Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday's Top Ten [What to Avoid on Facebook]

I'm notorious for putting myself in situations I shouldn't on Facebook. I open my fat mouth and things come out in a way I never intended and I end up looking like a fool (hence my series on "Me and My Big Mouth" I'm currently undertaking). I've also written quite a bit about my issues with Facebook:

I know I'm not alone because I see posts that raise eye brows or make skin crawl. Based on a few of my own mistakes and being witness to others, here's 10 things to avoid doing on Facebook:
  1. Venting/Ranting. It doesn't affect outcomes. Most importantly, negativity from one person allows others to jump on the negativity bandwagon. 
  2. Unless asked, avoid posting opinions on someone else's status. Unless you can do this while having a friendly debate, refrain from spouting sentiments. It usually leads to an unnecessary argument, name calling, and hurt feelings. Fact of life: we are never going to agree on everything. Fact of life #2: Disagreeing does not mean we cannot be friends. 
  3. It is not necessary to share opinions on anything held near and dear to one's heart more than once. (See #2) Self-control is key (and yeah, I'm ever-so-guilty of this one too.)
  4. Complaining. This relates to #1 but they're a tad different in that one involves anger and the other involves whining. Neither characteristic is attractive. They are related in that it doesn't affect outcomes. And why start a negativity train? 
  5. Fixing. A few days ago I witnessed someone cyberbullying someone else. It was a minor offense, words were posted that would definitely hurt, but no threats were made or death wishes asked by the attacker, but it was wrong nonetheless. I had this deep urge (still do) to fix the situation, even though it isn't mine to fix. I just happen to be a friend of a friend. Not.my.business. On a serious note, however, please do not post something to affect someone else in a negative manner. It only encourages others to join you and you have absolutely no idea how much words hurt (if you want to know 10 reasons why words are powerful, check out this read). I'm not sure if my comments on the horrible post would've helped or just made it worse. Ugh, I hate the urge to fix it! It simply won't leave my brain alone.
  6. TMI. How many times have I been guilty of over-sharing? Uh, too many to count. There are just some things people don't need to know. I'm thinking there needs to be a TMI checklist including anything to do with sex, marital fights, toilets, etc. etc.
  7. Inappropriate Selfies. I personally do not like the duck face, or the kissy face, or the sad face selfie, or the how-many-times-can-I-take-a-picture-of-myself-and-create-a-collage selfie, or the selfie that shows off way too much of one's "well-endowed places". Some selfies have a time and a place. Most are just tasteless. 
  8. Announcing Vacation Dates. Did you know your insurance company has -in fine print- that they can and will deny coverage of a break in (for example) if you post all over social media when and where you'll be leaving your house empty and unguarded? You'll be surprised how many of your "friends" will take advantage of the opportunity to check out your place while you are gone. Be careful.
  9. Sharing an article before checking its validity. I've seen too many posts shared by individuals claiming it to be truth, thus starting a wildfire of trouble in their community. Here's the truth about the internet: not everything you find is reliable. If it's a blog or wikipedia source (as two of endless examples) double check to find out if what's written is legit. Anyone can create a blog and everyone can go to wikipedia to write whatever their heart desires. Reminder: just because it's on the internet does make it true. 
  10. "I'm not naming names, but..." If a post ever begins with that statement, or if something is written about someone else without mentioning their name, avoid it.at.all.costs. Better yet, don't even go there.EVER.
Just because I write this list doesn't mean I follow it perfectly. There are still unfortunate moments I forget my own advice and/or the advice of others (like Melany). I find that it's way too easy to type, hit post, and never see the response of the people reading it beyond a "like" here or a comment there. Be careful with what you say, what you share, what you announce... because judgements are made on your character and if you don't care what others think of you, well, you might begin to care if you're robbed, lose a friend, squander your reputation, or denied a job, scholarship, or any other opportunity because you posted something you shouldn't have.

Even if you don't care what others think you should care what God has to say about what we say. Believe it or not he has a lot to say about our words. If you need a good starting point, see what I've written about words:

Just in case you need more tips on what to avoid on Facebook check out this awesome list of 15 things to avoid on Facebook that offers more on legality and identity safety. 

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