Self-Restraint and Social Media: Can You Shut Up?

Image courtesy of photoraidz /
Image courtesy of photoraidz /

Not every thought that pops into your head ought to come out of your mouth. I wish that statement was part of a social media class that people were required to take before being given a Twitter account, Facebook page, or any other medium available these days. It’s called discretion. Need to look it up? Discretion is the ability to be discreet or circumspect; the ability to decide responsibly. Doesn’t really sound like the internet, does it?

Social Media – giving every idiot a voice to his opinion since 2003. And they have LOUD voices. Almost everywhere you turn you run into people who say stupid things. They say hurtful things. They say hateful things. And because they have a computer or a phone they have a platform from which to launch their idiocy.

The Bible talks about the power of the tongue, about the damage we can inflict with mere words:

If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. (James 3:3-10)

My mouth – not the biggest part of my body but still capable of so much damage. And from behind the safety of a computer monitor or smart phone we feel free to lash out at others. We feel free to disrespect, to slander, to be rude, to intentionally hurt, and to revel in our immorality.

So before you post stop and think.

–          Does this really need to be shared? ‘Cause it might not need to be shared. Just because you had a funny thought doesn’t mean it is appropriate for the world. Keep it to yourself.

–          Is the world made better because of sharing this? If you’re adding to the noise with verbal junk (hate, hurt, immorality…you know – idiocy) it’s not making things better. Keep it to yourself.

–          Is my intention to build others up or brighten someone’s day? I’ve seen too many people post with the intention of making others feel bad. Really?!? Do you have such a desperate need to feel good about yourself that you need to post things that make others feel worse? If you’re not building others up you’ve got no place posting. Keep it to yourself.

–          Is God honored in sharing this? I understand that you might not share my spiritual perspective. But this is my blog – which means my perspective wins here. What we say and do can reflect well or can reflect poorly on God. As a person of faith, do my words reflect well on my God? Is he honored in what I post? I admit that some posts are faith-neutral. I don’t think God receives much attention in my post about how much I love rhubarb pie and icecream. Still, you know what I mean. If your thoughts don’t honor God – Keep it to yourself.

I desire for people to rise above their basest nature and act with wisdom, decency, and discretion. I know that people will continue to spew their idiocy. It’s the nature of humanity to do so. But still…I hope…

Like James says: These things ought not to be so.

4 Replies to “Self-Restraint and Social Media: Can You Shut Up?”

  1. I’m sitting here thinking about my past posts….hoping I have never done that but I probably have after all I have a mouth without a bit. Our thoughts should always be of God which I love posts that are about God and spiritual things, but I have to say and since this is my response and you allow them 😉 I would rather know that you like rhubarb pie with ice cream than for you to spew the first ungodly thought before you prayed about it. If we all thought or prayed before we hit send maybe we would more recipes?


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