Just THINK of It! - How to Post Well on Social Media
How many times have we come across a post on social media that makes us cringe because the post is just so embarrassing? Like that of a ranting girl seeking justice from a cheating boyfriend and a betraying friend, or a guy posting a blow-by-blow account of his relationship and spilling some dirty little secrets.
Social media is a virtual world full of personalities. Some cute, some beautiful, some cool, some good, some bad, a lot of times vain and oftentimes pointless. Here are a few personalities we could name on social media, in particular Facebook:
The Beauty: People who know they’re beautiful and want to share their beauty, but sometimes to the point of being narcissistic.
The Liberated: People who are independent but sometimes tend to curse and swear a lot, go with the (wrong) trend and choose to break rules all to appear cool and nonconformist.
The Corrector: People who want others to be the best version of themselves and seek to improve them but sometimes tend to rant, comment, or react negatively and fight or bully others.
The Broadcaster: People who are excited to share news about their life but sometimes to a point of TMI (too much information), attention-seeking, or too emotional and sorry about life.
The FOMO: People who are updated on things and news about people, events, and places but sometimes spend a lot of time lurking or stalking on the Internet.
All these personalities have their good and bad qualities. How can we learn to use social media in a healthy and fruitful way, that will benefit ourselves and others?
Consider this: Billions of people use social media, and Facebook gathers the most traffic. A single post could be seen by our parents, relatives, friends, teachers, classmates, crushes, and people we do not know from all over the world, depending on our privacy setting. A mistake can call their attention and a scandal can blow things out of proportion.
Remember, the Internet never forgets. We may think we have deleted a photo of us getting hardcore drunk only to find out that the people behind Facebook and Google have saved it. It should be no surprise that Facebook knows us too well to be able to greet us on our birthdays and friend-versaries.
We are also responsible. We own our accounts, so we have no one to blame for our online mistakes and the consequences of those mistakes, such as being labeled a certain personality that we are not. If we beg to differ from those personalities, we need to improve our image on social media. If we want to correct a person, we do it directly on messenger to the person or better yet face-to-face with the person.
So we need to be careful what we post. How?
THINK! To think is the only way for us to be careful about what we post on social media, especially on Facebook. Before we post, we need to remember: T-H-I-N-K: True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind. Is our post True? Is it Helpful? Is it Inspiring? It is Necessary? Is it Kind?”
We could emulate a number of THINK-worthy posts from inspirational people and inspirational sites such as Toby Mac, Lifeteen, Catholic Teens, Pure Heart Philippines, and many others.
If our posts are true, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind, then we don’t have a problem. We may also feel like posting something that’s randomly not THINK-worthy at times such as humor, groufies, or anything neutral. But everything should be in moderation. We don’t want people to unfriend or unfollow us simply because we flood their timelines.
To have a better quality of life, we need to go offline and do other things beyond the Internet, like draw, sing, paint, dance, volunteer in the community, study, and pray. We can find pure happiness on things that do not require a tablet or a computer. Because what we see in the Internet is not the reality, but a fraction of the reality, which sometimes puts a mask on. We don’t even need to compare our life with others because we are enough on our own.
Of course, we love social media for the fun and aid it offers. We love it for the platform of self-expression it allows. Selfies, groufies, fambam, and myriads of hashtags happen because of social media. We can even make lots of money through social media. Just post something click-worthy, and a star is born. But are we really the person that we portray on social media? Are we guarding our dignity online? THINK of it.
Five letters. One word. Just THINK before posting on social media!
Written by Honey Fe Bacus. Honey Fe is a former Pure Heart server and is currently a postulant with the Apostolic Sisters of St. John in Cebu City, Philippines.