In my personal life, I don’t have much of a social media presence. I only post on my Facebook wall about once a month. It’s either a picture of my baby or an article about babies. However, because of my blog, I’ve had to build up a separate social media presence – Sarah the blogger! While this made me really uncomfortable at first, I’ve come to enjoy it as I figure it out more.But regardless of whether I am posting on my personal Facebook page or my blog’s Instagram, I’ve come to ask myself the below four questions BEFORE posting on social media.
4 Questions I Ask Before Posting on Social Media
1.) What’s the point?
This question makes me uncomfortable. Why am I posting this?
Is it because I want to share something in my life I am so “humbled” or “blessed” by when really – I just want to brag?
Is it because I’m fishing for compliments?
I’m not proud of this but I’ve posted because of both reasons above. And you know what? No matter how many likes or comments I find I never get the validation I’m looking for
Now, I pause and ask myself again, “What’s the point?”.
However, this doesn’t mean we should never post good things in our lives. I enjoy posting photos of my baby girl, fun things I do with my husband, and special occasions. I love to look back on Facebook and remember these milestones.
I’m only talking about when it’s not coming from a place of actual excitement, but a place of insecurity. The times where I post something because I want to get “likes” to make myself feel good.
Now, when that urge strikes I stop and thank God for blessings in my life first. Usually, that is enough to “fill my cup” and I can go about my day. I’m sure I’ll still fail in this area again, but at least now I have a game plan!
2.) Does it add value?
This is my new motto for how I run my blog’s social media. If I put enough effort into it, I could post photos all day long making you think my life was always pretty and perfect. But what value does that add to anyone’s life? (Plus, it’s not true.)
Now when I post I try to think about what I can offer people. Can I offer a tip, encouragement, or make them laugh? Of course, this doesn’t always happen (hence my baby’s photos which you better like or….hehe) but I aim for it when possible.
3.) Is what I am posting true, noble, right, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy? (Philippians 4:8)
In the world of social media, we’re often quick to post “facts” before finding out if they are actually true. Feel first, think later! I admit when I see a post I disagree with my first response is to get upset. My much younger self might have even commented. But now, I usually do a good job of letting it go. In the words of the wise rapper Ice Cube, “You better check yo self before you wreck yo self.”
Added to that, just because something is true doesn’t always mean it’s “right” to post about. But admirable, lovely, excellent and praiseworthy? These are topics we should all be able to get behind. Why do you think dog and baby videos are so popular?
Now, there are times that I DO feel it is necessary to speak up. It is not because I hope to change someone’s mind, but rather that I like to take a stand on issues that are important to me. You know the Abraham Lincoln quote, “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing?” Well, sometimes all it takes for evil or wrong thoughts to take hold is for people to say nothing. Every now and then I like to speak up on issues that are important to me as a reminder that, “Hey – this is important. This is worth fighting for. No, they do not speak for all women/Christians/wives/moms. In fact, I believe differently.”
4.) Is it necessary?
I’m a very political person, but the last time I checked, I haven’t changed anyone’s mind by disagreeing with them on Facebook. Of course, we’re going to disagree with people. That’s the beauty of being our own person and having opinions. It’s not necessary to always make them known.
Like I said above, sometimes it IS necessary to speak up, but most times, it’s not. And if we stopped inciting each other on social media there would probably be fewer inflammatory posts to begin with.
And on that note I leave with this story from author and missionary Elisabeth Elliot:
One morning I received an article from a Christian magazine, written by a consulting physician at a well-known Christian clinic, entitled ‘Learning to Love Yourself.’ Ironically, in the same mail came a news magazine with its cover story, ‘The Curse of Self Esteem.’
I said ‘Well.” (That’s a byword from my sister-in-law’s family.) When they think it’s best not to say what they’re really thinking, but need to say something, they’ve found this useful. I said, ‘Well.’
Imagine a world where instead of putting our two cents in on every topic, we just said “well.” Better yet – if we just said it to ourselves and kept on scrolling.
Are there are questions you ask yourself before posting on social media? I”d love to know!