For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. --James 3:2-10
Wow! That's a lot of power that the Bible ascribes to the tongue! What's interesting to me is that, as powerful as the tongue is, the 21st century's social media possiblities has turned everyone's mouth into an instant, global, permanent bullhorn, if they so choose. Below you'll find some keys that I think are important to keep in mind when posting online:
- Negativity is louder
online, so try to remain positive. It's like you've got a megaphone when you're
posting on Facebook or Twitter. Instead of responding to a few friends,
you're actually speaking to hundreds or thousands of people. When you let
drama or outrage or anger take over, you'll end up sending those emotions even
stronger than if you were in person just speaking to a couple of people.
- You'll probably never win
an argument online. If you want to debate, Facebook or Twitter probably aren't the
best places to start. If you see someone has posted something inviting
controversy, and you step in the middle of it, you'll probably end up just
adding noise to the argument rather than shedding light on the truth. Resist
the temptation to step into the fray.
- Gossip online is the same
as in person, only louder. If you would have to whisper it to say it in
person in a crowded room, you probably shouldn't repeat it online.
Gossip, by its nature, doesn't spread good impressions about others and
falls into the category of negativity, so filter yourself online.
Remember what Proverbs 17:9 says, "Whoever repeats the matter
separates close friends."
- Leave criticism to critics.
criticize your boss, your co-worker, your workplace, your school, your teacher,
your church, your friend online, you certainly risk that it will be seen by
them or repeated or, worse yet, reposted. None of the people or
institutions will likely get back to you on it, but it will diminish your relationship
and credibility with these folks, and you may not know why.
- Many likes and comments may
backfire on you. Outrage and drama blow-up online response, but can end up tainting
your real social and professional sphere. If you're wanting to be taken
seriously in real life, you may wish to read everything you're putting online
through a lens that asks, "What if my rival or my boss or my mother read
this?" This may help you avoid becoming perceived as the outrageous
online drama king or queen.
- Do confrontation in person.
and confrontation happen most ideally in person. If you have something
important to say to someone you're in conflict with, do your best to say it in
person. Too many people end up learning that the message they thought was
perfectly clear in email or text or even on Facebook or Twitter was painfully
misunderstood. Social media is rarely an ideal place for hashing out
anything with anyone. Even when attacked head-on, I do my best never to
respond to it online.
six keys about a subject I'd like to write a book on! What kinds of
wisdom have you found when it comes to Social Media Wisdom? Keep the
conversation going below! Find me on Twitter here or on Facebook here!
Labels: discipleship, leadership, leadership development, online tools, wisdom