Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. (Proverbs 18:2 NIV)

Ouch!  I consider myself corrected.  For whatever people make blogs and social media to be, they are above all else…opinions.  Status updates, tweets, and pictures on how we are feeling about our day, about others, and about our lives in general.  Opinions flying fast and loose like you-know-what in a chicken coop.

I think about this social media generation.  We no longer seek to understand WHY…we just want to be heard.  We wanna say something and we want everyone to hear it.  As mothers, how do we think that’s going to affect our children’s generation?

 A generation of fools does not raise up sages, but even greater fools.

And once we realize our mistakes on what we’ve broadcast, what we’ve said, and how we’ve cut someone with words far sharper than any sword, we try to backtrack.  Do you know how hard it is to call something back out of the ether?  Try it once…you’ll be sadly disappointed.

For all the good that can come from social media, there is a butt load of bad things, a few of which I’ve already mentioned.

So, I’m setting up some guidelines for myself…and you can hold me accountable.  You may need to remind me tomorrow.

Why?  I’ve got two little girls that are watching Sesame Street right now.  They deserve a good example.  Not just what I say or do to them, not just what I say or do in their presence.

One of these days, they are gonna ask, “Mommy, can I have my own [insert name of new-fangled social media site] account?”  And one of these days, I’m gonna allow it.

That’s when they’ll be able to see what Mommy has said about everything, what pictures she found important, what she focused on in her daily life.

 1.  BE GRATEFUL

You know what the opposite of gratefulness is? UNgratefulness.  And ungratefulness manifests itself by COMPLAINING, GRUMBLING and MURMURING (whining).

Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.”  (Philippians 2:14-15 NKJV)

It’s so easy to let a complaint slip here and there.  By complaining, I mean when there is needless cause.  It’s one thing to register a complaint with a company or person who needs to correct a wrong, but quite another to complain about it being too hot in Houston.  Hello?  It’s Houston.  As Andy Traub says in his book, The Early to Rise Experience (Kindle edition),

“Man, I hate this snow.” You live in South Dakota.  You hating snow is like a guy from Hawaii hating sand.  Get over it.

If ever I was ungrateful, One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (Hardcover)(Kindle edition)(Audiobook) changed my entire perspective from the reading of the very first chapter.  It’s a must-read.

I want to be grateful.  I want to be content in every circumstance.  First things first, speak life…type life…broadcast life.  Change a generation.  Be a light in the cesspool of darkness.

My children are depending on me to show them how to shine.

2.  ANYTHING BAD I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT SOMEONE WILL BE SAID TO THEIR FACE (or in the voting booth on election day)

God forgive me.  I had a conversation about someone the other day.  About someone I didn’t like and have no reason not to like.  “Just a personality clash,” I explain.  Reality is…if I can’t say it to their face, I shouldn’t say it at all.  Even to my best friend…or the loads of friends and acquaintances on Facebook.  And, YES, it does matter even if I don’t name their name.  I’m putting out an example of how my children should think and talk about others.

The fleeting thrill that I get from telling someone off in an obscure status update will live on eternally in the ether.  One day, it will come back to haunt and embarrass me because I showed lack of self-control and compassion for others.  Let’s get real here.

And then, there is the airing of political opinions.  One of the greatest things about the USA is our right to Freedom of Speech.  But just because I can, doesn’t mean I should (I Corinthians 10:23-24).  To assault a public official on Facebook doesn’t get them out of office.  It just shows my inability to respect an office unless someone I voted for is holding the title.  A status update or tweet like that is evidence that I am a closed-minded jerk.

I will SHOW UP on election day, then SHUT UP if my candidate doesn’t win.

(If you disagree with what I’ve said in the political section here, see my post, The Only 4 Principles You Need to Teach Your Kids About Politics.

3.  TAKE EVERY CHANCE TO INSPIRE AND UPLIFT

Read a devotion, or in some other way, ingest (listen, watch, etc.) something positive every day at the beginning of my day.  (Follow me @DblEEBlessed on Twitter or someone else you know that puts out a daily tweet.)  Joyce Meyer is also a great choice.  I love her.  Her daily devotionals, Trusting God Day by Day (Hardcover)(Kindle edition) and The Confident Woman Devotional (Hardcover)(Kindle edition), always hit me right between the eyes with positivity.

