Sharing is a good thing. At least that’s what we were taught growing up, right? As kids, we were encouraged to share our toys, our time on the swing, and even our snacks. Being an only child, it took longer for me to learn the art of sharing, but I did finally get it.
Sharing takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to the wide world of social media. It’s fascinating that, as children, we grasped so tightly to what we considered valuable. We wanted to share only when and with whom it was comfortable. But now, as technology-driven individuals, it seems there’s an unhealthy comfort in sharing the most intimate details of our lives with the world.
Sure, there will be many thoughts, feelings, and moments in life worth sharing. But before you open the feeling floodgates online, consider a little user discretion. Here are a few important things to consider to help you set some solid boundaries in the world of technology.
We all love the opportunity to vent. Venting can be a healthy thing if it is done in a way that is positive for you and does not bring harm or hurt to others. Social media is not the best venue for releasing steam. You should always consider whose eyes are watching your feed. Without even thinking, you could scar or damage relationships. You can even lose your job because of what you share on social media. When someone makes you angry, the best plan of action is to pray for the person. Trust me, you will be humbled in the process. If you feel that you really need to talk to them, then talk to them directly, don’t go through social media.
How to Lose a Girl (or Guy) in 10 Days
Do you remember when you had a crush on someone growing up? Do you remember the butterflies that you had in your stomach? That is a normal thing, but do yourself a favor and don’t make it any more awkward for that person by posting your feelings for the whole world to see. These are the types of feelings that are to be shared by two people and the other person may not want your feelings to be known by everyone they know. If you find that you can’t hold back your giddiness, I would suggest sending that person a direct message.
Adventures in Babysitting
This one is especially for girls. Babysitting can be a great way to make some extra cash when you are younger. But you should always throw caution to the wind when posting photos, videos, or comments about your babysitting adventures. Families tend to check up on potential sitters by watching their posts. Nothing can be more humiliating than losing a job because of a Facebook post or tweet.
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Relationships. Oh, how we love to be in the know about whose dating who, who broke up, and who is in a “complicated” situation. Reading about other’s relationship drama can read like a good novel and people tend to be naturally drawn towards conflict, especially if it does not involve them. But the subject of relationships is one that could use a lot of discretion. Before you boldly announce your relationship status to the world, make sure you’re ready for that step and that you are not going to end up breaking up with that person next week.
Pictures are fun to look at on social media sites, but there’s nothing more stereotypical to poke fun at than self-photography via a bathroom mirror. Guys tend to have the hardest time grasping this one. We tend to love funny pictures and often enjoy posting funny pictures of ourselves, especially if it makes others laugh. Just remember, that pictures speak a thousand words and the whole world can see them. Other people may see the picture differently than you do and they might not understand the context the picture was taken in. Before you post pictures of yourself, use some discretion and make sure that it is a picture that you really want everyone to see. If it is a picture you wouldn’t want your grandma or your pastor to see, you probably shouldn’t post it.
Remember when Facebook statuses were short and (sometimes) sweet? Somewhere along the way, we’ve turned the simple 140-character-or-less tweet-style status update into incredibly long journal entries that often expose way too much information to the average reader. You should be careful about journaling too much personal information to the masses. Having some personal things in your life that you don’t share can be a good thing. If you are really intent on having others read your long, drawn-out thoughts, consider starting a blog. I did that and it has been a great outlet for my thoughts. Even with the transparency I try to maintain with my blogs, I still have things that I do not share with the whole world.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
This boundary is for those guilty of posting controversial messages. Before you get overly bold with your political opinions, spiritual convictions, or feelings about sensitive topics, pause and think about who might be easily hurt or offended by the things that you post. It is very rare that anyone will be converted to your way of thinking via any public rant you might make. If you are very passionate about certain topics that might be controversial, then consider writing a blog or having real-life conversations about these topics. Your stance will often be best received that way anyway.
Let’s be honest: No one is a fan of catty, mean-spirited attitudes, especially online. When you get those urges to publicly poke fun at someone via the Web, remember the Golden Rule. Just remember that karma has a funny way of coming around and biting you.
The Twilight Saga
Late night Web chats have become a very common thing. But just like in the movies, creepy behavior can emerge in the darkness. Be very cautious of the conversations you engage in, especially with someone who you don’t know well. If a chat conversation makes you uncomfortable, make a quick exit.
Whatever you do via social media, never throw caution to the wind. Use discretion, be wise, and take every opportunity you have to encourage others with your words and speech.
Colossians 4:6 (AMP)
6 Let your speech at all times be gracious (pleasant and winsome), seasoned [as it were] with salt, [so that you may never be at a loss] to know how you ought to answer anyone [who puts a question to you].
I think those are very wise words to live by. What do you think?