As Christians, we should be careful and thoughtful in posting and liking articles and memes. It says something about you! The Internet has carried the torch for instant gratification so well. Recently I shared a post on my views as far as social media and privacy are concerned. After thinking a lot about what I had written and the message I wanted to get across to those who follow along with this blog, I knew that I wanted to take that post and go a few steps further with it. In hindsight, keeping your personal life private is not always such an easy task. It is honestly so flattering that people genuinely care about what we’re doing with our time – where we’re living, what we’re doing for work, who we’re sharing our lives with, when we’re going to make our next career or relationship advancements, why we’re doing what we’re doing, and how we’re going to achieve all of our life’s goals. It is also very disheartening when we’re not quite where we want to be or where we think we should be and then have to talk to people about it. Not to mention, then having to listen to their opinions and suggestions, as if we haven’t already thought of those ideas ourselves. Ugh! As if that isn’t enough, we add fuel to these fires by offering information via our social media platforms and then have to face the repercussions. I have thought long and hard about unplugging all together, truth is, I enjoy connecting with people. Honestly, being a single mother of two, I rarely have the opportunity to get out and mingle with friends, family, etc. My schedule is pretty much full and any left over time, I usually tend to want to spend it with my babies. So, I turn to social media to share my family through pictures and posts, also as an extracurricular activity or hobby. But, if you are a lot like me, you want privacy in the madness of it all. So, I wanted to share a few tips that I have found helpful so that you can unplug and in some ways, go off the grid…
1. Be Boring.
If you don’t want people to know what’s going on in your life, bore them to death. You honestly don’t owe anyone an explanation for your decisions or lifestyle choices. Just simply reply “I don’t know,” or “no comment right now,” when friends, family, or even strangers, demand answers about certain situations in your life, especially if you aren’t ready to address them.
Most of us are not in any way shape or form celebrities. Still, the basic principles still apply with your friends and family: if you don’t answer or your friends and family don’t care for your answers, they’ll either stop asking questions or tune you out. That doesn’t mean you are actually living a boring life, just keeping more intimate details to yourself, and HEY! there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Nothing good ever comes from divulging any information about your personal life to too many people. Remaining a mystery in a social media driven world is the best thing you can be 😉
2. Don’t Overshare.
Just because you had a funny thought it doesn’t mean that you have to instantly figure out how to express it in under 140 characters so you can Tweet it to your followers. You don’t have to post every pretty picture you take on Instagram the same way you don’t have to litter your political views all over your own (and other people’s) Facebook walls. Whether you realize it or not, what you put out there can be seen by anyone. You have a private Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter account? Big deal. What’s stopping one of your friends (who you may not even know in real life) from sharing your posts all over their public pages? Nothing. Even if you think things you say or do will only stay in a small circle, when it comes to social media, expect it to move around quickly.
Facebook and other social media platforms tend to foster the overexposure of the underdeveloped self by making it so easy to sharing way more than intended. As the Book of Proverbs says, the wise hold their peace, but fools proclaim their folly. One should choose confidants carefully (see Ps. 1). Some aspects of one’s life should be concealed. There is so much folly, frivolity, and triviality in social networking. Not everyone should know everything about everyone. While secrecy wrongly conceals vices or wrongdoing, confidentiality is wise because it shields the very things that need to be kept out of view. Social media makes the broad distribution of oversharing virtually effortless, and many lack the discretion.
I feel as if I have the most to say when it comes to this one… especially since I have already composed a post strictly on this sole topic. I encourage you (if you are just now tuning in to my blog) to take the time to check out the link above and read my previous post on unplugging from social media. I also encourage you to refrain every now and again from using your cell phone! Cell phones were not designed to become an extension of your right hand. Say “no” to people and tasks that are not going to serve you in a positive, healthy way and focus on what you need to do for yourself. Rid yourself of the things in your life that you can. Let it go, you’ll be fine for a couple of hours, or days. What do you honestly have to lose?
The thing with privacy is I’m just going to make sure that whatever I hold sacred stays sacred. What I hold dear to my heart is nobody’s business in the same way whatever you hold dear to your heart is nobody’s business, unless you’re willing to share that. The more you get away from all the technological buzz, the more freedom you have.
4. Know Your Limits.
Determine the things about your life that you’re willing to share with others and the things that you don’t feel comfortable with. As long as you set the foundation, you won’t feel tricked into accidentally giving up more information about yourself than you originally planned to a friend, family member, colleague, or anyone else you come into contact with. You decide the topics you’re comfortable speaking about and can carefully choose the words that come out of your mouth. Don’t let anyone else take your power away from you. You control the message or information about yourself that you want to let the rest of the world (as tiny as yours may be) know.
5. Save Some Secrets For Yourself.
Newsflash people! You do not need to exploit every tiny details about every little thing that you are doing at any given moment of the day. Think of it this way, as long as the information you’re withholding doesn’t cause any harm to yourself or anyone else by keeping it, why not have something that’s your own? It feels nice to know things that other people don’t, right? I sure like to think so. I promise, valuing your privacy and discretion is the best service you can do yourself. Time and silence are the most luxurious things to own these days 😉
“The whole social media thing is just a little too weird for me,” she says of using various platforms to connect with fans. “We’re all such narcissists, and that’s what social media caters to. Our society conditions us to be our own planets, which is great. Independent thinking is so important. But we expect everyone around us to be our moons.”
You only get one life, one life to live, and one life to do whatever it is that you want to do with it. Granted, we live according to God’s grace and will, there is so much opportunity awaiting each and every single one of us, all we need to do is take it and run with it. Social media has become more of a curse than the actual blessing it was intended to become, a lot of people have sadly become entangled within the sticky strands of the web that we call the internet. Do not allow yourself to become a victim of oversharing on social media. The internet never forgets. So, remember, not every situation in your life requires a check-in, so do yourself a favor and sign-off.
Resources: Understanding Social Media, The Biblical Perspective of Social Media, #Struggles: Following Jesus in a Selfie-Centered World by Craig Groeschel,