real interactions first. I find that talking with people in the morning can really get me into a good mindset for the rest of the day.

  2. It’s smart advice to not let emotions cloud your judgment, not write when your angry and yet.. I’ve written some good posts that were rants. Things written in the heat of the moment, off the cuff can be good because they’re driven by your emotions, because they aren’t canned and sterile.

    ITA there’s no take-backs once you hit “send.” I think the trick is to wait, not hit publish. Take a deep breath, see if you get over the cranky, and above all… see if you’re ok with that post or Tweet living forever. FWIW.

  3. Concur with Davina’s thought about writing good posts in this state. I’m a snarky guy and so appreciate any blogs/tweets/articles that are more authentic, biting, opinionated (even if I disagree, sometimes especially so). As Jim Rome so succinctly puts it – “Have a take. Don’t suck.”

  4. Some of the most powerful posts on our organizational blog have been among the snarkiest, but they were motivated by righteous indignation over some injustice rather than a personal grump. Pouring the snarky frustration out into type is great catharsis, but then it’s always a good idea to take a step back, send it around to a few other sets of eyes, and see if it’s worth making public. Getting a first look at our CEO’s rants can be fabulous internal fodder, even on the occasions we decide to pull back from posting them to our blog; however such restraint is far rarer when using Facebook and Twitter. In those instantaneous forums, it’s far better to heed the advice to stay away until you feel better.


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