3 Reasons Social Media Filters Are A Must

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For the most part, our culture loves filters. Some use filters on photographs and videos with apps like Instagram and PicLab in order to refine the light or color quality. Others use special filters to purify the flavor of coffee or beverages. Some even use specially-designed filters to purify the air quality within their homes or offices. In the business environment, many companies use software or database filters to do more effective and efficient consumer research.

A paraphrased definition of the dictionary’s take on the word suggests that a filter is any substance that removes impurities. Of course, this makes sense within the context of any of the examples listed above. But as much as culture seems to have a grip on the use of filters, there seems to be one type of filter that’s less common. In the social media world, could it be that we need more filters? Could it be that we should more carefully remove the impurities from what we share with the world?

I’ve gotten myself into trouble a few times. And likely you can relate.

More times than not, I’ve caught myself crafting a status update or tweet, only to have my conscience step in just before hitting the send button. What my first instinct tells me is funny or sarcastic or wise or newsworthy always needs a last-minute filtering process in which I ask myself, Could this potentially hurt someone? Is this really worth sharing with thousands of people? Could this photo send a wrong message to someone who might be struggling?

Now, don’t get me wrong, there’s potential to overthink the filtering process. And every person has the right to the freedom of speech and expression. Everyone also has the right to be transparent and real. But in the end, some things just aren’t worth sharing. And we can all probably agree that social media filters are more worth it than not.

Before you post, consider these three reasons social media filters are a must:

1. Filters Offer You Protection

Whether you like it or not, even the people you think can’t see your profiles can find ways to see it. Filtering what you say or share can protect you from losing a job, a relationship, or from general harm. Remember things like this: (1) posting your location can allow someone (that you may not want) the ability to track you down, (2) sharing images of inside your home can reveal to potential burglars what valuables are up for the taking, (3) the “innocent” rant about your horrible work day can send negative messages to your employer, or (4) the “harmless” joke you overheard at the office might be culturally or racially hurtful. These are just a few examples. Ultimately, the power to protect yourself online is in your hands. 

2. Filters Keep You Humble

Humility is a lost art. Instead of turning the other cheek (see Matthew 5:39), culture tell us to retaliate and get revenge. Sadly, social media channels are not exempt from being the platform for retaliation. Rather than using social media channels to complain or shout frustrations, a simple filtering of such responses can keep us humble and more appropriately positioned to make a positive difference in moment or situation. Before you post, choose humility. Every time.

3. Filters Uphold Your Reputation

Reputation goes a long way when it comes to landing a job, building a platform, and maintaining positive relationships. The things you post can either uplift or destroy your reputation. While no one’s goal is to have a bad reputation, sometimes the types of things people share can contribute to it without them even realizing it. The “innocent” photos from a party, celebration, or vacation can send negative messages without the slightest intention. The venting session about your child’s behavior can misconstrue your image as a parent. The reposts or shares of your favorite political or business-related interests can categorize you to others as someone you might not intend. Before you share, pause and ask, Can this derail my reputation?

When we allow it, social media is one of the greatest tools for making a difference in the world. Our words and actions can build up or tear down. But filters are a must. As you craft the messages and images you want to share with the world, consider a simple removal of impurities by implementing filters. You don’t have to hide who you really are, but instead evaluate who you really want to be in the way you interact with others. Let integrity and encouragement always win.

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T.M.I.? : Why Less Is More in Social Media

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Sharing is good. Or at least that’s what we were taught growing up, right? As kids, we were encouraged to share our toys, our time on the swing, and our Goldfish snacks. (If you have siblings, you can definitely affirm the value of sharing.)

But sharing takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to the wide world of social media. It’s fascinating that, as children, we grasped so tightly to what we considered valuable. We wanted to share only when and with whom it was comfortable. But now, as technology-driven individuals, it seems there’s an unhealthy comfort in sharing the most intimate details of our lives with the world.

Sure, there will be many thoughts, feelings, and moments in life worth of sharing. But before you open the feeling floodgates online, consider a little user discretion. Here are a few important factors to help you set some solid boundaries in the world of technology.

ANGER MANAGEMENT

We all love the opportunity to vent. And venting can be a healthy thing. However, social media is not the best venue for releasing steam. Always consider whose eyes are watching your feed. Without even thinking, you could scar or damage relationships. You can even lose your job because of this. When someone makes you angry, the best plan of action is to pray for the person. And trust me, you’ll be humbled in the process.

HOW TO LOSE A GUY (OR GIRL) IN 10 DAYS

We can all admit to having butterflies in the stomach for that special crush. But do yourself a favor and don’t make it any more awkward for them by posting your feelings for all to see. If you can’t hold back the giddiness, I suggest sending a direct message.

ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING

For the girls especially, babysitting can be a great way to make some extra cash as a student. But always throw caution to the wind when posting photos, videos, or comments about your babysitting adventures. Families tend to check up on potential sitters by watching their posts. And nothing could be more humiliating than losing a job (of any kind) because of a Facebook post or tweet.

CRAZY, STUPID LOVE

Relationships. Oh, how we love to be in the know about who’s dating who, who broke up, and who’s in a “complicated” situation. But this subject is one that could use a lot of discretion. Before you boldly announce your relationship status to the world, make sure you’re ready (and that you’re not gonna break up next week).

 MIRROR, MIRROR

Pictures are fun to look at on social media sites, but there’s nothing more stereotypical to poke fun at than self-photography via bathroom mirror. (Guys, this one seems to be the hardest one for you to grasp.) When it comes to posting photos of yourself, user discretion is definitely advised.

THE NOTEBOOK

Remember when Facebook statuses were short and (sometimes) sweet? Somewhere along the way, we’ve turned the simple 140-character-or-less tweet-style status update into incredibly long journal entries that often expose way too much information to the average reader. Not only should you be careful about journaling too much personal information to the masses, but also consider starting a blog for those long-winded status updates.

 EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE

This one is for those guilty of posting controversial messages. Before you get overly bold with your political opinions, spiritual convictions, or feelings about sensitive topics, pause and think about who might be easily hurt or offended in your audience. Typically, no one will be converted to your way of thinking via public rant. Once again, consider using a blog or having real-life conversations about these topics. Your stance will often be best received that way.

MEAN GIRLS (OR GUYS)

Let’s be honest: No one is a fan of catty, mean-spirited attitudes–especially online. When you get those urges to publicly poke fun at someone on the Web, remember the Golden Rule.

THE TWILIGHT SAGA

Late night Web chats are common. But just like in the movies, creepy behavior can emerge in the darkness. Be very cautious in the conversations you engage in, especially with someone you don’t know well. If a chat conversation makes you uncomfortable, make a quick exit.

Whatever you do via social media, never throw caution to the wind. Use discretion, be wise, and make every opportunity to encourage others with your words and speech (Colossians 4:6).