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January 25, 2017, 6:39 PM

Dear Diary.....

I have been writing the last few weeks about different things we should avoid posting on social media, and I believe that I have saved the best for last. Many people keep a personal journal or diary as a way to express all of their personal or secret thoughts. It is a way to keep up with life, vent frustrations, and mark victories. I have always struggled with keeping a consistent journal, but I have found them to be very useful at different times of life. Unfortunately, many people have turned to social media as their outlet for things that should be kept in their private and personal journal. 

Really, this is a question of: “With what kind of etiquette should we approach social media?”  In the actual social world, the context of the situation will dictate the etiquette of the situation. A sit down dinner with fancy china and perfectly aligned silverware demands a different type of etiquette than a buffet style family dinner at grandma's house. A first date requires a different etiquette than a 15th date. So, with what kind of etiquette should we approach social media?

My dad gave me some great advice when I was probably 8 or 9 years old. I had asked him a question about something (I really don't remember what) where there was not a clear right or wrong to either choice. What I clearly remember is that he stopped shaving, turned to me and said: “Son, the best advice I can give you is: If in doubt, leave it out.” That advice works in a lot of situations. It would work well in a lot of social media posts as well. 

Many people approach social media with the same etiquette that they would approach a private conversation with their mom. They are going to complain about a problem that is not as big as they think it is, and they really are just looking for people to be on their side. They don't expect anyone to find out about it that they don't want to find out. And if they do, it is somehow not their fault. 

I have seen people take to social media with this attitude in every situation in life: their work, their marriage, their kids, their in-laws, their outlaws, people they just don't like, their taste in music, their taste in food, their ex's, their political opinions, their lack of political opinions, other people's political opinions or lack thereof, their pet peeves, the fact that they have a job they don't want, the fact that they can't get a job that they do want, officiating, coaching, schools, super markets, working out, other people working out too much, other people not working out enough, and weather.......

As Christians, our approach to social media should be more business professional and with the attitude of glorifying Christ. Does our post build up or tear down our witness? Does our post help a situation get better or make it worse? Does our post love our neighbor as ourselves, or is it just looking for others to join you against someone else?

Our social media posts should follow the mandates in 1 Cor. 10:31 & 1 Thes. 5:18. And as always, If in doubt, leave it out

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