To Post or Not to Post?
“Take control of what I say, O LORD, and guard my lips."
Over-sharing on social media has become rampant. Whether it’s the latest video blog of a husband showing how he got his wife’s urine sample out of the toilet for a surprise pregnancy test (I’m not kidding!) or an angry wife’s post fresh off an argument with her husband, there is such a thing as too much information!
I myself have been guilty of this especially when it comes to my 12-year-old daughter and the funny things she says and does. Seriously, she’s adorable. However, I’m somewhat ashamed when I think of the times I’ve snuck onto Facebook to post something about her only to later have her come across it and yell accusingly, “Mom! You put that on Facebook??” Busted. I can try to tell her it’s ok, just my friends see it. But it can’t change the fact that I broke a trust with her by posting something I knew she would not have appreciated.
Perhaps you’ve done something similar? Or you might wonder if something you want to post might be borderline inappropriate to share? Below are a few suggested questions to ask yourself next time BEFORE you post.
- Is it true?
- Is it kind?
- Is it uplifting?
- Is it loyal to my spouse? My family member? My friend?
- Am I posting it out of anger or hurt?
- Does it either implicitly or directly disparage my spouse? My family member? Anyone else?
- Am I posting it to gather sympathy or attention for myself, or to put myself in a better light?
- How will they feel if/when they see the post?
- How would I feel if someone posted it about me?
- Am I posting it in secret? Would I post it if the person were standing next to me?
- Have I asked the person’s permission to share it?
- Most importantly: Does honor and respect the intended subject?
If it’s true that “a picture speaks a thousand words” and “death and life are in the power of the tongue,” (Proverbs 18:21) – or the post for that matter – then what I say on social media has tremendous power to either bring life-giving honor to my relationships or death-wielding pain. It’s totally within my power to choose.
...what I say on social media has tremendous power to either bring life-giving honor to my relationships or death-wielding pain.
The bottom line is this: Even if it’s funny, if it’s not kind, don’t post it. If you’re angry or hurt – don’t post it. If you have to do it in secret – don’t post it. If in doubt, ask their permission to share it first. If they say no, then file it away under “good ideas gone bad” and let it pass. If they give the OK, then post away! If you’ve already posted an offensive comment or photo, confess and ask forgiveness.
O Lord, take control of what I say, and guard my lips. Help me to speak only words of life and only what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. (Psalm 141: 3; Philippians 4:8) Amen.
Alisa Grace ('92) serves as the co-director of the Biola University Center for Marriage and Relationships where she also co-teaches a class called "Christian Perspectives on Marriage and Relationships." While she speaks and blogs regularly on topics such as dating relationships, marriage, and love, she also loves mentoring younger women and newly married couples, speaking at retreats and providing premarital counseling. Alisa and her husband, Chris, have been married over 30 years and have three wonderful children: Drew and his wife Julia, Natalie and her husband Neil, and their youngest blessing, Caroline.