So recently Michelle Obama wore her hair natural, and by “natural,” I mean the way God made it naturally to grow from her head. Social Media went wild. While, there was a lot of praise for it, there was also a lot of backlash. It reminded me of the drama poor baby Blue Ivy went through. They praised North West for her soft waves, but dragged Beyonce and Jay Z for “allowing” Blue’s hair to be worn in a kinky fro. Blue was a toddler at the time, but that did nothing to stop the social media court of public opinions from invading the air space. Even other people who also naturally have kinky hair (though they may chemically treat it) posted extremely negative comments about this little girl.
But judging and dragging others on social media is nothing new. Facebook and Twitter can be a hotbed of negativity depending on who you follow. It seems as though we all love to gossip. We love to dish on one another and judge people for their looks, their lack of intelligence, their lack of money, etc. Meanwhile, we hide the issues we’re having for fear of what? Being judged.
It’s okay for us to have an opinion and our own level of standards. However, when did it become okay to publicly and metaphorically lynch someone for simply being themselves?
What we need to realize, is that if you have really nice hair and clothes, and you’re intelligent, and beautiful… GOD BLESSED YOU WITH THAT. You didn’t do anything to earn it and it can be taken away at any time. If you have good common sense, it’s because GOD blessed you with it. We can’t judge others for what they didn’t receive. GOD is in total control.
We must remember that when we see unflattering pictures of people on the internet, while it may look displeasing to us, we don’t know their whole story. We don’t know their plight. Heck, we don’t even know what their day was like.
The level of profanity that oozes off the fingertips of certain folks while on social media can be pretty cruel. Sure, a few other social media haters will get a chuckle, but what type of person are you representing yourself as, if you type the words, “kill yo self” over a picture of someone’s hair or outfit?
“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
Sure we all get slightly amused when we listen to our favorite radio station or podcast sharing their views on certain people. And we may even get a chuckle at the sheer level of craziness that happens in this world. But when we begin to participate in the mental destruction of others, we are doing the exact opposite of what God want us to do.
“If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.”
James 1:26 NLT
“With their words the godless destroy their friends, but knowledge will rescue righteous.”
Proverbs 11:9 NLT
With the age of social media, people have been emboldened to say things they would never say to someone’s face. We can hide behind our computer screens and be a totally different person than who we actually are, but why hurt people for the sake of likes?
Today, more and more people are being bullied on social media and many have actually committed suicide. Words hurt. GOD knows this, which is why he made a point to talk about it in the bible at least 37 times.
They didn’t have Instagram and Snap Chat when Jesus walked the earth. And even then, it was important to him that we not gossip about others. Now our words have much more power and a much further reach. It is more important now then ever to control our speech.
Of course, this is no easy task for some of us. We just have to pray to GOD and ask that he change our hearts. Try memorizing Psalms 19:14 from the Bible. We can use this scripture again and again, each time we are tempted to say something negative about others.
Here are some other things you can try to help begin the process of taming your tongue:
- Hit the unfollow button. Unfollow those social media friends and pages that bring out the negativity in you.
- Read the post, but choose not to comment. You don’t have to comment on every post that you have an opinion about. If you don’t have something constructive to say, it’s a good idea to just keep scrolling.
- Take a break from social media all together. I did this for 1 year, and it really helped me to refocus on how I want to be portrayed across my social media platforms. Not to mention, it freed up a huge amount of my time to do more important things, like spend time with family, work on hobbies, and do charity work. Use all those cumulative would-be hours on social media, to focus more on ideas and less on other people’s business.
Remember, once it’s out there, you can’t take it back. Sure, you can press delete, but after just 1 person reads it, it will contibute to their perception of you. Ask yourself, “Is what I’m about to post, a true reflection of the person I want to be?
It’s easy to get sucked into social media drama. There’s always a video, news story, picture, or post that could evoke negative feelings. The test is to simply shake your head and keep it moving. As we grow further in understanding God, we may even learn to have empathy in these moments. But, that takes time. For now, let’s just focus on passing our first class, Positivity 101.
Until next time, stay prayed up.