Friday, November 2, 2018

Social Media: Stop Trying to Please People Who Don't Care About You

Pastor Kris and his friend Jamaica Cone from Revolution Church
By Kris Freeman
Pastor, Revolution Church
Sports Information Director, White House High School


"You post a lot on social media."

Yes. That is correct. I am a promoter. I love to enhance the things I am a part of, share about my family, post about athletes, students, friends and their achievements. It's both my JOB and my personality.

I grew up never believing in myself and ashamed of the person I thought I was. I was bullied, had no self-confidence and believed I was never good enough. And plenty of people told me those things until I believed them.

In today's generation, there are plenty of old-school personalities who have turned into online bullies and may not even realize the control they attempt to exercise on others around them. In the words of the immortal Bob Newhart, let me share this groundbreaking advice to you when listening to the opinions of others who detract from your journey:

"Stop it."

I would love, one time, to return that retort with a comment, "you sure pay a lot of attention to it." But that would not be nice, of good character, nor reflect the values of what I and all of us hope to stand for. Instead, let's help each other fight back the bullies with a better approach.

There is a point to what I want to share with you today. Stop trying to please people who don't truly care about you. Use social media as a positive tool and don't let anyone with a negative voice stand in the way of what you want to convey or achieve.

Now, with that said, keep it positive, inspirational, fun, and informative. Cut out the social drama from your circles and you will be less likely to create it or be bothered by the same.

We spend a large majority of our lives worrying about the opinions of others who often do not represent critical steps in the journey of achieving our dreams and realizing the potential for what God has placed within your grasp to achieve.

Social media is a powerful, viral tool in the lives of millions of people in the world. A network of opportunities lie before us, and those networks often are based on what audience and desire with which we wish to connect. For example:

  • Facebook is informational and connects to your family, former classmates and network of friends, businesses and products
  • Instagram is visual and immediate and connects to a younger generation and rapidly expanding
  • Twitter is linked and connects to a variety of breaking news, media, current events, live feeds
  • Snapchat is filtered and fun, but quickly being replaced/matched by Instagram
  • Pinterest is....ok, I'm not even answering that one cause I lose my man card. ;)
Our network of friends and followers has become increasingly important to our influence and self-worth. The unfortunate side of this phenomenon is the number of people who obsess over the number of likes, comments and feedback a post receives.

Even more, a few of you reading this might be addicted to social media and legitimately need to back off.

Yes, I post a lot. In fact, what you may not know is that I monitor social media accounts for my own personal life, plus at least four large organizations including my church, sports media, a high school and a non-profit.

Here are some critical tips to managing your social media which I believe will be beneficial on your journey:

  1. Keep it fun - Social media is designed to be a network of connecting information. Keep it fun. Post pictures, share with friends and family, let your personality shine. Bring a positive light to your news feed that reflects the values of the things which are important to you. Like Jesus? Share scriptures. Love music? Share songs. Enamored with photography? Let's see the bright colors of your world. Do sports or cars make you tick? Then brand up your wall with what you like. Make social media an online representation of what we might see on your bedroom wall as a teenager and use the tool to let others get a glimpse into your life.
  2. Check your privacy - On the flip side of fun is the sad reality of our culture. Social media can be full of predators, both seeking to harm us and our children, and threatening to steal your personal information for spam or fraud. In every social network, be sure you understand the privacy levels, change passwords frequently and monitor suspicious activity. When it comes to your children and especially teens, make sure they understand the dangers of checking into public places and more importantly posting pictures and tags which identify their personal residence and places they spend the majority of their time. Be careful about posting your location when you are away from a vacant home. Watch closely about checking in to parking garages or public events and retailers with huge parking lots where you leave late at night.
  3. Be a fan, not a stalker or groupie - A great way to connect with celebrities, sports teams, athletes, musicians and artists is through social media. Trust me, they appreciate and desire your following as it builds their brand and media profile and that means money to their advertisers and agents and endorsement deals. Yet with that following comes a responsible way to interact. Don't send private messages to public figures through social media - most likely you will be blocked, ignored or never have access to them personally. Celebrities do not appreciate scary fans - they both avoid you and likely make fun of your fandom. Second, avoid obsessive posts. If an athlete retweets you on their birthday, be thankful. But remember there are 1.3 million of others just like you on their feed and it may not mean you are now in their circle. They don't owe you the responsibility of seeing every attempt for you to connect. Be responsible, have fun and help them build a productive brand.
  4. Ignore the naysayers and negative people - This is the big one. There are tremendous tools for unfollowing people and posts without removing your connection as a friend. If a person is constantly negative about what you post, then kindly ask them to unfollow. If this becomes controlling and obsessive, then you may have to do the same. Any behavior that results in disruptive communication? Block it. I have plenty of friends who hate sports and many friends who don't attend church. I suspect that because of such, I have been hidden from a LOT of news feeds. And that's OK! It does not mean I will stop posting. The message that needs to be shared will be seen by the people who appreciate you and WANT to connect with your world. Stop trying to please people who don't share in your journey. If their opinions are constantly negative, then perhaps they weren't needed in your life to begin with. Just telling the truth here.
  5. Save the drama for your mamma - About 95 percent of what I post on social media is positive, inspirational or informative. I share a lot of links to messages, notes, blogs, articles, photos and media which I am asked to promote organizationally. I love to share about my family. I am PROUD of my children and my wife. The other five percent, I can be a bit snarky and humorous. Perhaps it was mean spirited to say that I programmed the Google Home to not recognize my wife's voice but I had fun telling the world about it - until I fell asleep on the couch last night and she didn't wake me up. Maybe that was karma. Now and then, I will post a hard thought, a negative statement or a passive aggressive line and think better of it and delete it later. I used to post about diabetes a lot, until I realized that on the days I felt poorly, the negative responses from well-intentioned friends would emerge telling me to "take better care of myself" when I had done nothing to cause it. Social media can also be used as criminal evidence in certain cases when the posts incite crime, violence or used in disputes like divorce proceedings and child custody. The point it, social media is not the place for the following:
    • Don't settle disputes on social media
    • Don't argue with family on social media
    • Don't insult others on social media
    • Don't destroy a business and their reputation on social media (contact them privately!)
    • Don't harass people through social media private messaging
    • Don't become political and polarize hot topics on social media
    • Don't be an intentionally angry social activist for ANY TOPIC on social media
    • Don't cause drama and infuriate masses on social media
    • Don't threaten violence and harm on social media
    • Don't insult your employer, church or school on social media
I have been blessed with the positive influence of many people and hope I can do the same.

The intensity of what I post will not slow down; in fact the amount of information I share may increase as each of us learns better ways to digitally network with followers, fans and consumers.

I hope you'll give me a follow, but if not, just ignore it.

But if you have something negative to say, block me first and don't kill my vibe.

Or, let's use Matthew 18 and meet about it face-to-face before the whole world has to see how ugly humans can be to one another.

My number one core value in life is be kind to everyone you meet. Maybe we can all start with the thousands of connections we make every day through an internet site.

Now smile. There's enough grumpy people who follow me already.

I love you and these are my thoughts.

Pastor K/Coach K

P.S. I forgot to add this one part. Jealousy makes you a really ugly personality. Don't be jealous of the success and happenings of others. Be happy for those you love.

Goodness looks wonderful on you.

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