Fact vs. Opinion
I have about forty-seven other things to be doing right now, but I have thoughts that need to get out. Most likely I will never publish this, but writing makes me feel better.
Everybody has their frustrations with social media. We either hate the political posts, or we love them. We hate pictures of plates of food, or we love them. We hate and we love…and we tell people what we hate or love, quite often. Without jumping on the extreme feelings bandwagon, may I share a few thoughts? Thanks.
In my perfect social media world, people would write funny stories about things that happen at work, or at home, or at the grocery store or the gas station. There would be no “shares” or “likes”. The only option would be comments, and that option would have an on/off switch. We would only post original pictures that we took ourselves, and there would be NO contests to win cowboy boots. Snarky comments disguised as funny pictures would not exist, because people would realize they could be taken the wrong way and wouldn’t post them.
Yes, I realize I want to live in Mr. Roger’s neighborhood. It’s happier there.
I do not understand the idea of adding a comment box at the bottom of every single post, whether on social media or on the news. I just don’t know why opinions are as valuable as we make them to be. I mean, I have lots of opinions. I share them with the ones I love who will understand me and where I’m coming from. I just don’t assume that the rest of the world needs or wants to read what I think about politics, celebrity gossip, sports, human behavior, etc. I was taught that my thoughts were valuable, but that thinking before you speak (or write) is a social skill that will take you far in life. I was also taught to be kind.
Yes, I realize the irony of this post. It is my opinion. I get it. But might I, from the standpoint of someone who has used social media for a long time (and made a lot of mistakes in the process), offer this gentle advice? Consider what you say, and who will be reading it. Is it necessary? Will others benefit from it at all? Will they think more highly of you for saying it? If the answer to any of these is no…then I wouldn’t say it. It’s important in many cases to speak up, but not in every case.
My mom is really good at knowing when to share her thoughts and when to keep them to herself. She has navigated the waters of being a minister’s wife with so much grace and social-savviness. I admire this about her. My pastor’s wife is the same way. She’s one of my heroes in knowing how to relate to others. Every single time I talk to her, I walk away happier. That’s a skill, y’all. She doesn’t drag down the conversation with her own opinions, and even when I get carried away with mine, she steers our words back to what is positive. Everybody loves her, and this is largely the reason why.
So, as far as our opinions go, Jesus is our model. He knew when to speak, and when to be quiet. He knows your opinion. If you disagree with something, tell him. Face your problems, don’t Facebook them.
To the many of you who make me laugh, encourage and uplift me on a regular basis through social media…many, many thanks. You are “liked”.