A few years ago, I gave up Facebook for Lent. Sort of. I said I would limit myself to 15 minutes daily. I couldn’t leave for 40 days because Facebook was the means by which I communicated with teen members of 4-H (I’m a 4-H leader), and I wanted to keep an eye on my own teens’ Facebook activity. I wrote a note, changed my profile photo, and worked to stay in my 15 minutes daily. For the most part, it worked.
Today, however, I could no more give up Facebook than I would say I will give up reading mail, or talking on the telephone until Easter. Facebook and Twitter have become vital means by which I communicate for business, nonprofit volunteerism, and pleasure.
But I can resolve to use social media more wisely. Below is a social media examination of conscience and then resolutions to use it better.
Examination of Conscience
- Have I used social media to pry into others’ lives, seek personal details, and then gossip about them?
- Have I been so distracted by Facebook games that I have neglected responsibilities for my family or my job?
- Have I posted photos and information that discourages, ridicules, or defames others?
- Have I been inappropriate in my Facebook relationships or encouraged others towards bad behavior?
- If I have been upset at someone, did I approach that person individually and privately, or did I use Facebook to vent my frustration?
- Are my words and photos on Facebook a good role model for teens to emulate?
- Do I honor my family, friends, and clients with what I post?
Resolutions for Better Social Media Use (a 40 day challenge)
- Reduce or restrict time spent on Facebook games. Your Farmville crops may die, but no one in real life will starve as a consequence. Plant a real garden of relationships or food instead.
- Encourage at least 1 person each day to have a better day.
- Thank at least 2 people each day and tell them how they help others.
- Find a local homeless shelter or food bank and find ways you can share their needs on social media so others can help them too.
- Show someone else how to use Facebook or Twitter better.
Are you up to a 40 day challenge to make the social media world a brighter place? Go for it! Easter candy’s a little sweeter when you do!