3 Questions to Ask Before Posting on Social Media

Photo by Emily Fletke  @fletkefoto

Photo by Emily Fletke @fletkefoto

By Diana Vaden

I don’t want to look back at my Facebook timeline when I’m 50 and think, “Wowzers, what the heck was I thinking when I posted that?” Instead, I want to impact the world, champion other women, and live without regret.

But, I have to admit, I have been guilty of using social media to rant, complain, or even unload my emotional baggage. So, to avoid being another voice of anger, despair, or cynicism, I’ve been using this strategy to think before I post and bring encouragement and food for thought to others.  Feel free to steal it!

Here are three questions to ask yourself before you post:

1. IS WHAT I’M WRITING ENCOURAGING?

Be sure what you write makes someone say, “Wow, this just brightened my day,” “that lifted my spirits,” or it simply puts a smile on her face.

We want to build others up, not tear them down. Your post needs to build a bridge, not a wall. Your words should be like a hug, not a slap in the face.

If you are trying to start a fight, press that backspace button. Quick!

Instead, affirm or compliment someone in a comment. Celebrate others’ achievements or accomplishments in your stories. Repost some inspirational news stories, quotes or articles.

Follow this advice: Nothing is more appealing than speaking beautiful, life-giving words. For they release sweetness to our souls and inner healing to our spirits.


2. AM I OVERSHARING?

We have all done it. Maybe we spilled our guts after a breakup — didn’t mention his name, but of course we used enough details that anyone could guess who we were talking about. Or maybe we had a bad day at work and posted about our lazy coworker or annoying boss.

This is not just unwise, it’s unhealthy.   

If I find myself drafting an Instagram post to process micro-traumas or an Insta-story rant about today’s top struggle, I have to pause because: If I keep talking, it won’t be long before I’m saying something really wrong.

That’s when I need to journal or call a trusted friend instead of posting. FB friends and IG followers are not the safest people to process those emotions with.

3. ARE MY WORDS IMPORTANT?

Sometimes we get bored and jump on social media to post random stuff because we need something to do with our hands.  A word of caution: remember the old saying, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Or sometimes we want the quick dopamine boost a few likes on IG give us. (I’m definitely guilty of posting just to get a bit of attention.)

But when we are compelled by noble motives, we post because we truly have something important or significant to say. This is wonderful because our voices matter. What we have to say is significant.

So, as we craft our articulate, witty, poetic, and empowered posts, it is helpful to consider:

— Will this matter tomorrow?

— Does this promote or align with the vision I have for my life and the woman I want to be?  

— If my words were someone’s food, would she be snacking on cheap candy or would she be enjoying a delicious, honey crisp apple?

“Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.”

Be intentional with your words on social media. Ask yourself these questions, and raise your voice. Give your friends and followers some encouraging, healthy, and important food for thought.  

Post wisely. Post radiantly.

Watch our Video Podcast to find out how to identify safe friends.