I have a friend who writes for WHOA Magazine for Women, Angela Wells, who is the epitome of positivity.  She lives it.  She breathes it.  She goes through trials with a smile on her face.   She smiles not because everything is perfect, but because she relies on God to take care of it.  I’m pretty sure I want to be her when I grow up.

Take the opportunity to be a light.  By having something positive at the ready, I REPLACE what I might have said negatively about the current weather.  :0)

4.  DON’T BE A FIRESTARTER

Some people walk around with a pail of water, others with a pail of gasoline.  I can either put out a fire or I can help it grow.

Gossiping is not cool.  I will not assume that a particular person is talking about me.  I will not assume that I know all of the ins and outs of a situation because So&So told me Such&Such.

Social media can be a hot bed for gossip.  I choose whether I speak life or death.  I choose life no matter how thrilling it may be to participate in a heated discussion about What-Not.

Can’t we just all get along?  Yes.  Peace begins with me.

5.  HOLD SOME THINGS SACRED

My life is my life.  Sometimes there are moments too special to share.  I want my friends to know that I am with them to BE with them, not just to be able to POST that I was with them.

I am, in no way saying, that that’s wrong, I’m just saying that every now and again…I don’t have to show that I’m cool by being with cool people.  Even though I really do think that my friends are the coolest people on the planet.

And, in order to live in a moment that is sacred and special, I don’t want to have to whip out my smart phone and take pictures and then spend the next five minutes posting…and then the rest of the night seeing how many hits that picture got.  No, my time with my friends and family is way too sacred for that.

I want to enjoy my husband, my children, my friends…and technology isn’t living and breathing.  It can wait.

All this is quite a lot to live up to, but it’s about learning not to jump off the bridge like everyone else.  I’m teaching my children to be different.  Be a light in darkness.

Normal is boring.

Is there anything I missed?  Put it in the comments below!

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75 comments
Kathryn
Kathryn

Well said and a great reminder.

Cody Doll
Cody Doll

I just love this post. I wish more people would read and understand this. There are so many people that don't do any of that. Thanks for the post.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

I agree with you 100%! So glad you were able to put it in words that other people can understand. I will share this with pride. Thanks for spreading truth in our lives!

Leni
Leni

Not sure if it's been mentioned yet, but I detest cryptic messages that are meant to stir the pot. Post a cryptic message, then sit back and watch people beg you to tell them what's going on. And then never explain...what is the reasoning for that? It's nothing but negative attention-seeking.

Christie Jarvis
Christie Jarvis

Excellent article! I agree with you 100%! I try very hard to not be negative on social media. Yes, I am frustrated sometimes but I don't want to post all of that for the world to see. I look forward to reading more from you. Be blessed!!

Andy Traub
Andy Traub

Thanks for the quote from my book! My wife saw your post and that you quoted the book. Wonderful post for moms everywhere. By the way, love your header font too. Artsy but still readable.

Michele
Michele

Remember that there is NO context in writing, therefore a reader could take something and be offended when you meant no offence. If you have to start out the sentence with, "I hate to say...", "In my opinion....", "I shouldn't.....", or the world's worst, "Be praying for...." UNLESS the last one is a legit prayer request and not an excuse for gossip, then you probably don't need to be saying it at all. Love without truth is wishy-washy, but truth without love is a beating. Love this post!

Lori
Lori

This is a great article with so much truth! FB is a wonderful tool to keep in touch with my far away friends, or my kids when they're gone from home, but I've so often been bothered by the seemingly needless posts, boring everyday stuff....when I don't need to know another mom's to-do list or the seemingly boasting posts that make them sound like super-women for all they've gotten done in a day. Thanks for speaking out. We are accountable! and Yes, words are either life or death.... love the take every chance to minister!

Rickiey Broughman
Rickiey Broughman

Awesome as always everyone who's on any web site should read your log first AMEN

Shinobu
Shinobu

This is so true! My life has changed since I started using a journal app which makes writing a journal entry as easy as writing a status post. I no longer write my thoughts on fb, I write them in my journal. Ad I have learnt so much recently, gaining inspiration and understanding. Good to see other women understanding and sharing this principle!

