It is likely something many of us do from time to time. We see a person’s post that has a negative tone to it and rather than respond directly we opt to message them privately. The thought being that talking to the individual on a one on one basis will be more helpful than just responding to their status or tweet. These people might be a good friend or someone we really do not know all that well, in most cases it is probably someone that you will not see in person anytime soon. Is it just in our nature to care and take the time to see if you can help the person; is it more than that, is it less than that?
For myself, I have directly chatted with several people on Twitter and on Facebook that have been going through rough times. Whether it be dealing with serious depression or being in a bad relationship, I find most of the time people just want to talk about their situation with a person that is not involved in their situation. They want an objective point of view, want to hear from a person that will not gain or lose anything regardless of what they decide to do. Most of the time people have already made their decision, they just want to run it past another person and get additional input. I have found though, once a decision is made very little you say is likely to alter their mindset.
The people that are constantly throwing out negative updates, I just ignore. They do not really want help, they are just seeking attention. We all have these types of friends in real life; there is no need to deal with them in the social media setting. They will not listen and will probably do the exact opposite of what is in their best interest anyway, just to create more drama and try to gain more attention. Most of these people are just drama loving, attention whores and their life plays out as exactly as they deserve.
I will on occasion put out a negative update, but when I am in a negative mood I am pretty much inconsolable. When a person sends me a direct message, my general response is “Thank you I appreciate your concern, I am fine, just having one of those days.” Long ago I learned that only I can pull myself out of the shit I created and it usually is self-created shit. As I said, I appreciate your concern, but I’ll be fine, after all my life saying is, “I’ll get through I always do.”
People want help, several need help and some are just attention whores. It is up to you if feel it is worth offering to help the person. I know several times that I felt I actually did help a person and in those situations I felt really good. Not is a boastful way, more in a “I am glad I took the time to care” type of way. Ultimately it is up to you to decide if chatting with strangers and offering to help people you will likely not ever see in person is something you want invest the time and effort in.