My Wife’s Epic Rant on Social Media
When my wife said a few weeks ago that she quit Facebook, I knew it wasn’t going to last long.
I didn’t want to say that to her face. After all, I didn’t want to seem negative. If I’d said my wife couldn’t stay off social media, I might have been accused of not supporting my wife. You can support somebody and still not believe they are going to be successful. In fact, that’s when a person needs support the most.
My wife still continued reading Facebook, even after she said she had “quit.” That was a bad sign. To me, quitting means you stop participating in an activity altogether. By reading Facebook, she was still using social media. In my mind, she had no chance.
Even though she had “quit” social media, my wife still talked to me about the political discussions on Facebook that were going on. She would show me stupid things that other people wrote and told me why they were stupid. She didn’t need to tell me. Even when I agreed with the political position of the stupid comment, I still knew why the comment was stupid.
I disagree with my wife on a lot of political issues. Fortunately, our lifestyle values are in sync. We just disagree about how much government should get involved. If you frame the discussions like that, you can have reasonable disagreements. But if you let the political get personal, then it gets messy.
One evening this past week, I could hear the furious tapping of fingers on the keyboard from the den. I knew it was my wife. My oldest daughter can type quickly too, but there is no anger when she pounds the keyboard, even when she’s angry about her writing. I peeked into the den and saw a giant block of writing that filled the computer screen. I coughed as I approached my wife from behind, but she didn’t say anything.
“You can separate that into smaller paragraphs, you know,” I said, pointing at the screen.
“Leave me alone,” she said.
I understood. I hate being interrupted when I write, so I left.
I warned my daughters in the living room. One was watching television, and the other was on her tablet. “Your mother is composing a rant. You probably should get your homework done before she’s finished.”
45 minutes later, my wife came into the bedroom where I was reading On Writing by Stephen King. I’d never read it, but every writer says that every writer should read it. I was finishing the section where Stephen King writes about what inspired the idea for Carrie.
“Do you want to read my rant?” my wife asked, but it wasn’t a question.
“Did you break it up into paragraphs?”
“Have you posted it yet?”
“Proofread it first.”
When I sat down at the computer, I noticed her word count was over 2,000 words. She had probably done all of that in just over an hour.
“You could write for James Patterson,” I said, impressed.
It was a political rant, though, so I won’t get into the details. I disagreed with most of it, but that wasn’t my issue. I disagree with most political writing. I don’t care what other people think about politics anymore, but they don’t care what I think either, so we’re even.
My wife used too many words in her epic rant. She made a bunch of ad hominem attacks. She assumed evil intentions for normal political behavior. She stereotyped a bunch of people, even though she’s against stereotyping.
“This is good,” I said. “But you might want to wait a few hours before you post it.”
“Nobody waits on Facebook,” my wife said. After I left, she posted it.
An hour later, my wife gave me her phone so that I could read the aftermath. A blogger I’d never heard of published the rant, and we got a kick out of that. My wife also suggested I publish her rant here on Dysfunctional Literacy, but I don’t even publish my own political rants, and I usually agree with myself. A bunch of people commented on her rant on Facebook, and she got a lot of negative feedback too.
Some guy who lives 1200 miles away said he was going to drive down here and kick my wife’s ass. I was concerned, but my wife said the guy drinks too much and that if he actually tried to drive down here, he probably wouldn’t make it. Despite all the vitriol aimed at her, she seemed relaxed as she watched a fitness competition later that night. Few things are more satisfying than an epic rant.
“You’re not going to respond to any of this?” I asked after I had scrolled through the comments thread of her rant.
“The ranter should never respond to comments,” she said. “It dilutes the rant.”
Yesterday, my wife ran a 5K, and a bunch of people who had argued with my wife on Facebook were there. They posted pictures of themselves embracing and smiling, and everybody seemed to be enjoying the runners’ camaraderie. Nobody mentioned the politics. If they did, I couldn’t tell. The guy who lives 1200 miles away wasn’t there.
My wife is back on social media again. I think it’s going to be a long political season. We’ll see how many times she quits social media before the political season is over.
What do you think? Should a ranter respond to comments? When a friend offends you in a rant, how long does it take before you forgive/forget? How long should you wait before posting a rant?
If you’re too polite to rant (or even if you rant on a regular basis), then you’ll probably enjoy…
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