Think Before Posting
Social media is a remarkable thing in that
it gives not only friends and family, but
perfect strangers, a pretty good insight into
a user's psyche. From the comfort of our living
rooms, we learn who is positive and optimistic,
who is negative and dramatic, who we should
avoid and who we might like, if we actually
met them in person.
This is good for those whose words match
the pleasant thoughts in their heads, but
not so good for those who struggle with negativity
and who don't take the time to consider what
message their words convey. Their negativity
screams out through their words, and has an
adverse effect on attracting positive people
and energy into their lives.
Many who consistently post negative messages
seem unaware of the image they create for
themselves through their words. In their mind,
they are just blowing off steam; however,
to someone who barely knows them, they are
creating a very unattractive image - an image
that will make it difficult for them to attract
the positive energy that they so obviously
need. They are scooping water into a sinking
Before social media and even the Internet,
astute people used journals and diaries to
help them monitor their thinking and emotions.
They knew that what they wrote impulsively
and privately allowed them to see their thoughts
on paper and make corrections, if necessary.
The Internet changed that for a lot of people.
Instead of keeping those thoughts private
and quietly working to improve them, they
published them instantly. Again, this can
be positive if the poster's thoughts are positive,
but negative if the opposite is true.
One of my favorite sayings goes: Mind your
thoughts for they become your words; mind
your words for they become your actions; mind
your actions for they become your habits;
mind your habits for they become your character;
watch your character for it becomes your destiny.
In that hierarchy, the few moments before
we press the share/post button fall between
thoughts and words. When we are looking at
what we just wrote or what cartoon or picture
we are about to share, we are seeing our current
state of mind. If we decide to post those
thoughts, they instantly transmit an image
of us to the world. Is it the image we intend
or should we hit cancel, sign off and address
our thoughts before proceeding?
Consider a post that I see several times
on Monday morning: MONDAYS SUCK!
While it's true that many employees try to
wish away the first day of the work week,
the vast majority of those keep that thought
to themselves, because they recognize the
negativity and lack of appreciation it conveys.
Most social media users would recognize this
too, if they took the time to evaluate their
thoughts before sharing them.
What are you really saying when you say,
"MONDAYS SUCK"? Obviously, you are
voicing frustration that your weekend is over,
and your time is obligated to work rather
than pleasure. You're not alone in that sentiment;
many would prefer a life of leisure to one
of productivity and to spend time with friends
and family instead of at the factory or office.
However, instead of saying "MONDAYS SUCK,"
and proceeding to head into the first day
of the week with dread and bitterness, these
people approach their work week with a sense
of purpose and resolve, understanding that
work is essential to living for most people
not yet retirement age.
They might also consider that their audience
could include those with terminal diseases
who hope to see as many Mondays as possible
or, those who wish that they had a job to
go to on Monday. Those are the people most
likely to purse their lips and shake their
heads at the MONDAYS SUCK post, but there
are many others who dislike negative intrusions
in their day. Among that latter group could
be customers, clients and others whose opinions
Your social media activity is part of your
brand - how the world sees and values you.
Just as Pepsi wouldn't attach a pile of trash
to its logo, don't attach bitter and negative
words and images to yours.
-- Mitch Arnold