Stop Acting Like A Fool On Social Media
Foolishness Is Not Considered Wisdom
Everywhere we go on the internet today we are able to leave our comments. We feel as though our thoughts and opinions are valuable to the person that reads them. What about those comments that leave people feeling worse, than before they read them? Those comments that judge someone without any love involved? This is the way a foolish person acts to make sure that their ideals are the right ones and that someone is listening to them. Why do we act like such a fool, when God clearly asks us to love others?
“Don’t give fools a foolish answer,
or you will be just like them.” (Proverbs 26:4)
Acting Like A Fool
Social media has blown up the amount of criticism that we can give someone to an enormous amount. So much so, that we all feel like we are experts and that our opinions are the end all be all to a conversation. Everyone in this world has an opinion. Some are better than others. But, in the end God gave us the ability to think for ourselves and discern what information around us is true or not. Social media just happens to be the place where it all comes spewing out.
So why is it that we act like such a fool sometimes on social media sites? One reason is that we are hiding behind a computer screen. We do not have to see the other persons face, when they react to the comment that we just made. Our lives have wielded to the screen before us and have lost a lot of human contact. When you are talking with someone face to face, you are not only having a conversation with your words, but also with your body language. If the person next to you crosses their arms and has a look on their face of annoyance, you know that the conversation is not going that well. We do not get any of these indicators when we are online. This prohibits us from knowing when to stop being a fool and ranting on about our antics online.
Another reason is that we tend to dehumanize the person on the other side of the screen. We do not see them, so our brains do not register them as someone with feelings and this leads to less filters, being used, before we post. Astoundingly, Dr. Turkle says, many people still forget that they’re speaking out loud when they communicate online. Especially when posting from a smartphone, “you are publishing but you don’t feel like you are,” she says. “So what if you say ‘I hate you’ on this tiny little thing? It’s like a toy. It doesn’t feel consequential.”
A third reason is that it is much easier to write a rude comment than it is to speak it. I can sit at my computer or on my smart phone and type away some nasty comment, that I would have never said to someone face to face. I can type as much as I want to respond to someone without them interrupting me. I can tell someone exactly how I feel without their opinions coming into play. In a face to face conversation, that does not usually happen. People are always chiming in and cutting others off, to make sure that their opinion is heard. And, on social media if they decided to make a comment back about my opinion and I do not like it, I can just delete their comment and that is the end of that.
“A wise saying spoken by a fool
is as useless as the legs of a crippled person.” (Proverbs 26:7)
How To Stop Acting Like A Fool Online
I always try to imagine how the other person is going to feel if I write a certain comment. I know that my opinions matter, but doing it in a loving way, will get my point across in a much safer way. Ranting like a fool and telling someone that their opinion is basically “crap,” will only make someone mad and not want to listen to anything I have to say anyway. So why be the bigger idiot yourself just to make sure that people know that you are right. I would rather be a loving Christian who can help others, than be right all the time.
It is so easy to become enraged and want to tell someone off online. Or, see someone making a mistake and want to change it for them. But, God said that we are to help others in a love. I am watching a friend right now, in my mind, make a huge mistake. She is going from one relationship to the next. The problem is that there is a child involved. I love that friend so much and I want to just scream at them “What are you doing?”, but what good would that do. I could respond to their posts online with disgust and rage, and leave a sour taste in her mouth. What would this really change in her situation? Most of us do not change something in our life because someone was yelling at us for it. We change because someone, who truly loved us, helped us to see the errors of our way. In love, they showed us how we were going down the wrong path. It has to be this way with others when we are online. I am constantly thinking, is this how Jesus would deal with this person. It helps me to gauge whether my words are used in a loving way or not.
“This is my command: Love each other as I have loved you. The greatest
love a person can show is to die for his friends.” (John 16: 12-13)
How To Turn Foolishness Into Wisdom
It is easier said than done to be someone that leaves a comment in love, than to let our tongue run free and rant like a foolish crazy person. We have all had times, where we have wanted to tell someone how we truly feel. To just tell them off. Make them see how dumb they are acting. And with social media, it makes it so much easier to do this. But, God did not call us to act like a fool. He asks us to grow in our wisdom and be wise.
“But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He is generous
and enjoys giving to all people, so he will give you wisdom.” (James 1:5)
We are all still human and can fall. We will make mistakes, no matter who you are. God has the power to give us the wisdom that we need to hold our tongue and say very little. Without God, your tongue can be a loose cannon. Spewing out fire that consumes others around you and turns them not only away from you, but away from God as well. Why take the chance of being that person who severs the cord of another with God. I certainly do not want to ever destroy someones chance at eternal life. So if you claim to be a Christian, yet you run your mouth online, the damage that you are doing is immeasurable.
“For that reason we should stop judging each other. We must make up our
minds not to do anything that will make another Christian sin.” (Romans 14:13)
To gain wisdom in our society, is different than the wisdom that God wants you to have. It is important to learn how to read, write and do mathematical equations, but to learn how to use your tongue in a way that heals this world, is a wisdom that most of us do not have. Growing up I was someone that did not have a filter when I talked. Whatever came to my mind, would just come right out of my mouth. I did not stop to think about what I was saying and how it would affect those around me. I just wanted to be heard. I feel like so many Christians are still stuck in this phase. They do not pay attention to the damage that their words are causing. Leaving others that are not believers, to point and say this is why I do not want to believe in God.
“People who think they are religious but say things they should not say
are fooling themselves. Their ‘religion’ is worth nothing.” (James 1:26)
“And I tell you that on the Judgement Day people will be responsible for every
careless thing they have said. The words you have said will be used to judge you.” (Matthew 12:36-37)
“Careless words stab like a sword,
but wise words bring healing.” (Proverbs 12:18)
There are 137 Bible verses about the tongue alone. Getting control over our tongue is the biggest battle for us to stop being a fool in life. Becoming a wise person requires holding your tongue, and speaking at just the right time. Saying words that build others up, in truth and love, and helping them to find God. Is your tongue causing you to act like a fool? Ask God to help you in this area. Be aware of how much your words hurt others, even when they are typed on a computer screen and left for an audience to see on a social media site. Know that words of the wise heal, while words from a fool, come from a loose tongue that spews out venom, hurting everyone in its’ path. Let’s promise to be real Christians that love the way that God wants us to, that help others in good and bad times, and that learn to control their tongue even when it is hard to do so. We can do this, we just have to lean on God and read his word to find out how to become a wise person.