Does the above phrase make sense at all? Probably not to many of those who are actively involved in social media, but a closer study will affirm it’s a possibility to all. Just imagine an anti-social person trying to be actively involved in social media. Imagine a deeply recluse individual hoping to use these multiple platforms to engage people. Imagine a person with multiple personality disorder following you or being followed by you…
The Word tells us ‘let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers’ (Eph. 4 v 29). This verse should inspire you this morning about the use, abuse or misuse of social media today by all and sundry. On that platform, there are different kinds of individuals; there are people who take their rage to the platforms and express their frustrations and there are people whose words are deeply divisive and are very anti-social by nature using the social media to poison the atmosphere.
I believe in engagement and more importantly in exercising one’s liberty through expression of opinions, however I am also of the opinion that we should not ignore who is speaking before we start quoting such people or following such. Many people in the West have used the social media to share messages of ‘hate’ and ‘prejudices’ which in turn sparked terrorist activities in large scale. We must be very careful with the use or abuse of social media. I would love to share my thoughts on attributes to discern and desist from on social media. The following are views on how to know anti-social individuals on social media.
7 ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIORS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
- PLEASE DELETE ME FROM THIS GROUP: I agree that it is very wrong for people to add you to a group without your consent but at the same time, you should just do something about it and not be grouchy. Whenever people add me to groups on social media without my permission and I want out, I simply remove myself from the group. Some people will start a war of words with the group by asking questions, sharing comments, and showing displeasure with everyone.
- ABUSIVE WORDS: we should never be engaged in rantings of fools by using Abusive words on social media platforms even if the comment made doesn’t make sense to us. We shall become anti-social indeed and uncivilized in my opinion. There are better ways to express dissent without showing disgust with other users, learn to manage your words and ensure it ministers grace to the hearers.
- OBSCENE PICTURES AND PHOTOS: I still don’t know how nude pictures of people can be termed social in such a highly sexualised world of ours. Such matters are meant for few friends and nothing. Some people upload sex tapes on social media platforms to demean their victims and we should not encourage that because many have had to end their lives as a result of that. Young ladies should stop taking selfies of themselves nude because it may end up in public domain.
- DIGITAL BULLIES: There are people who intimidate others by reason of their competitive advantage in physical strength, educational achievements, spiritual exposure, wealthy background and possibly 7star lifestyle. Hence they shut others up from expressing their opinions and sharing their views on other matters of concern. These people are ‘bullies’ in my opinion and we should not encourage bullying online at all.
- HATE MONGERS: in sharing our political beliefs and positions, we as Christians should never become monsters under any circumstance, we should let the love of God rule in our hearts and towards all men since we teach that Jesus died for all men. History tells us how people used traditional media in the past to fan the embers of hate in nations and it culminated in death of innocent people including Christians. We should never encourage ‘hate’ mongers by following them or encouraging their discourse.
- SCAMMING THE INNOCENT: there are many scammers out there who use these platforms to swindle the innocent of their hard earned income. People should develop personal policies never to respond to pleas via social media for financial support because they might become victims of scammers, I have often sent out messages that I will never solicit for funds via the social media platforms to meet the needs of people that we help in our several communities. It is something that needs a thorough rethink.
I hope you have been inspired with these tips on how to discern anti-social behaviours on social media platforms. Take care and be blessed.
Yomi Kasali (Rev)