Did that post make me look/sound: not smart enough, silly, self-indulgent, pathetic, condescending? and the list of fears goes on. I have even giggled to myself: Does that post make my butt look big?
In order to avoid that gut-wrenching feeling of dread, here are a few questions I ask myself before I send off my messages to the world through the realm of social media.
1) Would I have said that to a real-life person? I imagine myself at work or with my family and wonder if I would have had the courage to say those words.
2) Does my message match my values and beliefs? Conversely, am I putting something forth to shock others or persuade them to follow a path I don't necessarily believe in?
3) Will my future life be affected by any mindless statements I once made? As a teacher, certain aspects of my life, like it or not, are judged by my audience. Yes, I have private, free time, but there is no guarantee that something I post will not be linked to me in a public way. Am I proud of how I represent myself?
4) Am I reinforcing helpful or healthy ideation?
5) Does my message enhance relationships with new friends by offering support, advice, or humor to help someone get through a rough patch?
I suppose I do think too much.. but maybe reflection isn't such a bad thing. I suddenly feel the urge to share this post, and for once, I don't think I will analyze it.
In the words of Michelangelo:
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.