Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Why You Need to Pause Before Posting

 We live in a different age.  Having been born on the tail end of the "Gen Y" group, just missing being stuck in "Gen Tech" by a few years,  I was able to see the world before and after the invasion of the Internet.

They define the Gen Tech generation as those who do not remember life before Internet.  They may have been born before Internet was widely available in the common American home, but they weren't old enough to remember those times.

Me?  I remember playing in the mud, walking up to my neighbor's house and asking if Katie could come out and play, and rollerblading and biking until the sun went down.

I don't want to sound old and "bash" on technology.  This digital age is both exciting and frightening, and while most youth toot how awesome all of these fast-paced technological advances are for mankind, I'd like to offer the alternate view.

I don't want to be a wet blanket, but I raise this issue for the sake of safety.  Our safety, and our sanity. 

I read a blog post awhile back that presented 5 Questions to Ask before Posting to Social Media.  To summarize, the questions they suggested were:
  1. Am I seeking approval?
  2. Am I boasting?
  3. Am I discontent?
  4. Is this a moment to protect?
  5. Is it kind? 
They are smart questions to ask before posting anything to social media.  Facebook, Twitter, blogs...they are powerful tools.  I love how they open up the world of marketing, self-expression, and communication across the world.

However, the Internet has become just that: a mode of self-expression.  Of all the social environments of the world, it is the easiest to be self-focused on the Internet. 

On Facebook, you post about what YOU think, about YOU, what YOU like, what is bothering YOU. 

On your blog, you write about YOUR day, YOUR thoughts, YOUR views.

It's not necessarily bad to do these thing in and of themselves, but it becomes so easy to get into this mode of ME ME ME ME.  If we are not careful about what we post, social media can become an unhealthy source of attention or a place to brag without getting rebuked or weird stares.

I'm sure someone is going to do a study one day on the societal and cultural impacts of social media on individuals.  Why hasn't someone done a study on how getting likes on Facebook makes us feel better about ourselves? 

The Internet has had 25 years of impact on our society, and the effects are showing already.  We see a culture that is less patient and more likely to talk about themselves. A group of young people who are exposed so much earlier than before.  A society of individuals more willing to talk through a screen than face to face. 

The world of swirling fast communication allows us to connect with people from across the world in seconds, find information for endless amounts of topics, and carry the world around in our mobile devices in a way we've never been able to before. 

But for all of the "pluses" of having the Internet in our lives, we need to take a hard long look at the "minuses" and make sure that this benefit doesn't leave behind unexpected injuries.

Soli Deo Gloria.


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Related posts:

It's Time to Burn Those Self-Esteem Posts
5 Tips for a Happier Life
The Gift of Giving
My Problem with Christians