We all love social media. It’s what keeps us connected to old high school buddies, childhood friends who live across the world and even family – but what happens when we take our love for social media too far?
We’ve all blocked certain people on our favorite social media sites. Some people are just too dramatic, whiny, mean or plain boring, but when was the last time you took a look at the sort of posts you create?
Sometimes we accidentally create drama, hurt feelings or misrepresent ourselves simply because much is lost in translation, so how can we keep from hurting ourselves and others?
Here are seven simple social media no-no’s to avoid:
1. Don’t be Whiny
Did you spill your fancy Starbucks latte on your favorite outfit right before work? Does your job leave you unsatisfied? Did your professor hand out too many assignments?
Did you burn yourself and you’re asking for prayer? Are you seeking advice to deal with the stresses of your job? Are you requesting help with assignments?
If not, then you shouldn’t whine about these situations. Venting to a close friend or family member is understandable but on social media, no one likes scrolling through a series of whiny posts.
Don’t be a Debbie Downer, be optimistic.
“No foul word should ever cross your lips; let your words be for the improvement of others, as occasion offers, and do good to your listeners;” – Ephesians 4:29
2. Stop Being Passive-Aggressive
When someone writes a post, do you comment snarky remarks but add a smiley face or heart to show your words aren’t meant to be mean?
There’s a word for that and it’s not a pretty one.
No one likes passive-aggressive posts that are obviously meant to publicly call someone out.
Shaming others isn’t of God and can often lead to hurt feelings or arguments; these posts also make you look like a mean person.
Best to avoid the public shaming. Use your words to build others up instead.
“Through his mouth the godless is the ruin of his neighbour, but by knowledge the upright are safeguarded.” – Proverbs 11:9
3. Keep Private Things Private
If someone did something to you and they need to be confronted, do it in person.
It’s not just rude, it’s tacky to publicly confront someone. More often than not, it makes you both look bad and it can distance people from you. No one wants to be called out on social media so don’t present yourself as someone who will do so.
“If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves…” – Matthew 18:15
4. Do Some Research First
There are all kinds of news stories out there. Some are satirical but people take them seriously, making them look ignorant while they perpetuate false information.
Sometimes even celebrities jump on these satirical or outright false claims, resulting in harmful consequences.
Remember to be smart and do your homework before spreading information.
“The heart of the intelligent acquires learning, the ears of the wise search for knowledge.” – Proverbs 18:15
5. Stop Showing Off Your “Faith”
It’s wonderful to talk about the Lord and share upcoming church events.
It’s even better when your professions of faith help draw others closer to God, but what’s not okay is constantly talking about how great your faith is, how dutiful you are and how very religious you are.
This does several things but the most prominent is it makes you seem more interested in being acknowledged for your faith than humbly following the Lord.
“Bow down, then, before the power of God now, so that he may raise you up in due time;” – 1 Peter 5:6
End the Gossiping – NOW
Gossip is the spread of someone else’s private information. Sometimes the information is based on fact but more often than not, it is fabricated and makes people look bad.
“Guard your tongue from evil, your lips from any breath of deceit.” – Psalm 34:13
6. Enough with the Bragging
Everyone deserves acknowledgement when they reach a milestone or goal and that’s okay.
What isn’t okay is when you take to social media in search of praise.
Bragging about what you have, what you’re doing and generally making yourself look like a boasting fool is not what God wants us to do.
If you’re life is so great, help others! It’s okay to live a happy life and to show off every now and then but if you scroll through your feed and all you see is pictures, videos and posts about the things you’ve purchased and gifts you’ve received, you may be guilty of boasting.
“As scripture says: If anyone wants to boast, let him boast of the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:31