Pay attention to what you put on social media.
Pay attention to what you follow on social media.
Pay attention to how you interact with people on social media.
I’m not the first person to point this out—not by a long shot. But let’s all remember that some social media posts are not healthy or productive. A friend recently posted some pointed insults and accusations about family members. There are times when these types of posts are cries for help, but in this situation, no one could really do anything practical to help. The problem was more about bitterness and retaliation than resolution. Speaking the truth is important, but venting insults and accusations is detrimental to many.
Sometimes we read someone’s “sorry, not sorry” post, and we get it. We’ve all been wronged. Standing up for what’s right is not up for debate, but how we approach it is. We often want to respond with a simple “you go, girl” when perhaps we should say, “you stop, girl”—not stopping healthy confrontation but stopping the vague venting and angry accusations that aren’t helpful for many. It rarely approaches the source, and it’s even more rarely respectful of anyone. Responding to disrespect with respect is hard, but it’s possible. When we make hard choices to honor God with our responses, we get peace, and he gets results.
The dilemma isn’t as simple as to post or not to post. Social media is a reality of today’s culture, and it can help us live well in community. We can connect with and influence others. But just as we need to apply wisdom and appropriateness in our face-to-face conversations, we need to do the same online.
When you post or share something online, ask if you’d say it publicly. Or is it something you’d only share with one or two people in a private conversation? When you encourage someone, ask if you truly know the situation to make sure you are encouraging the right behaviors at the right time for that person. If you say you’re praying for someone, pray. If you say you’d like to help, help.
Use your filter, and clean your filter. And be bold. When your motives are checked, you’ll know better when to hit post and when to close the app.
There are times for both.