Jessilyn
Jessilyn

Maybe before anyone joins a social network, they need to learn Netiquette 101. That's all :v

KR
KR

Please don't use the term "butt load" if the original term "boat load" will do. The former is crass and ugly. Thanks.

Dianne Carpenter
Dianne Carpenter

When my children were little, I would tell friends and family the funny happenings involving them.... there came a time when my eldest son found out I had told a story about him and he was quite hurt and embarrassed. It was then I realize that part of #5 is asking permission before I tell stories. and if people ask me for info, it is all right to say "it's not my story to tell".

VICKI HUBER
VICKI HUBER

SORRY TO SAY I ONLY MADE IT TO TWO BEFORE I SAW MYSELF!! I AM YOO QUICK TO SPOUT OFF!!!

Danielle
Danielle

I think this is a great list. Seems like this should be common sense, but we all need a reminder every now and then. I would add that #1-4 apply to famous people and current events as well. I don't always think about that. Spreading negative, hurtful comments, even about someone I don't personally know or a situation I don't completely understand may not hurt that person or situation, but it sure works on my heart and the hearts of my friends.

Irene
Irene

Great recommendations and thoughtful insight. Technology has changed how we communicate so rapidly in the last few years. NOTE: I don't understand why you posted 'Normal is Boring' at the bottom. Normal is not boring. I'm from a family of many loved members that are depressed, bi-polar, mentally ill etc., some people yearn for normal. Be grateful for normal.

Elle Knowles
Elle Knowles

When you are mad and want to be vindictive it is so easy to hit that post button! Think about it first!

Sherry P
Sherry P

Wow, talk about hitting me in the face from the scripture down. A lot of good advice and I don't believe in coincidences that I stumbled across this. God put me here to see and read it. Thanks for posting and sharing.

mistie
mistie

I often (too often) feel bad about not posting enough, especially with friends and family spread near and far. Your post was a good reminder and filter as I inconsistently ease my toes into the waters. Thanks. Thankful for my sister posting this- good choice, and look forward to more of your blog.

Heather
Heather

There is a lot of wisdom in this post. I'd also like to add that what we post on the internet is like a "digital tattoo." even if/when it's erased, it's stored somewhere and CAN be used against (or for us) at some point. Also, it's not safe for people to constantly be posting their whereabouts. Criminals take advantage of vacant homes of people on vacation or business trips, and can know their every move when people post where they are and what they're doing every hour.

ginger
ginger

I agree 100% Awesome article.

Beth Libson
Beth Libson

Thanks for your thought provoking post. We all need to remember how public & permanent our social media comments often are. One of the advantages of passing 50 (& there are a few) is hopefully acquiring a little wisdom. I decided some time ago to try to be positive, except perhaps for an urgent prayer request, and uplifting in my FB posts. At its worse FB is the "mean kid's" table in eighth grade-full of boasting, criticism, and pain inducing remarks. At its best FB allows the quick sharing of prayer requests and praise for answered prayers, and uplifting or smile inducing tidbits. I certainly make mistakes in this area, & continue to learn but acting as if EVERYTHING I post will be on a roadside billboard (although the internet is international, not just one road) has certainly helped my perspective.

Dianna Gould
Dianna Gould

this is wonderful! I have always tried to watch what I post, not only for the public eye, but for myself, and never once did I look at how it my impact the younger generation. While reading, I realized that I too am guilty of some of this and I thankyou for helping me realize it.

