20 Family Rules for Social Media…Straight from God!
Social Media tools have grown faster than I can keep up. I cannot come close to keeping up with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest while throwing a few pics out on Snapchat. I still have trouble texting. Even more confusing, I often wonder why people choose to post what they post. I’m not the only one in this conundrum though. ABC reported that a third of all divorce filings in 2011 contained the word “Facebook” according to Divorce Online. ABC also reported that, according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, more than 80% of U.S. divorce attorneys said social networking in divorce proceedings was on the rise (Click here for the report). A Clinical Report from the American Academy of Pediatrics entitled The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families reported that social media can help children through socialization, communication, enhanced learning opportunities, and accessing health information. At the same time, children also risk becoming the recipient of cyberbullying, sexting, Facebook depression, and the influence of advertisers on social media sites. Obviously, we need some family rules to help monitor our family members’ use of social media. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends several ideas, like no more than 2 hours per day of screen time for children and other beneficial ideas at this AAP site. Visit them for information to help you manage social media in your family. Although you will find invaluable information on the use of social media on the internet (ironically), I thought it might be interesting to see if God has anything to say about social media. So, here are twenty proverbs that answer some questions and clarify important principles for families using social media. Proverbs…no explanations, just the proverb presented for you to consider and apply to your use of social media.
How much does a wise person share on social media?
- The wise don’t make a show off their knowledge, but fools broadcast their foolishness—Proverbs 12:23 (NLT).
- A truly wise person uses few words; a person with understanding is even-tempered. Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent; with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent—Proverbs 17:27-28 (NLT).
- Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut—Proverbs 10:19 (NLT).
Consider the power of the words we use and the statements we make on social media:
- With their words, the godless destroy their friends, but knowledge will rescue the righteous—Proverbs 11:9 (NLT).
- The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing—Proverbs 12:18 (NIV).
- Those who control their tongue will have a long life; opening your mouth can ruin everything—Proverbs 13:3 (NLT).
- Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones—Proverbs 16:24 (NIV).
- As sure as a north wind brings rain, so a gossiping tongue causes anger—Proverbs 25:23 (NLT).
What are the best kinds of words to use on social media?
- Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them—Ephesians 4:29 (NLT).
- Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that no one can criticize you—Philippians 2:14-15a (NLT).
What about arguing and complaining on social media?
- A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly—Proverbs 15:1-2 (NIV).
- A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends—Proverbs 16:28 (NIV).
- Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out—Proverbs 17:14 (NIV).
- An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars—Proverbs 18:19 (NLT).
- When arguing with your neighbor, don’t betray another person’s secret. Others will accuse you of gossip, and you will never regain your good reputation—Proverbs 25:9-10 (NLT).
The call to use discernment when posting, or reading, social media:
- Wise people think before they act; fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness—Proverbs 13:16 (NLT).
- The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps—Proverbs 14:15 (NIV).
- A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash—Proverbs 15:14 (NLT).
- Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them—Proverbs 29:20 (NIV).
Finally, since “social networking is on the rise in divorce cases,” remember:
- The lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword—Proverbs 5:3-4 (NIV).
What other proverbs do you think apply to the use of social media?