‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’ was something that I was taught as a child. However it seems that not everyone was brought up with the same sentiment and over time in this society, we’ve cultivated a culture that boastfully shares every good and bad thought, opinion and angry rant for the entire world to see.
Instead of journals and friends being the only things privy to our inward thoughts, Facebook and Twitter are now our go-to platforms when we’ve got something to say and feel like everyone needs to know about it.
From celebrities to those in Government, these platforms are used to vent controversial objections, make nasty or belittling comments and even share trivial and obscure personal details, consequently leading to mass backlash, trolling, damaged reputations, and offence.
US Christian fashion & beauty vlogger Vicky Logan recently received more than she bargained for when her followers rummaged through her Twitter account and dug up offensive tweets (dated more than 3 years ago) that she had posted. Fans began to bombard her with private messages demanding an explanation and re-sharing her tweets, some even went as far as contacting her business sponsors to tell them about her misconduct. Responding with a heartfelt apology and explanation about the old tweets, Vicky confessed to her viewers that her biggest lesson learned in the ordeal was the importance of using wisdom when posting and tweeting, because not only might they offend people, but they will also find their way back to the sender and cause further issues (even if that person has changed and no longer feels that way).
24 year old Hertfordshire University Graduate, Tobi Racheal Akingbade posted a picture and message on Twitter in September that celebrated her journey and struggles of graduating. Shortly after her tweet (which had been shared 500,000 times), a Twitter user had copied her message and posted it with a picture of someone covered in ‘black face’, holding a jar of Nutella, which left her feeling ‘hurt’, ‘disgusted’ and ‘angry’. The person responsible for the tweet ended up being berated by many online users, which led him to apologise for his actions.
These two examples show the two sides of the coin, both from the receiver’s point of view, the sender’s point of view. It also shows what the negative consequences of using social media to vent are as well as driving home the importance of using the platforms as a productive tool for sharing positive content. Remember, once posted content can be saved, duplicated, shared and archived- forever.
Here are 5 things that you should avoid posting on social media
Slander- Attacking someone’s character publically isn’t only terrible for them, it doesn’t look good on you or your reputation.
Misdemeanours- Unless it’s intertwined and packaged as a lesson learned in a beautifully written blog, it’s best to repent and keep it to yourself.
Racist comments- Complete no go. Not only are you insulting one person, you’re insulting an entire race.
Offensive opinion- As the saying goes, ‘Let sleeping dogs lie’ if it doesn’t affect you or others, avoid getting involved.
Indecency- Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. I think this speaks for itself.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philipians 4:8