Passive-aggressive tendencies reign on social networking sites, or seem to; and those who are set against social networking and who claim it is frivolous happily harp against it when clashes do occur or inappropriate content gets posted.
And all because of people that forget to weigh their words before they hit publish.
I refer back to what Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas-Nelson publishing said in an earlier blog post, “I honestly don’t understand all the fuss about social media. It’s just one more way to communicate. Do you have a “phone policy”? An “email policy”? A “fax policy”? Technology is neither good nor bad. It’s what people do with it that is the issue. In my opinion, you want to encourage your people to engage in social media. Doing so puts a human face on your brand. It meets customers where they are congregating. It makes everyone an ambassador for your organization.”
People will always disagree with our content on some level, but that doesn’t give us free reign to post according to our hurts, our feelings, or opinions at the time without some thought to whom might be affected by it. We need to examine our motivations for posting online and ask if it lines up with scripture. Will this hurt or hinder someone from coming to Christ? Will this hurt you? Will this cause division? Is there a purpose for posting it other than revenge?
I blog on 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 and believe in living the life of a transparent Christian. I write about my struggles in my past and present in the hope that broken people will see God’s holiness and His love in my situations and more importantly God giving me a hand up.
If I post something about my past it is always through my perspective, from my memories, and I work hard not to intentionally slander anyone or post out of anger or revenge. If it serves no purpose, it doesn’t get posted. I also post days ahead of time so I can reread it to make sure and test my motivations. If in doubt, I read it to someone and get their perspective because readers will never read it the same way. I’ve often deleted posts before they became published, but those who tout that the internet is evil will only too happily use your sites as an example when they complain against it.
A Christian especially has a responsibility to use the internet correctly. There’s lessons in everything, and we can write about those situations as long as we take the care to hide the details, the names, and make sure it is the lesson in the situation that comes out and not the unforgiveness or anger. I agonized for a couple of years, rewriting my testimony, for just that reason. God needed to shine through it, not my anger.
Weigh every word you post because words once said in life and online can never be erased. We will be remembered by what we do, not by what we say, and in the internet world what we do is what we say. Do you want to be remembered for the love you gave in truth, or the hurt you experienced? Do you want to be remembered by the emotional and time investments you made in friendships?
Weigh your words.