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5 Things to Consider Before You Post on Facebook or Twitter

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How many times have you read a facebook post and wondered: “Why the heck would someone post that?”  Yeah, me too.

I always kind of wonder about my own posts on social media. Are they relevant, stupid, offensive, funny, etc.  Then I found this cool article from Relevant Magazine on “Questions to Ask Before Posting To Social Media”.

What do you think?  Are you guilty of making some of these posting mistakes?

1. Am I Seeking Approval?

If you’ve taken an introductory psychology class, you’ve probably heard of B.F. Skinner and operant conditioning. Skinner suggested that we learn behaviors through reinforcement.When I seek validation through something I post and that little red flag starts popping up to notify me of each person giving me attention, it’s an addictive reward. And it works.

What are the bigger needs asking to be met here? Maybe it’s a desire for community. Perhaps it stems from unresolved conflict with someone I love. Or maybe I just thrive on pleasing people and hearing their praise. If your interaction with the internet is driven by a need for approval, consider healthier ways to address this issue and choose to stop reinforcing the unhealthy ones.

 2. Am I Boasting?

There’s sharing excitement and then there’s bragging. Truthfully, we each know which camp we fall in.  Examine your motivations and walk away before using social media as the adult version of show-and-tell.

3. Am I Discontent?

Are you looking for something “better”? If so, walk away. Nothing you will read, write or see is going to solve this one. Instead, ask yourself why you are discontent and address those needs. When we view social media from a lens of discontentment, whatever we find will be colored with bitterness and ungratefulness.

4. Is This a Moment to Protect?

When my son crawls into my lap, he doesn’t want me to take his picture and shoot it across Facebook. He doesn’t care who else thinks I have a cute kid. He just wants me to hold him and see him. When we interrupt lunch with a friend in order to quote her on Twitter, we invite hundreds of people into a conversation that could have been sacred; and we miss the sweet memories that may have formed had her words remained simply between the two of us.

 5. Is It Kind?

Let’s return to Paul and his call to love. “Love is patient. Love is kind.” Our culture tells us it’s our right to comment on everything, regardless of whether it was addressed to us and without consideration for how it might affect others. We’ve replaced face-to-face confrontation with sharp comments and mocking memes. We write demeaning tweets addressed to celebrities or openly criticize individuals we have never met, hiding behind the convenience that they cannot directly defend themselves and nobody is putting our personal lives on display for public criticism.

Let us pause and give ourselves an honest moment to reflect—bringing discernment, love and wisdom to each picture and word we share.

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