Social Media: Watching What We Post

First and foremost…while there is such thing as freedom of speech, I don’t think there is any need to tell everyone every time we do something. I’ve known a few people who post an update to their status nearly minute by minute, and quite frankly, I don’t want to know when you use the toilet.

This is way more about personal opinion, I know. Some people think all the little updates are amusing. And I even have times where I post a lot of updates because I’m bored. (Like right now, sitting in the hospital…it’s tempting to post every time someone comes in my room to check on my baby, to check my oxygen, to draw blood….and you know that stuff happens like every 5 minutes or less!!) But, I find myself asking, “What is the point?” I really like to find a purpose in many of my status updates…whether it is personal and expresses gratitude, or something like a verse from the bible in hopes of encouraging someone else.

Quotes from kids can be great, and even updates about the things we are going through are good. But the biggest question I ask when I’m looking at a picture to share, or thinking of things to write is how does this reflect on what I believe? I say I don’t believe in male bashing, but if every other joke or picture I share is bashing males, am I supporting my own belief? And how do my posts reflect my faith? Am I a Christian on the Internet, or do I pretend like God doesn’t see/know about/care about the content I’m posting and sharing?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t necessarily believe that every single post has to be “preachy” or only scriptures, or anything like that. Just that, if I wouldn’t tell that joke to Jesus, or I wouldn’t stare at that picture with Him sitting here, then why is it on my wall? We cannot truly separate God from any area of our life, including social media. He knows, and sees, and is worthy of our praise, honor, and obedience even when we get online.

The next threat I’ve noticed is spousal bashing, and whining, and complaining, and social media nagging. First off, we all get our feelings hurt, and sometimes we need to talk about it to work through it, I know this for a fact. Social media is not, however, a healthy outlet for this. It is best to choose a mentor, someone who is pro-marriage, and will give you sound, Godly advice. Occasionally in life we are blessed with a friend that will give us this kind of advice, but most often, we must be intentional about finding this type of person.

By posting on social media when things aren’t going our way, we open ourselves up to the advice of many people, and not all of that advice is good or healthy. Plus, put yourself in the other person’s shoes (and maybe you’ve really experienced this…) how bad does it hurt for the person you love most dearly to ridicule or put you down publicly? Whether online-public, or amongst a group of friends out to dinner, that is humiliating and instead of repairing the hurt feelings in the relationship, it makes them worse.

Pick positive things to post. Yet, I think it’s important to keep it realistic. Did your hubby bring you home flowers? A short post that displays gratitude for his thoughtfulness is great, but there is no need for a short novel about it. I think it’s important to not only focus on the good things our partner does when we are online, but also when we are talking to our friends, as well. It’s an everyday, all day, and conscious choice to edify our spouses, kids and friends. When we stop doing that, and instead tear them down, we destroy them, we destroy ourselves, and we destroy other people that are affected by our actions and relationship.

Has anyone ever ridiculed you on social media? How did you respond?


We’re Having a Baby!

Four little words that I will treasure forever. Four little words that encouraged me to be hopeful, reassured me when I had doubts, and made me smile when I was grumpy. Our baby is already here, and we are beyond blessed to have her in our life.

When we found out she was on her way; however, I was a little scared. I was scared of what people would think, of how life would change, of doing it alone. There were enough fears that I don’t know how to name them all. Part of the fear stemmed from believing that the cultural “norm” was if a couple wasn’t married, the dad was probably about to make a grand exit. Or a quiet, sneaky one. Whichever.

Baby Daddy didn’t go anywhere. He never mentioned going anywhere. I never caught him, with bags packed, sneaking out the door at night. In fact, I think I’m the only one who ever had a thought that involved him leaving. I am beyond thankful that he stayed, and that I am now his wife. (And yes, I have a horrible fear of abandonment. Like, its bad beyond words bad how afraid of it I am.)

In those first few days and weeks after we found out, we started this daily little thing of getting one another’s attention, and whispering, “We’re having a baby.” This little thing was soothing, comforting, and made it safe for me to be excited, to face anybody that judged us for not being married, and to trust that he wanted to be here as much as I wanted him to be here.

“We’re having a baby,” grew to include, with a giggle, “A pink baby.” Or some other reference of us having a baby girl. (After 4 boys, that was exciting news!) It may be silly, and it’s a small thing, but it made my day when my feet hurt and my back ached. It eased the fears and helped me open my eyes to Baby Daddy’s excitement. This silly thing gave me hope and encouraged me, and I will always remember the fun we had reminding each other that she was on her way.

What silly thing has your significant other done that encouraged you? Have you let them know that you were encouraged by it?


Hinge Moments

I’m reading Quitter by Jon Acuff (you can find him here) – and he has a section about hinge moments.

I decided I would write about one of my hinge moments. My mom always encouraged me to write. I used to write book reports for school every year, and she had me pursue several creative writing avenues.

I remember filling up my maroon notebook with poems and short stories. I still have that notebook. When I decided to start writing again, at the end of December, it was a short-sighted, blog regularly for thirty days goal. When I almost died a few days later, I hit that goal full force and blogged regularly for almost 5 months. Now, I am struggling with some “my writing well is dry,” “I’ve got nothing new to say,” “Somebody else has already said that,” and “why bother.” I have been busy writing a book, and as I am undergoing another huge change in the story, I’m trying to decide if I’m over-thinking, or truly improving. I’m beginning to wonder why I should keep pressing into this. It’s getting a lot harder to write something worthwhile. It takes me more time, more thought and more effort. I’m not being disciplined like I should with my time. I’m giving in to the temptation to stalk Facebook like a boyfriend that I wasn’t ready to break it off with. I lurk, for hours, hoping for some small scrap of something to feed on. It dawned on me today, that my life was fine before Facebook, and it will be fine without Facebook. Or at least, without compulsive, every ten-minute, for an hour, checks of Facebook.

Another hinge moment for me, spans over much of my life – when I can’t seem to cope any more, I have to write. I find some form of writing for an outlet. I’ve done everything from write in a diary, to keep a journal, to blog, to finding forums where I can post lengthy bits of information. I’ve even gotten wrapped up in text-only role-play games (generally medieval ones, always something where my characters have a huge dilemma to face and conflict to resolve). I have figured out that writing helps me process information, helps me work through conflict, uncovers my voice, and reveals my opinion to me.

I am a writer. I will no longer deny that or hide from it. I am afraid, at times, to admit it – because I don’t want anyone to tell me I’m not, or that I can’t. Yet, no matter what, I am a writer.

Do you have hinge moments, that helped you recover who you were? That you can look back on and help you realize your calling, your dream?