Monday, 15 September 2014

Facebook rules

I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook. Often, it comes closer to the hate end with Facebook, especially when people (myself included) use it unwisely. My housemate decided that she'd never write a status, because it's hard to do so without sounding like an idiot. That's probably the wisest advice I've heard! However, I've not been able to do that, so I created some guidelines to help me navigate the cyber-assault course that is social networking.

1. Stay out of arguments
If you know your status is going to be controversial, it's going to get someone's back up and it's going to cause problems, don't write it. Furthermore, if you see someone else's status and it's riled you, stay away. Your words should be gracious (it says so in Colossians 4:6). Starting or causing arguments is anything but gracious.

2. Be sensitive
Proverbs has a lot of words of wisdom about how to use our tongue, and I expect these apply for how we conduct ourselves on Facebook as well. Gentle words are the tree of life (Proverbs 15:4). Don't let your Facebook posts be critical, harsh or condemning. Even if it is of people that aren't your Facebook friends. Also, think how your status may be interpreted by other people. I've seen people write long posts about other schools or how home-schooling is the best option. As a teacher, that can actually come across as quite offensive. I work hard for my job and I know other teachers do as well. If you're not sure whether it is going to be helpful, follow the advice of Proverbs 21:23: "Watch your words and hold your tongue [or enter key in this case]; you'll save yourself a lot of grief."

3. Be joyful
"Light in a messenger's eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news brings health to the bones." (Proverbs 15:30)
Don't being a Moaning Minnie or a Derek Downer. We are called to be joyful and happy. Yes, we are called to share one another's burdens; yes, we do care about your problems. But Facebook is probably not the platform to do it. So don't use Facebook to groan and grumble. Make your Facebook page a place of joy and laughter. It might brighten someone's day.

They are just a few things that guide how I use Facebook. There are probably loads of other things that can be mentioned, but these are my three main guidelines, before I press the enter key. However, I know I fail to follow my own advice a lot of the time. But if I do get it wrong, be sensitive, don't get involved and respond joyfully! I know I can count on you.

Quick questions
  1. Do you use Facebook?
  2. How do you use it?
  3. What advice do you have about using it?

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