The advent of social media takes our emotions and dreams on a frenzy. Everyone has a meme. Everyone has an opinion about something. In one typical day, Brandon posted pictures of his new car. Roger posted his wedding photos. Stella is worried about being laid off. Harvey shares about how he got into a car accident. Latoya is and single and lonely. She posts everything about how most men are no good. That’s quite a lot of topics to digest. Everyone has a social opinion. In the sea of misspelled words, music videos and funny cartoons, it can all blend together.
I have noted over the years that my Facebook became a place for me to social opinion about everything. When you get bombarded with so many pieces of media, your brain can literally get overwhelmed with observations about all that stuff. I noticed that I would use my Facebook account to ventilate my complaints to the Internet, and much of the time I was not particularly concerned with who might see my cynical observations. However, one day I looked back over many of my Facebook posts and found that there was something wrong with them. I would talk about everything under the sun with much passion. I would speak about common sense, grief management, holy scriptures, faith walks, family issues and many other topics of note. What was missing from each post was purpose. That’s one of the many reasons I began to blog again. The other thing that goes with purpose is intent.
I’ve learned for myself that it’s not very good to complain about anything on Facebook unless you’ve got a purpose behind what you post. After the post is released, you must also be prepared for the silence that comes after it. Moreover, if you are walking around with the pain of rejection, isolation, or invalidation. Social Media isn’t the healthiest place to receive such a thing. I’m not a perfect person by any means. I have learned through much detriment to myself that social media does not replace what relationships are meant to supply us with. I’ve been guilt of not further mining the reason behind why all these posts are so important to me. We always tell ourselves that we are just going to Facebook to let others know how we are feeling and what we are doing. The question is: What if there’s another reason you did not push yourself to consider?
When you’re young and stupid, you will be guilty of venting about that family member who gets on your nerves. When you’re young and stupid, you’ll complain about co-workers that aren’t pulling their weight. It’s wonderful that you told the world all your grievous pains. When you come to maturity, releasing all that aggression via your keyboard is very juvenile. This is why I decided recently to make sure that when I post something, it’s focused and specific. I also keep in mind that I have an audience and my audience isn’t going to always agree with me. I also have understood that many of the people who veil their posting are dealing with something in their psyche that goes far beyond what is actually posted. I know that part of the allure of social media is attention. We all want to know that someone likes what we like. We want to be sure that people can hear us. We have a deep need to share with others. Social media feels the boredom of the everyday.
But the frenzy of stimulation we feel from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, comes at a price. We don’t see the price we pay, until we’ve paid it. I took a test before the new year started. The test put together all the words that I used the most on Facebook in 2015. “Jesus” “Lord” “Thankful” and “Grateful” were a big part of the list.
Do I care that I look painfully weird to most of my friends on Facebook? I used to care quite a bit. Every now and again, I remind myself that it is okay to look weird to my friends on Facebook. I thank God a lot. I don’t do it because I’m trying to prove my Christianity to people. I don’t do it because I haven’t sinned. I don’t do it because I am truly trying to portray arrogance.
I post Jesus on Facebook because I need Jesus, and it’s my way of “praising the Lord”. One could say that I am in a “frenzy” to post about the Lord and the Bible because I’m just SO MUCH MORE RIGHTEOUS. They would be VERY VERY wrong.
I know that I need Jesus to improve my heart. Jesus and my gratefulness for the things Jesus does for me, has more to do with me, and less to do with others.
I know there are people who post terribly negative things on Facebook all the time. I told myself sometime ago that I would be purposeful, passionate, and positive on Facebook. It’s not my job to cast down other people vocally if they aren’t going to positive online. I’m certainly not the police of social media etiquette. I invite everyone who reads anything I write to have a dialogue with me about it.
My goal is to be moderate. Being moderate online is difficult, but it can be done.