Ginger
Ginger

One of the things I appreciate most about Facebook.....the power it gives us/others to "rally the prayer warriors" for things that come up in our lives. A family suddenly faces a terrible illness -- a FB group is created, people "like" it, and suddenly, that family is surrounded by countless people (both friends and others unknown to them) who are praying and/or offering encouragement. The joy of the birth of a child -- a simple FB post brings well-wishes flooding into that family's world. Same for birthdays. Just my thoughts. Thanks for your post - I enjoyed reading it, and will definitely share it! :)

Dawn
Dawn

Thank you for a great post. I have always felt that social media, esp Facebook was something to be enjoyable. Connect with friends and family in a fun way. We have voting, email or letters, and phones to help us with our political agendas so there should be some media for just saying positive and fun things. Just my opinion. :)

Andrea
Andrea

Thank You for this! I've been guilty of this more than I'd like to admit. This really just hit home that I need stand apart with my words. I want my life to be a witness and words are so powerful.

oj
oj

A young friend posted this. She went to school with my son, I had not read your blog before that. THIS is wisdom, and you put it so well. I thank you for that, and will pay attention to what I say. Applies to everyone. Thanks. I hope to read more of your blogs.

Ginger
Ginger

Better still than (and/or in addition to) posting on social media is to write those representatives directly! I'm guilty of voting and then putting out elected officials on autopilot. I've lately had the privilege of hearing this Constitutional expert speak at our church recently, and I've learned a lot. http://towardsarenewedmind.com/Constitution_Course.html He's also pointed out the Heritage Foundation as a resource for a daily synopsis (via their blog or emails) as to the issues and also they provide simple templates so we can easily write about issues we're concerned about.

mary
mary

#1 be grateful we live in alaska, so there can be LOTS of complaints in the winter about the weather. so this past winter, in reply, i would say things like, well, we don't live in other parts of the world that are at war, never knowing if our children or husband or self will be killed while we watch, we are not in the places that had a terrorist invade a movie theatre or primary age school, not in a famine, we have plenty to eat and drink and our biggest problem is to decide which salad dressing of 10 dozen varieties to choose,not is there no food on the shelves at the store, did not have flooding, a tornado, etc. they stop and think for a minute and say, i guess you are right. i say, our weather is really a minor problem compared to these other life and death situations. we all walk away thinking and grateful. :)

maren
maren

i.love.this.

Kay Smith
Kay Smith

I feel this is a very good post. One thing though, my grandchildren live and will soon live farther away. I am so thankful for my daughters-in-law for posting pictures so I can feel connected to my grandchildren. I love being able to stay connected with former students that I had in high school, some I taught in kindergarten and elementary school. I try to be encouraging to them by my posts.

Amanda
Amanda

Thanks for this! I had examples racing in my head as I read each one. some I've done some have been done to me. one add I have is that I feel like it becomes my routine more than other things like a quiet time or time with my kid! my husband and I roll over and check facebook before we get out of bed. I need to replace that with my Bible! maybe that falls under #5 but almost could be it's on category. It is a false god that is fed by our sinful vanity. Sometimes I realize that posts or responses to others may be so I can save the day or get widespread response and I let how many "likes" validate me as a person. #6 Worship something worthy not worthless!

Amanda
Amanda

I'm not a mom, but my mom is a wonderful example of a godly woman and a prayer warrior. I respect my mom more than anyone else on this earth. While I agree with most of this article and found it to be laced with refreshing reminders and great verses, I have to say that being politically silent is not something my godly mother ever instructed me to do. We are currently under an administration that supports Planned Parenthood, an organization that misinforms women on the truth of their pregnancy ("it's not a baby yet") and helps terminate innocent babies everyday. This is barbaric and heart wrenching to me. Social media is an excellent way to inform people who might not know about the truth of abortion. Just today I was able to recruit several friends to sign a petition to defund Planned Parenthood. So, while I do think most of our posts should be positive, there are still negative realities that we must face and strive to change. Social media is a great way to promote change. It is not enough to simply vote and hope for the best. My mom has always taught me that to be silent is to be selfish.

Karin Baker
Karin Baker

I was afraid when I saw the title of this blog that it was going to be once again how social media makes people feel bad about themselves because people compare their lives to the lives presented on social media. I want to say thank you. I was pleasantly surprised by your blog and loved it. I think that social media can be and is there for people to connect, share their lives and blessings with one another. If I feel that I am less because I think someone else is better than me, then it is my own issue and I must look at myself to see why I am feeling that way. Social media has enhanced my life with being able to learn new things from others experiences, reconnect with old friends and even newer friends and share in their lives. I loved what you had to say and agree that it should be used for positive and uplifting things in our lives. Thank you!!

