I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Twitter has a way of turning heroes into herbs. This time around, R&B divas Ciara and Rihanna followed in the venerable footsteps of such class acts as Chris Brown, Raz B, and Souljah Boy and decided to partake in a little Twitter tomfoolery.

In case you missed their kerfuffle Saturday night, I’ll give you a brief recap. It seems like Rihanna took offense to a comment Ciara made while she appeared on Joan Rivers’ show Fashion Police.

During a discussion of Rihanna’s Brit Awards outfit, Ciara mentioned that the last time she saw the Bajan songstress, she wasn’t too kind.

“I ran into her recently at a party and she wasn’t the nicest, and it’s crazy because I’ve always respected what she’s done with fashion and I’ve ran into her before, but this time it just wasn’t the most pleasant run-in,” Ciara said on the show.

Joan Rivers chimed in calling Rihanna a “bitch” and Ciara laughed it off.

End of story, right? Well, not quite.

In a world where any and everything someone (and especially a celebrity) says is transported around the globe in a matter of seconds, Rihanna was able to quickly tweet a response to Ciara’s comments.

Shortly after Ciara’s appearance on the Fashion Police aired, Rihanna sent out a very snarky tweet aimed at her. RiRi wrote, “My bad ci, did I 4get to tip u? #howrudeofme“.

And then it was on.

Hyped up mostly by Twitter users than the singers themselves, the two divas quickly became trending topics, and soon everyone was talking about their “beef.”

For a while it seemed like we were all transported back to high school waiting for two girls to throw down on the quad. The virtual crowd quickly circled the two singers, and many were screaming, “Fight, fight!” and doing everything in their power to egg them on.

Watching the tweets unfold, I remarked that I could picture the gossip blog headlines beginning to write themselves. And I was right. Within minutes of the tweets, the blogs (and other celebrities) were weighing in, attempting to fuel the fire even more.

Thankfully, Rihanna and Ciara seemed to quickly come to their senses, deadening the confrontation before it really even began. The two tweeted their apologies, and Ciara remarked that they should talk offline.

Observing the verbal scuffle made me wonder (again), why we are so addicted to drama. Whether it’s watching celebrities take shots at each other on the interwebs, or two political rivals viciously attacking one another in the media, we can’t seem to take our eyes off of a good ol’ fashioned smack down.

But why? Why do we love to watch a fight unfold?

Our culture is built on competition. From a very early age we are taught that we must be the best and beat out our peers in order to succeed. Whether it’s catching the eye of a handsome man, or landing our dream job, we are told that we have to outdo the competition in order to have the things we want. However, working together can often yield better results than going at it alone.

While the rest of us are certainly not as visible as Ciara or Rihanna, I’ve seen this same scenario—publically airing out grievances with others—take place time and time again. As I watched the two singers take it to the tweets, a few things jumped out at me that can possibly be helpful as we navigate life on the Internet.

Got A Problem? Say It To My Face: Getting into public smack downs is a no-no.  Although we live in a culture of “going in” on others, airing your frustration and starting an argument online with someone you can easily settle things with over the phone is just not cute. Although it may be entertaining to those watching, both parties come off looking bad in the process. If you have a problem with someone, deal with that person directly. Often times simply approaching them one-on-one will go a long way to heal the wounds.

Don’t Let Your Friends Hype You Up: Presumably Rihanna wasn’t at home watching the Fashion Police, so somebody in her circle (or her timeline) told her about Ciara’s comments. Even though our friends have our best interests at heart most of the time, sometimes they end up doing more harm than good. Instead of getting bent out of shape and firing off an angry tweet or Facebook status after hearing that someone talked smack about you, take a moment and think about if whatever your friend just told is really that big of a deal. If it’s not, cool, no need to say anything. But if you feel like you need to respond, call the other person on the phone, send them a DM, and handle it offline.

Be the Bigger Person: Even though it’s not in anyone’s best interest to engage in Twitter beef, inevitably someone will say something to you that is completely out of pocket. Instead of immediately clapping back and firing off your own scathing response, be easy and take the higher road. Not only will the other person come off looking bitter, unstable, or just plain angry, your reputation will be intact because you didn’t stoop to their juvenile level.

Misunderstandings happen, and no matter how great of a person you are (or maybe even because of it)…haters gon’ hate. But remember this: How we are viewed in the end will not depends on what someone else said about us, but rather how we respond. Act accordingly.

What did you think of Rihanna & Ciara’s “beef”? How do you handle online conflicts?


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