6.08.2021

Social Media Etiquette



This blog post has been on my heart for so long.  I think I put it off because I felt I wasn't qualified to speak on the topic, but as time goes on I feel called to speak up, so here I go.  Please know this comes from a place of love, kindness, joy, and a place where I think someone really just needs to speak about it.  I can only speak about my experiences, which I intend to do so, and hope to spark a conversation about change.  It needs to happen. 

Social media is something I have a love/not love relationship with, and I continue to balance it with God and grace in all circumstances.  It is not a one size fits all thing ... some people can handle it in small doses, some shouldn't have it at all, and some aren't affected by it.  It really is a private and case by case decision.  I do not think I would have fared well at all having social media during my formative, high school, and college years and sometimes I feel like I am not old enough to navigate some of the hate you can find on social media apps.  The world is a broken place and if you spend any time at all on these apps you will find people being very unkind to others.  It can be very difficult.  What tipped my scale to speak out now happened last week.  In less than 48 hours three people told me to 1. get a mani and pedi, 2. wear lipstick, and 3. check my grammar or don't speak.  While none of these upset me they did upset the mother in me.  As I have stated before I am the mother to a child who battled mental health at a very high level for many months.  It all began with a single social media post and then was added to with bullying at school and more.  When I posted about how far he had come this winter one of the comments told me to get him some diet counseling, that would "help him more".  Once again, this doesn't rock my world since I am grounded in Jesus but what it does do is incite me to speak about change.  Change that needs to happen. 

Yes, being on social media is a choice and one each of us should make based on our own mental health BUT it should never be a place of hate and spite and unkindness.  Honestly nothing in this world should be but ... we do live in a broken world and there are always going to be others who feel it is ok to share their opinions with others.  Spoiler alert, it isn't and we should begin to think about speaking to others as if we were speaking to those we love and cherish.  We wouldn't speak to them that way, and if we would that is a whole different conversation I am not equipped to speak about. And here is the kicker, you never know who it is that you are speaking ill to.  Can they manage it and move on, or does it do more harm than we can ever imagine?  I would always assume the later since it will do harm to someone, even if that someone is the person saying the unkind thing.

When it comes to social media I only follow others who inspire me, bring me joy, those I care about, and those who bring something to the table for me.  If they don't I unfollow them and it is more than ok to do so.  If I do not wish to unfollow I will mute them for a break, and then decide later whether unfollowing them is the right decision for me.  Over the years I have been on Instagram I have followed and unfollowed many people as I should when curating a feed that fits my needs.  I do not follow people for hate, spite, to be mean or unkind, I do not leave comments that aren't kind, and I do not ... do not speak to people I do not know in any sort of ugly manner.  And neither should anyone else, ever.  In a time where race, kindness, and loving others is a major discussion this is an area we can all control and do better.  Telling someone they need to manage their nails doesn't upset me, but it will upset someone that isn't equipped for that comment and it shouldn't happen.  We also should not be telling who to love, what to wear, eat, do, or not do, and whether or not they belong on the internet.  We need to be kind ... or say nothing.  

And that deserves repeating. 

Do not follow people as a hate follow, do not forward their posts to others to talk about them, do not gossip about them, do not speak to them in any unkind way, and most of all if they are feeding your joy unfollow them or remove yourself from the app.  It is most definitely the most responsible thing to do.  If you find yourself struggling with someone who follows you you can most definitely block them, ask them to unfollow you, or remove yourself from the situation for as long as you need. There are plenty of times I have closed the app and taken all the mental health break I need to feel better about whatever is stressing me out.  Every single one of us has mental health that is in a different place than someone else.  Some of us are hurting, struggling, healing, walking a hard path or even having a bad day and words of love and kindness can most definitely feed their mood or day in a positive way.  Speak to others the way you want people to speak to you.  Do good, not harm, and try in all the ways you can to leave this day, week, month, year, and world in a better place than it is today. 

I remember the first time someone was unkind to me, really unkind, and someone said to me ... consider yourself as have arrived.  Let that sink in for a moment.  I do not want to be in a place that garnishes ugly or unkind comments about me, my home, my family, my children, my lifestyle, or my body ... and yet all have happened.  I am grounded in who I am in Jesus and so I have learned to pray and move on or block those that are continually unkind to me and others.  But ... once again my goal is to do better, be better, and speak up for those who can't.  I can promise you that during those many months I cared for my son, bandaged him when he needed it, drove him therapists (yes plural), kept him home to heal that comments, social media posts and bullies do deep harm to all.  His ordeal began with a single Instagram post.  Just one. The harm it did was vast and wide and we will all have those scars for years to come. We must change the way we speak to others, and now

I pour my heart out here to stand up and make a change ... and ask you to do the same in any area you can.  Kindness and love is always the best way, and will always heal those hurting.  And if you find yourself in the situation where you have been hurt, forgive them, and most definitely if they didn't ask for it.  And if it was you who hurt another ... apologize.  There is something so freeing about offering someone you hurt a heartfelt apology. That apology will do just as much for you as for them, and both of you deserve it. I pray this post is shared and taken to heart.  We need a change in the way we treat others and now is the perfect time to begin. 

