It’s not news to anyone that things can get pretty heated these days over social media. From politics and religion to your next meal, people seem to have an opinion on everything (lookin’ at you, twitter trolls!).
We’ve all been there: scrolling through Facebook and that crazy aunt shares something absolutely mind-blowing. What do you do? Do you seethe quietly to yourself and scroll on? Type out a paragraph response proving that they are an awful human being, but delete it right away? Or, do you condescendingly share your opinion for all the world to see?
Social media seems to be getting a lot of crap lately for the content posted and the arguments had, but we want to look at our responsibility in these circumstances and the best ways to stay true to your morals on social media.
Don’t tag people to get them to side with you.
It’s a good feeling when someone backs you. But don’t bring others into your argument. You may “win” the debate and force the other person(s) to back down, but you didn’t change anyone’s mind, and the other person left thinking you’re a jerk. It’s kind of like those terrible years in middle school when the popular girl (with her 3 friends backing her up), tells you your outfit is ugly. Don’t be that girl. You’ll always find someone to support you. But it doesn’t mean your opinion or argument won.
Keep your personal drama offline.
It’s almost like reality t.v. reading highly dramatic posts.
The cry for attention:
Ex. “I just need a best friend who is always gonna be there no matter what... like I’ve got stuff on my mind and no one to vent to.”
The post you want that one person to see:
Ex. “If you can't try and understand my take on things, DO NOT expect me to try and understand yours.”
A veiled threat:
Ex. “God knows. Just remember that. @youknowwho”
Ex. “Cleaning the entire house. AGAIN. Seems like I’m only one who cares about keeping things nice.”
While it is fun to grab a bag of popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the drama (or, if you’re on the other side of the screen- satisfying to get something off of your chest), it is always best to address an issue in person. Involving other people usually complicates things, so naturally, when you air your dirty laundry to the worldwide web, things can easily get much worse. Talk with that person face to face and meet your problem head on. Confronting things in person takes true courage.
Don’t insult and attack a person’s character.
The point of an argument or a debate is to get at the truth. Making personal attacks on someone’s character is a low blow and shows that you don’t genuinely care about figuring out the truth. Oftentimes, when you are insulting someone’s character, you are exaggerating, manipulating the facts to present an untrue picture, or misleading with half-truths. No one is perfect, it is not usually difficult to defame a person’s character; but, remember you are showing your true colors as well. Always take the high road.
Choose how you want to make your social media positive.
Do you want it to be thought provoking, uplifting, fun, or just purely a means to stay in contact? Take the time to figure out what you stand for and what you want to represent. Fight to make your space on social media a place that is positive and lifts others up. If you haven’t given this a single thought, give yourself a detox. Stay off Instagram, Facebook, Snapchats, and all the others for a day or more and think through how you can best stay true to yourself and your values both online and offline.
Here are some things to think about:
Integrity- Are you living your life with integrity? Do you do the right thing even when no one is watching you?
Passion- Am I truly excited about a hobby or thing that I am portraying? Or am I just trying to get more likes?
Honesty- Am I being authentic with what I’m posting? Am I being transparent with myself?
Compassion- Are you treating people on your social media kindly?
Beauty- Are you representing beauty that is more than skin deep? The words you are speaking, the pictures you are posting-- are they kind or cruel?
Happiness- Does your presence online make you happy? If so, are you allowing that to spread to others? Are you staying grounded?
Let us know how you’re making the online world a better place by commenting below!