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Tuesday
May092017

Don’t get distracted! Think before you engage in these 5 social media behaviors

Credit: Getty/ PeopleImagesArticle By Empowering Everyday Women Ministries // Spiritual

Share Not too long ago, I logged in to my Bible app to read the verse of the day and do a little studying, when all of a sudden, an icon popped up bearing the face of a lady I knew from one of my social media pages. Since we apparently both use the Bible app, it asked if I would like to connect with her.

To be honest, I found it distracting. When I open my Bible app, the only person I’m trying to connect with is Jesus.

Not that there is anything wrong with engaging friends, but when the Internet starts inviting me to mingle with them online when I should be focusing on the Lord only, that could be problematic.

 We often waste time we don’t have and sometimes interact with people who wouldn’t have made it past our front door in real life. When access to nearly anything is just a click away, we can be quick to make decisions that might be unhealthy and that we’ll later regret.

So please make sure to think before you do the following things on the Internet:

Think Before You Follow. When you follow someone, they show up in your feed and you are giving them permission to influence you—for better or for worse. Use discernment when you hit Follow, because not everyone is worthy to lead you. Abide by this scripture found in 1 Corinthians 11:1 (NIV), “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” If overexposure to someone could end up messing up your walk with Christ, keep it moving. If they aren’t feeding your spirit, they do not need to be on your radar 24/7.

Think Before You Connect. With social media sites like LinkedIn, connections can be a wonderful thing. But just because someone wants to connect with you, doesn’t mean you should be connected to them. Some people need to be loved at a distance—especially online. And it’s okay not to engage people and all their antics, solicitations and invitations. If someone follows you, you are not obligated to follow them back. You don’t have time to connect with everyone and having time to yourself is both necessary and healthy. You’ll be amazed at how much time you have on your hands when you disconnect from all the distractions. 

Think Before You Click the Link. Just like some people need to be avoided, some pages need to be avoided altogether. If you see an article and can tell that it’s some foolishness just by reading the headline, don’t click. But if you do, by chance, get baited into thinking it’s something that it’s not, have no fear, the red x or the “back” button exists for a reason! Also, there are some things that sound so dumb that you want to check it out to see if it can really be that ignorant. Resist the urge, knowing your time is too precious to be spent shaking your head at stupid articles, ignorant people, twisted websites, and the like. What does it accomplish to stare at a screen going, “That’s a doggone shame?”

Think Before You Say “Me Too!” Everyone seems to have a hundred social media accounts these days, but you don’t have to be on every app, site, and hangout just because it’s there. Resist the “Me Too” syndrome. Don’t jump on the bandwagon. Furthermore, just because it’s popular among so many to spill their guts online, you don’t have to fall victim to this unwholesome trend. Every thought you have doesn’t need to be tweeted or posted to Facebook, even if everyone else seems to think on the keypad. When it comes to opening new social media accounts, think like a person of purpose. Rather than asking yourself, “Does this look like fun?” ask, “Do I need this?” There’s nothing wrong with having fun, but don’t become so consumed in selfies and puppy-face Snapchat filters that you become a stranger to the real world.

Think Before You Go Live. The Internet is a great encourager of impulsiveness. When everything can be done so quickly with a simple tap on the screen or keyboard, sometimes we act before our brain has a chance to process how detrimental that action will be. Live apps are all good and dandy for some things, but not everyone needs to broadcast their thoughts at the very moment they think them. Some things sound good in our heads, but don’t translate when we speak them aloud. Don’t hit the Live button in the midst of an emotional moment, or when you feel like ranting about a touchy topic. Those kinds of speeches need to be thought through and carefully edited before they are presentable to the public. If you know you have foot-in-mouth disease, stay off of live apps.

If you heed this practical advice it will serve you well the next time you have some time on your hands, and are thinking about diddling on your phone or laptop.

Your time is too important to waste too much of it on things with no eternal value, so choose your activities wisely. When you do this, you honor God and ensure that you are available to Him so His will can be fulfilled in your life.

RELATED: Are you an Internet bully? Read this and stop it!

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