Social media has become an intricate part of almost every single area of our society. What is the first thing that you do when you open your eyes and jump out of bed? Many of us would have to report that we begin our day by scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. Don’t worry. You are not alone in the morning. Even the current American president has a teeny weeny twitter obsession that only seems to grow and get worse with time.
You can credit many of these social platforms with bringing people together. There is an untold amount of couples who have either initially hit it off or reunited through connections on Facebook.
At the same time, some social media has inadvertently worked to drive people apart. Groups of haters form on every social media platform to combat one product or another celebrity. Internet trolls are waiting at the bottom of every social media suspension bridge as far as the eye can see ready to undercut us as we cross. These ever-growing groups of individuals post whatever content comes to mind. Why can they get away with that? To say it honestly– they do it because they can and because the internet is a relaxed, unpatrolled atmosphere and, in some cases, an unguarded minefield where almost anything goes.
For the most part, however, good manners and prudence should and still govern what we post to social media.
Take a look at five ‘Stop and Think’ moments people should have before posting to social media.
1. Am I bragging? Gloating? Showboating? Throwing down unneeded swagger?
These days, you can tell when a person is posting an update that is merely sharing excitement and joy versus one that is braggadocios.
First, stop and think about your motivation. If, by posting, you are hoping to make yourself look better than another person and their similar post about a purchase, a vacation, an accomplishment, a child’s accomplishment, or a myriad of other things, then stop for a moment and reconsider your post. Ask yourself ‘what or who your post is in response to.’ If you can pinpoint a certain person or organization or whoever may post on their social media that you are trying to ‘beat’ or ‘one-up,’ rethink your post. #motivation
2. Am I Posting Out of Boredom?
As stated earlier, a multitude of notifications “liking” or “loving” your post is an expected endorphin stimulant. In direct opposition to that state of emotion, many people find themselves scrolling through their various ‘go-to’ social media platforms multiple times per day out of sheer boredom. There may be some that are posting out of boredom as well.
So ask yourself, “Do I want to post this? Am I just posting to post or passing the time?”:
3. Why Do I Feel Unsatisfied?
Have you ever been dissatisfied with a product or service? Were you tempted to get on social media and blast the business providing that item or service? In the wake of your dissatisfaction, is it likely you would have left a bad review without putting much thought into it? Have you embellished your disapproval of the product? Just like product disapproval, you can get upset and unsatisfied with the state of your social media/your life when you begin to play comparison games with others.
In those personally unsatisfied moments, your posts will take on those shades of melancholy that you are feeling. Those sad undertones will creep into your content and alter your posts in a way that is no longer on-brand for YOU and your social media. Utilizing your social media in these moments of general dissatisfaction could serve to hurt you and others near you in more ways than you think.
Before you post: Ask yourself, “What is the source of your dissatisfaction? Am I basing the state of my life’s reality on social media posts? And the comparison of my profile and posts to others?
Remember This: Social media has a great way of making things look better than they are in reality.
4. Should I be seeking praise or attention?
If you ever studied psychology, you no doubt learned about Skinner and his theory of operant conditioning. We, humans, tend to seek out positive reinforcement for our behavior. Our behavior earns a reward, so we repeat the action/behavior.
Consider the feeling you get when your AllSocial post collects dozens or even hundreds of “likes.” Those notifications create a rush of endorphins so thrilling that it often persuades us to keep posting anything we deem worthy of attention. Some of us might even post something controversial to get some attention, any notice.
The next time that you post on social media asks yourself if the post you created is somehow seeking attention. Does this content genuinely reflect you and what you stand for? If you answer this question honestly every time, then you will always create content that is true to you and the brand that you and what you are hoping to share.
5. Is this moment ‘share-worthy’ or is it too ‘worthy’ to be shared?
When your kid does something cute, is it your first instinct to stop the moment, run to get the camera, or your phone to record and post that funny quip? Is it the most crucial thing in that moment to show everyone (who is not there) how funny and adorable your little one is? After your crying session with your mother, is it necessary to put up a picture of you during the private talk you were having last night? Before you interrupt the moment, consider the future? What would be better than getting that significant moment painted all over your social media? Perhaps, living in the moment.
Ask yourself: Should you stop this particular moment to grab your phone and snap a picture to post?
Some moments in your life, maybe even a significantly high number of moments, deserve to be protected. These moments are so important that they need all the protection they can get.
To get the camera or not to get the camera? Does the moment deserve or need to be interrupted for social media’s sake? Should I stay present and allow my memory of this moment to grow more vivid and last me forever. Choose and protect those moments wisely.
6. Are my Words Indicative of Kindness?
Before you post, stop and think if what you are about to share coming from a kind place? Does anyone stand to get hurt emotionally from the words I am about the publish on my social media?
We ALL have those moments where we are tempted to make a snarky remark to tear someone down. Before you post, ask yourself: How could I make my post something that lifts that person rather than tearing them down?
Choose the avenue of kindness and the path toward empathy. If, when you examine your almost-posted comment, you can see the statement you want to post doesn’t show compassion, stop and reconsider pressing publish.
Before You Post
There ought to be a ‘stop and think’ moment and a question for you to answer about your social media post before you hit publish. At that moment, allow yourself the courtesy of reexamining your content choices for one last time. Ask yourself the smart questions and answer with honesty. If you can do that, you will find that the calm, quiet, and quick ‘stop and think’ moment before you post might just save you from so many unnecessary, crazy, loud, overly emotional moments down the road.
AllSocial is a social media platform that puts the user first and creates an experience that allows you to discover exciting stories, connect with friends and share content that matters to you. With a mission of connecting your world, AllSocial creates an open, safe and secure community that fulfills the Internet’s original promise of connecting people. Users are able to post content from all major social media platforms with the promise that 100% of a user’s posts will be shared with all followers. AllSocial is available via desktop or app from the Apple or Google Play store.