Whining for the sake of whine has its merits

Whining and whining about whining have picked up steam on social networking sites.


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Social media has brought to light many unfortunate trends. I, too, was annoyed to see 80 or more statuses declaring that is had, indeed, snowed this winter. Thank God for that Facebook friend who will mock all the weather-related statuses. And there’s a new trend I’ve recently noticed: whining about whining.

It's a phenomenon that’s been prevalent on Facebook since the beginning.

You’re having a bad day, so you post something like “ARGGGGHHHH!!!11!!11,” or “asdkflas” as your status. Maybe your friends will comment and make you feel better. Or maybe it will go ignored, because you’re being annoying, and what do you even say to that anyway?

I get it, and as annoying as it is, I’ve done it too. Facebook and Twitter have become a venue to air grievances, to vent and to express yourself. Your status is your declaration to the world, in a way, your digital presence has become your own public relations firm.

Other websites have also noticed the wave of whines. Remember FML, back when it was still relevant in 2009? On the flip-side, White Whine does its best to ridicule those with “First World problems.”

The website posts statuses, tweets, blog entries, texts and news articles such as, “Just got home and my shoe organizer fell. So annoying. Too many shoes and not enough room. Ikea here we come.” Or, “Today, my flight lesson was canceled due to 65 knot crosswinds, and ultimate was canceled due to rain. On the other hand, I got an iPhone4 and an iPad2. Not a bad day.”

White Whine is not the only one making fun of those with entitlement issues. On Twitter, White Girl Problems (@whitegrlproblm) has 194,252 followers, tweeting gems like “No one ever chases me to the airport” and “Thanks for giving me my first eating disorder, Barbie.”

I concede that a million tweets from people complaining about how awful their dreadful life is annoying and a downer, especially if it’s the same person, and even more so if it’s one of the richest people you know. But complaining is human nature. Even in the age of entitlement, there will always be something to complain about.

Perhaps there is some evolutionary function at work here. Complaining forges bonds. I too "hate school" and am "soooo ready 4 summer." I also did not get enough sleep last night and 8 a.m. classes are the worst. See, now we have something in common. We can relate.

A common enemy brings people together — whether it’s the cleaning staff waking you up early with the vacuum or your sadistic boss — and that is, after all, the purpose of social networking.

I know there are people in Japan whose homes were destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami. I realize that there are millions of people around the world who are starving and don’t have clean water or shoes and are suffering from AIDS. My problems will never be anything like this, and I am truly thankful for that.

I can empathize with these problems, but I will never ever be able to relate. What can I relate to? Starbucks messed up my order… again. I mean, I did pay like $5 for that.

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