Julia Bertillion
Julia Bertillion

I love this! Keeping it positive and uplifting is what I got out of your post, which is great advice. I especially loved your last comment on keeping some things sacred!

Kathryn Rundblade
Kathryn Rundblade

Wow, what a great reminder, each day, with all the different social medias out there..to be aware, of what we say and post, how others perceive it. What kind of witnesses are we when this happens, I've read them, and know I've been guilty of some also .. May I be reminded each time to live as God would be watching, would he approve? Thanks

Teresa Messick
Teresa Messick

God has been whispering in my ear about this very thing for many weeks now. How tempting it is to share everything because in some sick way, it makes us feel important. I want to get my importance from God, my creator! Thank you for putting this into the perfect list....it will go on my computor TODAY! May I share this on my blog (with a direct link and credit of course!)?

virginia davis
virginia davis

perhaps God wants a situation to end and all options have been tried.

Stephanie
Stephanie

I liked this and agreed with everything but the political opinion section of #2. I WANT my children to understand the real meaning of freedom and civic responsibiilty. The people in the office have to be held accountable for their actions. I will NOT shut up when wrong is done, whether I voted for the person or not. They are supposed to represent me even, if I didn't vote for them. I will agree that "personal" attacks are not proper behavior, but stating facts and calling out improper behavior, or stating my opinions on the said behavior, does NOT "prove" I am a close-minded jerk. It's our civic responsibility to call attention to the matters at hand.

Brittany
Brittany

This was great! I'm also careful to post about being out with friends because I try to be mindful of those who weren't invited. I hate to feel left out and hate to make people feel that way. Also, I try to be careful about bragging on my kids. I read a blog post a whole back that struck me. As I'm posting about my child's many victories at a mere 2 1/2 years of life, some parents of kids with disabilities can have feelings of sadness when they're child isn't reaching those milestones. Now, not to say I never brag, I just try to keep it to a minimum.

Hevyn Allen
Hevyn Allen

I am honored that you read the article! My husband and I are BIG fans of your work. Thanks for the inspiration.

Hevyn Allen
Hevyn Allen

“Normal is boring” is not referring to an emotional/mental/physical state. It is referring to the status-quo. The peer pressure to look, be, act like everyone else. God made us individuals. Every creation He made is unique and should be celebrated. Fitting in with what the world sees as “normal” is not what I aspire to. 2 Corinthians 6:17 says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” THIS is what I meant by “Normal is boring.” Be a light in darkness.

Hevyn Allen
Hevyn Allen

Yes! FB is wonderful for that. When I was on bed rest for 6.5 weeks in the hospital with my twins, FB was how my hubby easily kept all of our friends, family, and well-wishers updated on the daily status of our little unborn miracles. I love that about FB. Thanks for your comment!

Hevyn Allen
Hevyn Allen

Yes, Kay! That's what is WONDERFUL about social media. We can connect with one another of such great distances. I'm glad for your sake, and grandmothers like you (my mom AND mom-in-love, for instance), that we can share family time across the miles on these social media sites!

Hevyn Allen
Hevyn Allen

I am in no way saying that we should be silent in political venues. My intent here was just to keep myself from falling into the trap of mud-slinging and name-calling. Any political office should be respected. However, "We the People" are given the right and responsibility to stand up for what is right. That being said, "We Christians" need to make sure we are confrontational without riotous and inflammatory language. There have been a few comments regarding this. In one paragraph, it is hard to fully expound on my opinion in this matter. I am going to, though, so as not to be misunderstood. Thanks for the comment!

Hevyn Allen
Hevyn Allen

Yes, please share (with a direct link). We need to BE the change on social media! Thanks, Teresa!

Hevyn Allen
Hevyn Allen

I agree with you, Stephanie. Whole-heartedly. In this particular paragraph, I was meaning "personal" attacks, of course... Facts and improper behavior by a public official are fair game due to the nature of their office and my opinions warranted as long as they remain objective.

H
H

Thank you for being mindful of this. I try as hard as I can not to constantly feel rejected when all of my mom "friends" are out together having a great time and I am never included, but it really does feel like they're just rubbing my face in it. Especially when they talk about it at church the next Sunday.

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