I truly love you all. πŸ’—

12 comments:

  1. Thank you, Paige! I am sorry that this post was even necessary.

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  2. Paige, Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom. There is much to learn about social media etiquette and you raised many good points to consider. You are a woman of grace. Thank you for teaching others how to be better. xo

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  3. Paige, Thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom. It saddens me to hear of your experience. You are a woman of grace and may we all be better because of you. xo

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  4. Well said. God bless you and your family.

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  5. Thank you beautifully worded and something everyone needs to hear!

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  6. The hateful comments says so much more about the person who writes them the person they are directed towards. Love you and love your posts - all of them! I am sorry I don't comment more - perhaps people like myself, who look but don't always comment, are part of the problem. We can help drown out the negativity! oxo Kate in Connecticut

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  7. It’s so very sad that these things happen and yes, one never knows what another might be experiencing. I wish every person would be able to read this and absorb the words. May God bless you and yours!
    Pat

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  8. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
    Great post!!!!
    Seriously..... someone stooped so low as to tell you your grammar sucked, paint your lips & your nails were shoddy???? Oy vey.... Poor things they think they are superior.
    Good at you for rising above it & having the intelligence to know that not all can.
    Inspired by your thoughts.
    Best!

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  9. Thank you for posting this. I started a blog about all things I love some years ago during a time when I needed an outlet from what was happening in my life - I was recently divorced from a 30 year marriage and was so broken hearted, My mom was diagnosed with dementia and she was disappearing a little more each day, and as a nurse in an ICU my job was extremely stressful and with a boss who thought sarcastic and cruel comments about our patients and their families were funny, and because I needed my job I felt I needed to keep my mouth shut. (another nurse did stand up to her and inform management and she was fired for being unprofessional).So my little blog was a place of peace and pretty and fun. I enjoyed interacting with the few followers I had. I followed other blogs and truly enjoyed reading and interacting with them. I decided to attend Haven and hopefully learn some of the technical things that had me stumped. While at Haven I met one of the bloggers I followed who was and continues to be successful. I was excited as she was one of the first blogs I had followed who inspired me. Sadly she was very rude to me, made comments that hurt my feelings, I decided to stay away from her the rest of Haven (and I did meet some lovely, kind and encouraging bloggers at Haven). But on the last day I saw that she had posted on my blog - I truly thought it would be an apology - but instead it was a scathing critique of my blog, and informed me I was too old to be posting in the decor and lifestyle genre as it was more of a young mom territory. I never wrote another blog post. I often wonder if my life was a little less stressful if I would have allowed someones opinion to influence me so and also where would I be with my blog today if I had continued on. In all honesty I've only recently returned to reading blogs again. After a horrendous year and a half with my parents passing away and nursing during Covid I made the decision to retire and return to my home and garden and helping to take care of my new grand baby. I am blessed. Paige, I enjoy your blog and your love of God, your husband, your
    beautiful children and colorfully classic home. I love that you are shaped like me, just a little fluffy, because you give me inspiration to try on some clothing I might not otherwise choose and I have received so many compliments wearing them. I don't know you, but I do - and I thank you for sharing your life and adventures with those of us on the other side of your screen!

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  10. Dearest Paige,
    This is probably the greatest post I’ve ever read. You are one amazing lady and this post addresses much more than Social Media. A wonderful reminder as to how we all should all treat others, especially the ones we love. BravoπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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  11. I hate to say this but "women" can be so mean. I hate those "Real Housewives" shows but the few times I have caught a few minutes of them I thought.....what would we do with our children if they acted like this? I see social media as a type of virtual shopping. You look at things and some you like and some you dont. You keep moving. Who declared you have to like EVERYTHING! Also, people say things on line that they would NEVER say in person. This speaks to the person making the comment more than the one they are commenting on. Women need uplifting, support, positivity! I will admit, your style is not my style (in interiors) but I love how you write, I love your committment to your family and just like looking at your post. Keep on keeping on!

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