I don’t know about you, but too often I tend to visit social media networks when I’m too tired to do anything else. Which can easily lead to me typing Facebook comments that I’ll think better of in the morning. Or Tweeting something that sounds a bit more negative than I would if I’d written it earlier in the day.
Why are you on social media?
Is it to encourage? To complain? To incite action? To inspire? To plead for justice? To serve?
If your goal is to use social media to serve and encourage others, then it’s worth examining your social media “tone” once in a while to see if you’re acting on that goal.
How does your Tweet tone trend?
It’s time to open up those social media profiles again: Look back over your past week’s worth of status updates on each network. What was the overall tone? Were you serving others or yourself with your words? Were you building up or tearing down? Were you positive or were you negative?
Every time a political debate happens, I remember why I don’t Tweet about politics. Not that I don’t have firmly held political convictions—I do!—but Tweeting about them doesn’t fit my online goals. Maybe posting about politics fits your passion and purpose online—only you can decide that. But if you don’t outline your goals for social media, you won’t have a checklist to keep you from posting something that you’ll later regret.
Are you Tweeting as you would like to be Tweeted about?
Everyone knows the Golden Rule applies to social media: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But too often we forget the old adage that’s just as important, if not more applicable when it comes to posting online: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
I know Twitter is an easy way to approach anyone about issues you have with them or their company. But I’m trying to practice the biblical method of going to someone individually first if at all possible, using the public method of Twitter only as a last resort. That’s how I’d like to be Tweeted—I mean, treated.
But when someone is deserving of thanks or praise? I want to gladly @mention them on Twitter, and like and share and RT them as often as possible.
There is a time and place for pointing out the shame and injustice in this world. Maybe that’s your online calling. But even political Tweets can be written tastefully and seasoned with grace.
Regardless of the topics we choose to post about online, we should all think before we Tweet and pray before we post: there is no edit in social media. And next time I don’t have anything nice to say, maybe I’ll recognize it as a sure sign it’s time to get offline.