17 February 2016

To Post or Not Post: 3 Questions To Ask

There can be a lot of talk on the interwebs and social media about knowing when to post or not post. The game has changed significantly since when I first "discovered" Facebook as a sophomore in college. 

Social media has quickly become a world without guidelines. I don't know abut you, but times in my life where guidelines are absent, chaos is almost always inevitable. 

Personally, I find myself asking these type of questions more often: Am I just adding to the "noise" of social media? Or do I have something life-giving and encouraging to share or add to the discussion? Am I just white noise in the middle of a busy, chaotic machine?

More and more I find myself reflecting on why I am doing certain things: do I feel I am merely trying to keep up with others in terms of blogging or social media? Am I one some level comparing myself to others? The more I think on these questions, the more I realize whenever I blog or share something on social media I want it to be because I have something to say: something meaningful, encouraging, and life-giving. 
I don't want to be a voice just adding to the mindless noise and chaos

The following are some questions I am asking myself in regards to why and how I am using social media:

1. Am I looking for validation, likes, and/or comments?
Perhaps on some level, we all have done this..well I know at least I have: looking to social media for validation. I think that is one of the reasons it can become so addictive because it gives instant affirmation. Post the pretty picture with perfect words. Click one button to post and then wait for the likes/comments. Sure its not like this with all of us all the time, but eventually the comments and likes stop. 

I have seen that desire grow stronger in me at times, and it can quickly become a slippery slope.
If social media impacts your worth, mood, value, or how you look at yourself, maybe think about taking a step back and wrestling with the deeper reasons. 

2. Will this post add something to the conversation?
Sure we all have the rights to post or say whatever we want on the Internet. But when we do, are we really adding anything new or deep to the conversation?

Start asking yourself (I'm trying to do this more too) before you post: "Is this beneficial? Am I adding to the conversation?" If you're unsure or the answer is no, maybe consider holding back from hitting publish.

3. Am I posting about something I should be taking action on?  
Social media can be a meeting place for people with new ideas and great intentions. But intention doesn't change the world. Action does.

Behind every social/political/cultural issue are real human faces, people whom this issues affects. Just like behind every book, blog, Instagram account, or computer screen is a man or woman; a person just like you and I.

There are times where I have posted something to social media or re-tweeted about an issue when I should be more intentional about doing something to correct the issue (or at least properly educate myself on the issue). Sure that is not always the convenient or the easy route, but it goes back to that whole concept of "am I just adding to the noise?" 

That is a danger of social media today; it can trick us into believing talking or tweeting on an issue are the same thing. When actually they are very different from each other.

Are there questions missing that you would add? 
How do you keep in check knowing when to post or not post?

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  1. Patty, I think this is a great self-examination to run through when blogging or using other forms of social media! Kind of going into point #2 that you listed, I've started asking myself "Why? Why am I posting this? Is it just so that I can throw something else into the internet stream to show that my blog or Facebook has activity, or is there a better purpose than that?" Lately, I've just found myself thinking about the importance of creating worthwhile material instead of only trying to add to the internet noise for a few fleeting moments of fame.

  2. These are really good guidelines to have! I'm teaching a lesson on using social media wisely to teenagers this weekend, you've given me a few more points to consider in the lesson!

  3. This is an excellent (and much needed) post, Patty. Thanks for your insights. :) To echo Rachel, I passed this along to a friend of mine who is an 8th grade teacher - thought she might find it useful for her kiddos. God bless!

    The Starving Inspired

    1. Oh cool, thanks! Its a reminder I constantly am giving myself too ;-)


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