Dear Kids: Here’s 6 Questions to Ask Before Posting Anything on Social Media

Dear Kids:

I am old enough to remember life before social media. In fact, I still remember a conversation with my college roommate where he tried to explain Facebook to me. It seemed ridiculous.

Yet I write this today, less than a decade after that conversation in my dorm room, and it is hard to comprehend our world without Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.

The game has changed. And the state of our culture today forces us to get in the game. But there is a problem.

Social media is a world without guidelines. And where guidelines are absent, chaos is inevitable.

Almost daily, news comes out that a high-ranking official or a social media marketer for a large corporation has been fired due to an insensitive post or tweet. Type in “fired over a tweet” and google search pops out 30 million results. This doesn’t even include the millions who apply for a job and are never considered because of insensitive words plastered on their social media wall.

It’s time to admit we need some boundaries when it comes to social media. Look, I get it. The idea of a boundary-less world is enticing. We all want to be free. But the irony is freedom never rests outside of boundaries. A boundary-less world only leads to chaos.

So, I want to propose some guidelines. I am not the official social media guidelines guy. That would be weird. And this list is certainly not exhaustive. That would be impossible. But, hopefully, the following questions will help you consider when and how to use social media.

Here are 6 questions to ask before posting on social media.


Social media is a dangerous drug for those who struggle with identity and validation. Make no mistake. Something or someone validates you every second of every day. God wired you this way. So, if God doesn’t fill the void, something else must.

Social media is so addictive because it gives you instant affirmation. Just post your best picture or most insightful comment. Click one button. Boom. Sit back and wait for the likes. As they come, you feel validated. But eventually the likes stop. When they do, you go back to the well. Another photo or comment. Post. More likes. Temporary validation. The cycle continues.

Here’s the real problem. As you rely more on likes for affirmation and validation, the desire for more likes grows stronger. Over time, the pictures become more provocative. The comments become more accusatory. And bridges are burnt because likes tell you there’s only one place at the top of the mountain.

But if (and when) you arrive at the top of the mountain, you will quickly realize the mountaintop is a lonely place, and you sacrificed your reputation and dignity to get there. Two things that are incredibly difficult to restore once they are lost.

So, if social media impacts your mood, worth, or value, you need to step back and ask some deeper questions. Don’t continue to drink from a well that won’t quench your thirst.


I am going to be real. This needs to be said. One of the great tragedies of social media is that it has given power to a lot of cowards. And cowards with power are dangerous.

Social media allows many people to take cover behind a computer screen and throw harsh or demeaning bombs to any person crossing their path. It has given rise to a new, more destructive form of bullying and manipulation. The kind that never has to deal with the ramifications of harsh words. At least in the days before social media, bullies had to look their victims in the eyes. But no longer. Today, the world has a new kind of coward thanks to social media.

And, sadly, Christians aren’t absent from this discussion. On more than one occasion, I have witnessed Christians use social media to bully people into believing their theology or stance on an issue.

So, what’s the solution?

Here’s a rule for social media: if you wouldn’t say it face-to-face, don’t post it.

Never post a comment you wouldn’t say to that individual face-to-face. Even if you strongly disagree. Social media is not a place to handle conflict or tell the world how you really feel. That’s what cowards do. And if you are a follower of Jesus, there is no place for cowardly behavior. If you are in doubt, don’t post it. If you are unsure whether or not someone will be upset by your words, let it go.

It could be that the most important decision you make today is choosing to delete the post. Don’t be a coward. The world has enough of those. Show the world something different. If you have a concern or disagreement with someone, close Facebook or Twitter and schedule lunch or make a phone call.


Social media is a breeding ground for people with great intentions. But great intentions don’t change lives. Action does.

I love to write. I hope my content challenges and encourages people to draw closer to God. But at the end of the day, I must remember I am not writing to virtual people in a virtual world. Behind every computer screen and phone is a man or woman created in the image of God, just like me. Behind every issue or injustice is a face or a group of faces. Real people. With real problems.

Frank Powell
Frank Powell
Devoted follower of Christ, college/young adult minister, husband to , dad to Noah and Micah, avid blogger/writer, sports fan. You can follow him on twitter here and read more blogs here!

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