Social Media Standards
If there is any topic thoroughly covered from the pulpit, in books, over coffee, and in your living room it is that of social media. It has been dissected from all sides imaginable and yet I still have some thoughts about it milling around in my brain.
I am CONSTANTLY struggling with my social media. Am I posting too much? Am I posting enough? Am I following the right people? Am I spending the right amount of time on media? Did I get enough likes? Did I care too much about the likes I got or didn't get? Did my post reach enough people? Is my post even worthy of reaching people? Do I post enough about the Lord? Will people know I love Him? Should I be talking more about church work? So on and so forth. The social media question never stops. And I, a person who loves to stay connected with and communicate to her people will probable never stop using social media. So. How do I handle that? How do I manage my media?
I don't know for sure yet. I'm not sure I'm capable of giving you a comprehensive list of "do's" or "dont's," but here are a few things I do know. Some things I've noticed. Some things that help. Some things I thought you might need to be reminded of today.
Anything you see on social media is coming at you through a filter.
Even the things which say #nofilter. Those posts might not have a picture filter clouding them, but they were definitely filtered through someone's life, heart, and day. Someone chose to share that particular moment over 1,439 other minutes in their day.
The realization that filters exist can bless your heart in two different ways.
1.) When someone posts a pristine photo of their orange juice and toast you can train your brain to know automatically that you can't see the rest of the counter. Yes. Someone arranged the toast and chilled the orange juice and pushed some mess out of the way to place their best foot forward and give you a piece of prettiness in your day. That is both the beginning and the end of it. The kitchen counter is not always clean - but what you can see of it is. Not everyone poses perfectly for the family picture during every snap but during the one you're seeing - they did. That couple who posts the pictures of themselves making out wearing trendy outfits - they go to sleep in pajamas and wake up with bad breath like everyone else. "Don't compare your daily life to someone's highlight reel" (or whatever that saying is) and don't compare your Instagram feed to someone else's. It IS a highlight reel, not a 24/7 video feed into a person's actual life. Acknowledge that. Remind yourself of that. Breathe easy in that fact and realization.
2.) You can feel free to make full use of a filter. If you are viewing inappropriate content, set up safeguards. If you are spending too much time on social media, put that phone down. If someone's posts are driving you crazy, unfollow them. Or better yet, take your feelings to the Lord, ask Him to show you what bothers you so much about these particular posts, and run your feelings through the filter of prayer and the Word. I have unfollowed (on purpose - there was one accidental incident) exactly one person in my entire lifetime. I'm generally not bothered by content which shows up in my feed because one way or another, I filter. Filter. Filter. FILTER.
Check your motives.
I drive myself crazy trying to make the perfect posts. I really do. Will what I am saying come across as gushing? (Counter question: Do I truly mean what I am saying?) Will my other friends feel inferior to the friend I am posting about? (Counter questions: Is it my intention to make them feel that way? If they choose to feel that way, is it my problem?) Am I posting too much about myself? (Counter question: What is the intent behind my posts?) It goes on and on. It comes down to this:
The opinion I am most worried about.
"Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever." 1 Peter 4:11
Whatever I'm doing - singing, writing, living, posting - it's meant to glorify the Lord. You can glorify the Lord in the most minute ways with the smallest things in the least of your moments. What I do should be led by the Spirit - even my posts on instagram.
Would Jesus "like" this post?
If He would it won't matter who doesn't.
Social media is such a powerful tool. What are you building with it? We don't all have to have the same brand standard. Your social media might be themed or a hodge podge. You might focus on sports or museums or what you've made for dinner or your pets. The question is not of content. The question is:
Is your social media, using whatever materials you prefer or have on hand, building a platform from which to proclaim the glory of God?
My friend Brianna has a standard for her social media posting:
The Bible, I believe, has a standard as well:
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, post on these things." - Philippians 4:8