Jennifer Maggio is considered a leading authority on single parents and womens issues. She is an award-winning author and speaker who draws from her own experiences through abuse, homelessness, and teen pregnancy to inspire audiences everywhere. She is founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries and writes for dozens of publications. She has been featured with hundreds of media outlets, including The 700 Club, Daystar Television, Moody Radio, Focus on the Family, and many more. For more information, visit thelifeofasinglemom.com.
I met one of my oldest and dearest friends, when I was in the fourth grade. I had just relocated from another state and her bubbly personality, infectious smile, and out-going spirit made us instant friends. Amanda and I were 9 years old, back then, and have been dear friends ever since. My twin sister met her best friend in the 8th grade. By the time we were all in high school, my sister, our two best friends, and I were inseparable. We have shared a great deal. We’ve shared weddings and births and tragedies and triumphs. We’ve laughed together. We’ve cried together. And even today, almost three decades later, we are still enjoying each other’s friendship. We all live in different states now and are unable to see each other in person as often as we’d like. However, I am convinced that the availability of social media has kept our friendship alive.
Never, in history, have we had such immediate access to others’ personal lives. Social media gives us a unique opportunity to see things, as soon as they happen, and to hear the thoughts or opinions of those affected by an occurrence, almost immediately. Social media is a great way to engage former classmates, stay connected to relatives, and reconnect with old friends. It helps us stay informed about current events and watch real-time news videos. We can even have access to our favorite pastors and authors for a quick word of encouragement throughout the week. In that way, there is great value in being involved in social media.
It’s likely, however, that at some point along your social media sojourn, you have encountered a less-than-ideal conversation among “friends”, or been part of one yourself. It usually goes something like this. “How dare she say that to me? She is so unfair. She’s so busy looking at the speck in my eye that she couldn’t possible see that gigantic log in her own eye. She always has something critical to say about everyone!” Of course, I’m giving the PG version of such an altercation, but you see where I’m headed. Of particular interest is when Christians get into a war of words with one another and use Scripture references to justify their behavior.
Having seen my fair share of social media wars, I’d like to offer some advice on what to consider before you post on social media. Don’t take the plunge, until you’ve checked this list!
With all that being said, of course there is a time for fun or silly status updates, where we are simply enjoying one another’s company and doing life together. (Yes, we still want to see your post about your first batch of gluten-free brownies and the first tooth little Sally lost!) The focus isn’t about taking the fun from social media, but it is about removing the harm in it. It’s about thinking before we type. Don’t say something online that you wouldn’t say in person, and more importantly, remember that most of what we say and do online is permanent, so use your media imprint wisely. You’re leaving a legacy.
Jennifer Maggio is a national author and speaker who is also a wife, mother, and founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She has been featured in hundreds of media venues, including The New York Times, The 700 Club, Power Women, Daystar Television, and others. She has a passion to see the women of God live free and impactful lives. For more information, visit www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.