Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumbler, Pinterest, Google +. This are just a few of the social media sites that people frequent. In addition to this there are the comment sections on various websites. Social media is great for sharing information and staying connected with people without having to see each other in person, but it is also a great way to express negative energy and emotions.
Social media is instant communication and the down side of this is when words are sent quickly without giving them much thought. Sometimes we are lucky enough to be able to hit the delete option afterwards, but what can’t be deleted are the people who have read your mean spirited words.
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4:29
As believers we are called to speak words that bring life to others, words of edification, help, and hope. These can be expressed via social media, but when we tear down others online, it overshadows the positive words written in the past. We are still Christians when we are online and our social media should reflect this. Being Christian online doesn’t necessarily mean posting religious material, or bible quotes, but it does mean not having material that contradicts having the heart and mind of a follower of Christ. We are not perfect and we will make mistakes; it happens in any format of communication, however, when we do make mistakes be quick to admit you are wrong, apologize, and make any necessary amends.
While you are on social media be mindful of your feelings and emotions. Check in with yourself.
Are you feeling:
Know which topics trigger you. If you are not in the best of spirits then it is best to avoid topics and pages that can easily bring about your negative emotions. If you are in a great mood, then nothing is off limits.
Before you go to a social media site ask yourself how you are feeling right now. Ask yourself, is this a good time to go online. If it is not a good time, ask yourself what you could be doing right now instead of turning to social media. Can you take a walk, read a book or a magazine, maybe call a friend? What would be mentally and emotionally better for you to do in the moment?
While you are on social media be aware of how you feel physically (do you feel your body growing tense, is there pain in your shoulders/legs/neck/arm), how is your eye sight?
Notice how long you spend online. If you spend more time on social media than you do engaged in other activities, think of other things you can do to add variety to your spare time.
Linked here is a short, easy to read guide on managing your anger while on social media.