Yes, I am on social media and, yes, I have often thought of removing myself. I especially find it difficult in election years and quite honestly, I tire of the bickering, name calling and strongly opinionated responses that people write. I have rarely “unfriended” someone, but am often tempted to do more of it.
Further, when the largest corporations in the world (social media outlets) and their owners are regularly testifying (justifying really) about their practices in Washington, DC and when they can dictate what “hate speech” is or is not, there are even more reasons to leave them behind.
Today I am forced to think about what I believe to be truth, recognizing that some individual who does not hold my values works for one of these giants and deems me unfit to offer that truth on their social media platform. It’s a new day and one that I would have never seen coming.
Here are a few reasons that I think are unacceptable practices when using social media.
- To use a social platform to destroy, attack or assassinate another human being.
- To continually exalt only yourself.
- To spread gossip.
- To only post partisan politics and never post the good from “the other side” or the wrong from your side.
- To not speak honorably toward those who think and see things differently than you do.
- To be involved in any form of speech that you would not use face-to-face with someone.
- To make sweeping characterizations of a specific group of people you do not agree with.
- To write or make inferences that are hurtful or harmful to another individual or group.
- To speak critical heart judgments of persons you do not personally know or have not heard their side in the matter.
- To pass something on to others that you cannot verify as truth.
- To assume you know and everyone else is clueless.
- To write something that could affect your employment or future employment.
- To divulge any form of confidentiality.
- To be unwilling to post a retraction when you need to.
- To be unwilling to apologize to your readers when you are wrong about something you’ve written.
- To become angry and to respond in anger when criticized by a reader.
I have made some of these mistakes and have been thankful when someone lovingly lends correction. Save yourself some future issues and police your social media use. Remember, whatever seeds you sow you will also reap.
Consider this very wise advice from a man named Paul:
And never let ugly or hateful words come from your mouth, but instead let your words become beautiful gifts that encourage others; do this by speaking words of grace to help them…So never grieve the Spirit…or take for granted his holy influence in your life. Lay aside bitter words, temper tantrums, revenge, profanity, and insults. But instead be kind and affectionate toward one another. Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another….
(Ephesians 4: 29 – 32 TPT)