As of now, you’ve probably heard about Roseanne Barr’s twitter post and the cancellation of her show on ABC.
I recently read a great post about how Roseanne’s claim of mental illness is no excuse for racism. Beauty Beyond Bones also shared ways to truly provide help to those going struggling with mental illnesses. Check out her post here.
I agree that Roseanne Barr’s post was incredibly insensitive and wrong. ABC did the right thing by canceling the show. (I also would love to see more balance on the part of ABC. Comments about Vice President Pence on the View were also disturbing.)
While Americans do have First Amendment rights to free speech, it is still important to use that freedom wisely.
There have been several instances of students not being admitted to colleges or not being hired at certain workplaces all because of a distasteful post or two on social media.
To avoid incidents like this, it’s important to post with intention.
Here are 3 Ways to Use Social Media Productively:
1. Be Professional
Whether you’re 16 or 76, there are ways to present yourself well on social media. Avoid cussing, use proper (or at least readable) grammar, and realize that your message is potentially going out to the whole world. It’s okay to share personal things with friends or family, but try to do it in a tasteful way.
A general guideline:
If you’re not comfortable with a future employer seeing something, don’t post it.
Unfortunately, most social media posts can’t be deleted. While you can’t undo past mistakes, it’s important to be more cautious in the future.
2. Keep Some Opinions to Yourself
I’m extremely opinionated when it comes to politics, but Twitter is seldom the place for intellectual, political debates. People are likely to be ruder and more insensitive online than they would be if talking to someone face to face. Political comments on social media can get very heated and no side of the argument really wins.
For example, I’ve stopped reading the comment section of President Trump’s tweets. No matter what he posts (whether something completely professional or rather immature), the comment section looks the same – people supporting him no matter what, people dissing him no matter what, a handful that actually care about the issue at hand, and thousands more who lash out at fellow Twitter users for their opinions.
I’m a huge advocate for everyone having opinions and actually thinking about the political issues at hand. But social media is just not the place to put all of our thoughts. For those that represent a company, for example, heavily-opinionated posts that don’t align with the company’s beliefs could be detrimental to their career.
And if you do post your opinions, try to do so in a respectful manner that doesn’t humiliate the other side or personally attack anyone involved. (I know I’d have a hard time doing this, so I seldom tweet about politics.)
3. Be Encouraging
It’s so easy to have a negative outlook on life and controversial social media posts don’t make the world seem like too great of a place. But, I fully believe that we can help change this.
Post about your incredible vacation. Post about the great things your community or church are doing. Offer support for those going through difficult times.
Social media is an excellent platform to build community. There’s a young boy at my church dealing with cancer. His mom created a Facebook page to share his health updates and it’s been a great way to see others praying and supporting him throughout this major health crisis.
Finally, here are some Bible verses that can help us be more intentional about our posts on social media and conversations in day to day life.
“People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!” ~ James 3:7-10 (NLT)
“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” ~ Ephesians 4:29 (NLT)
“Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” ~ Colossians 4:6 (NLT)