If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

Grandma always said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

She also encouraged the Golden Rule and Loving your neighbors.

If she were alive today, she would be really surprised, and I daresay, disappointed.

The things we read sometimes make us shake our head. We have all done it- shared something border-line inappropriate. Maybe we have at times also shared a few distasteful things which struck us as funny. We all have been subjected to the ups and downs of social media and all its issues. There are a lot of things to consider when posting, reposting and sharing. The most important thing we need to protect?

Our witness to others.

When I see a well-known Christian “celebrity” sharing things which are inappropriate or crude, I cringe. To re-post things which are questionable is a direct reflection on your heart. But did you know it goes much deeper and further than this?

For instance:

*When I share a funny, clean post, but the name of the page is tainted with an expletive or insinuation, it still hurts my witness.

*When someone tags me in a questionable post for all to see and I leave it up, it reflects on my character.

*When a friend shares idle gossip on my page, and I respond by jumping on the bandwagon, it hurts my trustworthiness.

*When I see something online and I interject my opinion and it starts a “fight”, it can backfire and become a situation unintentionally.

 

How can we be part of social media and still protect our hearts?

How can I participate in all of this and still preserve my witness?

There is a MAGIC button- unsubscribe or unfollow. No unfriending.  Just turning off someone’s feed for a little while. It allows you to choose what you are exposed to, while still staying “friends” with a person. There is also an option to reach out to someone and explain your point of view. It doesn’t always work, and sometimes ends up in a bigger situation than you had to begin with.

If we want others to see our messages on social media, and we are intentional and focused on positive messages, we should try hard to reach as many as possible. Some have private pages, locked down for just family and close friends. But some of us are crazier than normal and have ours open for all to see.  Anytime we have an opportunity to witness to, be an example for or evangelize to someone else, we should take it. Why not use our social media pages for good?

This time of year we are thinking about making good changes for ourselves and our families and friends. I’d like to challenge each of you (myself included) to clean up our social media pages. I’d like to open my page and see all kinds of goodness shining through. I really would love to see how much we can impact the virtual world one picture, quote, post at a time.

It’s a small thing, being intentional and finding a purpose. We already spend time on social media just scrolling and swiping, liking and commenting. It would be a small task to make our thoughts we share publicly full of grace, mercy, and love. We can turn our words into inspiration for someone who needs them, mostly without knowing who that person is.

If you have tips or suggestions on how to manage social media posts please feel free to leave them in the comments. There are definitely more than a couple ways to monitor ourselves and what we read.

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