Is social media the right platform to vent out frustration?

How often have you had a tiff with your boss? How often have you disagreed with your company on certain projects? And how often have you dragged your colleagues to vent the frustration and boiling rage out to them?
It is common for an employee to vent their frustration out on colleagues. However, the scenario has drastically changed these days. Employees now find solace in venting their rash tirade on social media websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. The advent of social media websites has introduced a sense of empowerment and courage in employees. People apparently log on to social media and randomly share their everyday work experiences through posts.
Here, colleagues are being replaced with social media, thus making the constant bickering a digital phenomenon.
Now, does the whining about the organisation you work for on social media sound as appealing as discussing with a colleague who lends an ear to understand your current circumstances?
To somebody practical, this act might sound preposterous. But, there are increasing instances of employees ranting on social media websites, especially LinkedIn and Facebook.
If you are an avid user of LinkedIn, you may come across a dozen posts; right from recruiting the best candidate to the micromanagement tactics from a particular senior, almost every corporate issue is discussed on this platform.
Recently, I saw a LinkedIn post of an ex-employee of a reputed pharmaceutical firm. He had quit the firm citing malicious beahviour displayed by the CMD of the company. According to his post, the CMD routinely abuses, humiliates and misbehaves with his employees. Besides, the CMD was accused of chairing meetings late till 2:00 am. The ex-employee also named the CMD and blatantly accused him of his misconduct. Within no time, the post received over 20,000 likes and 2,000 comments.
While some expressed contempt at the ex-employee’s move and called it — “inappropriate to use public forum to blame a senior person in this manner”–, while others lauded his audacious stance towards the organisation.
Known for its ability to amplify an impact, social media has the power to reach over thousands of people instantly and can play a crucial role in moulding your career. Social media acts as your personal brand-image builder. To an extent, it can either make or mar your career.
From an employee’s perspective, it is difficult to clam up emotions and rage. But the best thing to do in such a situation is to keep mum and move on. If the level of frustration is personal, it is advised to seek professional help from the HR of the company or take matters legally.
Ranting about your company on social media has several grave implications:

  1. It will make you look seemingly unprofessional and unequipped to deal with workplace issues objectively.
  2. You will be labelled by “HRs and other professionals” as a disgruntled employee.
  3. The issue will remain one-sided.
  4. By publishing a defamatory post, you can invite legal trouble. The company can sue you for libel and defamation, which is neither pleasant to you nor your career.

Also, such a move can prove futile. It’s absurd to damage your future prospects with a few tactless LinkedIn posts. Besides, you can never amend what has already been posted.
However, to mitigate the damage caused by your post, you can re-edit what has been posted and apologise through another post explaining how dithering the earlier post was.
Work place problems are a common phenomenon. Every employee undergoes such problems that often remain unsettled. Venting it out on public platforms will do you more harm than good. Your exit from the company should always be with dignity and adoration. Apologise unconditionally for any inconvenience caused during your tenure and finally, move on. Rebuild your career and meet new people, new organisations. Remember, your honesty, hard work and integrity are the only qualities that matter in the long-term.