Engaging wisely with social media

(Photo: Unsplash/Georgia de Lotz)

I have never been one to post much personal stuff on social media. Sure, I've always used it to connect to others. It's great for catching up on what's going on in the lives of people that you know but never get to meet. More so now in a world filled with lockdowns and restrictions. And of course, as someone living in 2022, I have also done my part in sharing memes and posts that contribute to "world peace" and numerous "lols".

Sharing regular snippets of what's going in my life is something I've only started doing lately. The one response that I've gotten which has tickled me is everyone is amazed that I have so much going on in my life nowadays. The truth is, what I have posted is just some of our usual goings-on. What's been getting busy is my social media life.

I may be a little more vulnerable on social media but there is still much restrain on my part about what I post online. While I can say it's a lot to do with privacy and safety, it's also true that there is no way I can be 100% myself to the virtual world.

How much is too much?

In the recent years, I've noticed a growing trend in the social media groups I am a part of. People who are struggling with real issues – arguments, sicknesses, etc – are reaching out for advice online.

In a way, I can understand the reasoning for this. We get to ask a group of strangers and never see them in real life to feel embarrassed. There are some things that are really hard to talk about and the freedom to post anonymously is a welcome opportunity. Asking a huge group of people a question may also yield more answers than talking to a single person. Some people just don't have anyone in their lives that they can have an unguarded conversation with.

However, there are also times when I have just been bewildered at people's dependency on social media. Like the time someone's child was blue in the face and the person took a photo to post online and ask when they should go to the doctor. Or someone asking for advice about whether her husband was right to question her about the extra money she spent.

Use wisdom

There may be nothing wrong with asking a question on social media. The answers or advice we get back is what we should be careful about. Take the time to think about it. Is that advice correct? Is it reliable?

And most of all – is it godly? Are we being led to Christ or away from Him?

Equally important is to consider what we say online in response to others. Don't just be what people call a keyboard warrior. Choose to give godly encouragement and biblical advice. Build people up instead of tearing them down.

We can point them to the right people for godly advice if we are not in a position to share information about certain issues. We don't have to have it all figured out. Acknowledge what we have done wrong and apologize when we should.

"The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways..." (Proverbs chapter 14, verse 8).

Stop. Take the time to think.

Use wisdom.