Monday, November 23, 2015

5 Ways to Avoid Posting Things You'll Regret on Social Media



Popping off online with a sarcastic quip when I’m unhappy about something  is one of my biggest temptations. I know I’m not alone in this because I see a lot of people do it, even leaders. The times I engage in this are extremely rare to non-existent however I am sorely tempted many times. I know it's important to have this under control. If I'm going to be effective, there's no question I have to be extremely careful with what I post. My boss and I were talking about leadership one day and he made the remark that the higher we go in leadership the less freedom we have. I couldn't agree more.

Let's say as a pastor, I had a terrible experience in a Sunday morning service where everything went wrong. The sound. The media. Evvvvvverything.  It is tempting for me to go online right afterwards and post, "Why couldn't the rapture have come at exactly 10:45?"  or, "Some Sunday mornings require Xanax." Yeah, I have totally posted stuff like that before. And I know it’s not good. So I try my best to avoid it. Sometimes this requires a Hershey bar. With almonds. And a latte. 

Just because I have a legitimate reason to be upset at times doesn’t mean it’s wise or appropriate to post about it. Usually deep regret follows but it’s too late. Darn screen shotting.

My assistant Erika tells me there are times she is upset and realizes she must avoid all social media until the moment passes. I believe this is wisdom. 

Here are five tried and true ways to avoid media post regret. In addition to avoiding social media until the moment passes, before you post: 


Phone a friend 

Some things I want to rant about on social media are appropriate for a private conversation with a friend but not for public consumption. A friend knows my heart and isn’t going to judge because of what I've said while venting . However, scores of people on social media who don’t know my heart at all would judge. And rightfully so.  Although it doesn’t help to be judged it helps greatly to hear the wisdom of a Godly friend. And most of the time that’s what I receive after I’ve vented, which is valuable.

Breathe Deeply 

Take deep breaths and slowly exhale through your mouth. You can do this anytime - anywhere. The other day I was troubled about something and unfortunately at the time I was in a public setting. I inconspicuously took some deep breaths, exhaled and employed some positive self-talk. "This is small in the grand scheme of things..." I told myself. "In a few weeks this won't even matter..." I thought. "Let it go..." I said to myself. It worked.

Take a Stretch

When something stresses me, I usually feel it in my body. My neck and shoulders become tense and achy.  Rather than pop off with a sarcastic post, I stand up, and stretch my hands up as high as I can and back down again. I tilt my neck from side to side and gently rub the back of it with my hands.  Sometimes I add a dab of essential oil, my favorite being, “Past Tense” by DoTerra.    

Take a walk 

A walk sometimes brings a perspective shift for me. At other times, my feelings about the situation don’t change but I feel more relaxed after I’ve walked it out. Either way, the tempting moment to post something snarky has passed -- and that's what matters. Any time you avoid snark, be proud of yourself. It's part of developing the fruit of the spirit in your life.

Journal it Out

Journaling accomplishes many purposes and for this issue, it provides another outlet for the emotions at hand. It’s a safe and proper place to release whatever is inside. Many times I journal such things as prayers. 

Depending on the severity of whatever has me down, I may do all of these things on the same day. And that’s alright. It’s much preferable to posting something I will later regret. God is so faithful to help me in moments of weakness. He will help you, too.



Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

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