I feel like we need to have a Social Media 101 class for some folks around here.
We all know those people who seem to use social media in the most frustrating and annoying ways.
Sure, it’s your page. You can do anything you want on it, but, remember, when you signed up for Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or TikTok you sort of signed a social contract that allows everyone on the internet to see what you’re posting — and with that comes some responsibility.
In past columns I’ve listed things folks need to stop doing on social media and I’ve come up with a few more things many of us are tired of seeing. You may not want to admit it, but deep down you know if you’re guilty of some of some of these:
1. Fake giveaways — Stop sharing those fake giveaways for campers, trucks and Disney trips. No one has ever won any of those. I’m sure you’ve seen ‘em. It’s where some dealership in Cordele or Clearwater posts photos of a beautiful new camper and says “The winner of our last drawing wasn’t old enough to claim the prize so let’s try this again. Anyone who comments, likes and shares this post will be entered to win this brand new camper.” And then you do all those things thinking you’ll be the next winner. You’re not. The dealership or company gets all those likes and shares and you get nothing. Here’s a test. If any one of these dealerships really is giving away a free truck or camper, give one to me and I’ll change my tune. I’ll tell everyone it’s legit. Oh, and please don’t think Disney is scouring Facebook to make sure you shared their post and is gonna call you to spend two free nights in Cinderella’s Castle. Come on, y’all.
Your wedding pictures from three years ago — I feel like wedding pictures should be shared right when you get married OR when you’re celebrating 50 years of marriage. Don’t change your profile photo to your wedding photos every few weeks. We know. You looked beautiful on your special day. Someone did your hair and makeup. It was a wonderful day. But we don’t need to see photos of you in your wedding dress pop up in our timeline every few days.
Silent prayer requests — Please don’t think I’m saying you shouldn’t ask for prayer requests. That’s not what I’m saying. It’s when people CONSTANTLY post “Prayer warriors I have a prayer request that I can’t talk about. God Knows.” Social media may not be the place to post your most intimate spiritual needs. It almost seems like some people are just doing it for attention and sympathy. God knows your needs all the time without a single word being spoken. Social media posts won’t make him pay special attention to you.
Emotional unburdening — We’ve all seen the posts that begin with “I’ve debated whether or not to post this” or “I’ve struggled long and hard wondering whether I should post this.” Well don’t. If there is something so personal or emotionally heavy that it causes you to agonize over posting it, then perhaps the internet isn’t where this needs to be. If something’s so important or difficult for you then maybe not every Tom, Dick and Harry needs to be out here knowing your business.
Overy pious testimonials — I see this type of post from people who seem like they’re trying to prove that they’re more pious or godly than you are. These are the posts that CONSTANTLY remind people that you’ve been saved or that your salvation story is more dramatic than anyone else’s. As I’ve often said, God’s grace doesn’t depend on your social media posts. He knows what’s truly in your heart. And if all your good deeds and good thoughts are in your heart, he knows it. Many times those posts are more for attention and praise than for a closer relationship with God. He doesn’t check Facebook to see who he needs to bless. Did you know your walk with the Lord can be impactful and meaningful without you posting about it on the internet?
An abundance of selfies — You know who you are. If you’re the type of person who constantly posts selfies, please know there are many people in your friends list who scroll past them rolling their eyes. And it’s not that they don’t like you or that you’re a bad person. It’s because people who post selfies all the time come across as thirsty, conceited and vain. Look through your profile photos. If a majority of them are selfies (meaning face pics that you took), then you need to ask yourself if you’re just doing it for attention.
Political posts — Yes, ALL political posts. We’ve gotten to the point now where the topic of politics isn’t brought up for honest, open discussion. It’s brought up to bluster and to puff your chest out and tell everyone why your politician or party is superior to anyone else who doesn’t agree 100% with you. So just spare us all the time and energy. No one is reading your posts and suddenly jumping ship from their party. All it does is create animosity. Show your political passion by voting or by running for office or volunteering with someone’s campaign, not by sharing a nasty meme about a politician you don’t like. That serves no purpose but to make you look petty and ignorant.
If all else fails, remember that social media should be entertaining and not taken too seriously. Not everyone out there has your best interest at heart. So be cautious with the information you allow them to have.