In my own mind, I’m a passive, fairly gentle person 98% of the time. In the minds of others, I’m in-between “snaps.”
What do I mean by snaps?
Well, that’s what happens when you’re faced with a situation or person that has worked your final nerve. The end result is a verbal smack-down of some sort, usually followed by a return to business as usual.
If you’re constantly in the presence of annoying situations, trolling idiots, and other things seemingly designed to get to you specifically, you’ll find that you snap a lot. And on stan Twitter, there’s almost a kind of culture built around these kinds of reactions.
For instance, those who find irrelevant comments by obvious trolls with 1 retweet and zero likes and then make a big thing of going off on them.
This is what I call “snapping for snapping’s sake.”
I’m not a snap-for-snap’s-sake kind of person; the quickest way to piss me off is to start picking on one of my mutuals. I rarely get mad about anything anyone does to me directly, but I’m almost possible about 95% of my snaps all started with something having to do with a mutual or one of my followers.
These days, I’m much more interested in sharing content and ideas that help and encourage others than sitting around complaining and going off on people. Even so, I’m not going to pretend I never get annoyed and sometimes I just can’t hold it in anymore.
So then, how exactly does one balance the need to be kind with the need to “snap?”
First of all, take a deep breath and remember, “It’s just the Internet.”
If you want to gauge how seriously you should take some annoying Internet comment, try this simple exercise: imagine you have to read their tweet aloud to an audience of 10,000 real-life people.
You can go a step further and place yourself in that crowd of thousands. If you were hearing the comment objectively, would it still matter to you after about an hour has passed? Or maybe six hours? A day? A week?
Often, when we stop to think about the amount of energy that idiocy on the Internet typically deserves, we’ll find it’s often not that much.
It’s Easier (And More Fun) To Be Petty
I’ll admit up front that I’ve stayed my behind on stan Twitter because there were boring things I was trying to put off. I’m sure that a lot of us have done so at one point or another.
Despite the moral high ground that some wish to take, many people either openly or secretly love drama. It’s often more entertaining than our own humdrum existence. Alternatively, it can also serve as a distraction from the dramatic dumpster fires burning brightly in our own lives.
Carefully consider whether or not your snaps are a way of kicking something else in your own life down the road so you don’t have to think about it. Adulting isn’t always fun, but it’s definitely necessary. Fighting total strangers on the Internet? Not so much.
Epic Snaps Bring Clout
A couple of years ago, I created my main Twitter account with the intention of focusing on my writing. I later turned it into a BTS fan account. As time passed, I noticed I started gaining followers at a quicker than usual pace because of my rants and snaps.
Snaps do bring clout but if you get used to getting attention from people that way, you might not feel the need to develop social media content that attracts followers any other way. Because there’s an easily exploitable undercurrent of anger within the ARMY fandom, some might view this as the easiest path to gaining popularity and clout.
Very few people can come up with good snaps or smartass tweets indefinitely. If your followers begin to outgrow the toxicity and get tired of constant negativity and tweets directly at failed stans, you’ll likely start to lose them anyway. Yes, snapping can get stale if it’s all you’re known for.
As much as some rely on it, eventually, that clout well will run dry! Best to think of other, more positively engaging ways to interact with members of the fandom. 🙂
Change Your Mindset
In my book, I mentioned that I got out of my angry ARMY slump (the one where I constantly argued and fought with toxic Twitter accounts) by shifting mindsets.
The truth is that rather than ranting, I prefer to explore theories and doing research on interesting topics and then turning them into threads. I adore interacting with my followers and mutuals in fun ways!
Most importantly, I found as time passed that I wanted to encourage and inform rather than fight and “snap.” Because I gained more pleasure from positive uses of my Twitter account, that’s what I wanted to do most of the time.
I found as time passed that I got more out of trying to encourage and inform others than I did constantly getting involved in negative drama. The realization wasn’t an immediate one, though. It took time for me to allow myself to step away from constantly calling out failed stans directly and giving clout to those who just didn’t deserve it.
It takes a strong will to hit the “block” button instead of giving someone a piece of your mind, and it will probably take a long time to develop the habit. It’s even possible your own brain is rewarding you for yelling at trolls. You just have to re-train your brain to reward you for executing the behaviors you want!
Interact With People Who Naturally Inspire Kindness
If you want to change your mindset and be more kind and positive in general, the best way to do that is to take careful stock of who you interact with both online and in your actual life. It’s believed that if you regularly interact with certain kinds of personalities, you’ll gradually start adopting their attitudes and behaviors.
If the people you expose yourself to are perpetually angry, paranoid, “snapping,” rumor-spreading, or otherwise toxic, does that bode well for your ability to develop good habits? Likewise, if you make it a point to engage with and follow people who are positive, informative, calming, and encourage you, you are likely going to be in a better position to balance kindness and “snappage.”
Feel Free To Snap (On Occasion!)
The worst thing you can tell yourself is that you can never react ever to anything annoying or hurtful that someone says on the Internet. Sometimes it’s just more healthy to let out our emotions instead of holding them in and pretending nothing’s wrong.
In those moments where you can’t take it and pop off, don’t feel guilty. You’re only human and certain things will inevitably push your buttons.
As long as you don’t make it a habit or tell yourself it’s the only way you can gain followers and clout, you should be fine. Sometimes you just have to let people know that you’ve had enough of their bulls**t.
Lastly, remember to be kind to yourself!
We’re always told to strive to be the best version of ourselves, but often we forget that we’re infinitely a work in progress. There will never be a final product, only a perpetually evolving one.
On those occasions when you do go off, try not to beat yourself up about it afterward. Or bask too much in the attention it brings you. Instead, make a mental note that next time you’ll reach for the block button.
Needing to snap from time to time is no big deal, but constantly attacking others and being angry might be hurting you more than you realize. If everything you see and encounter is tainted by anger-inducing negativity, you might need to take a step back and evaluate some things.
No one is ever all of one thing, but you should always take the time to carefully examine the pieces that make up the whole of you. While I’ve made peace with my inner shade queen, I’m determined not to be ruled by her.
Only you can decide which aspects of yourself you feel are worth leaning into. It might feel good at the moment to give into savageness rather than kindness, but it’s always good to weigh your behavior over the long-term.