Discernment & Disclosure

Friends, I have seen a pretty drastic issue on the web these past few weeks and it’s really bothering me. There is an issue with our generation called “oversharing”. As in sharing too much about parts of their lives that need not be broadcast. I am sitting here, reading an article a Christian girl wrote about her father’s attempted suicide. This is really too much.

My initial reaction was shock. But I came to ask myself why nobody in my generation is speaking up, encouraging young people to consider the consequences of sharing too many details on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Here it is:

Stop sharing everything. Stop. Just stop. Facebook, Twitter, and blogs are great tools. Some of my favorite. Communication is beautiful. But there’s a problem with all of these tools - people use them! People see what you’re writing. People react to what you’re saying. I encourage you to keep details of things you wouldn’t share with acquaintances off the internet. You have close friends, share with them. Trust should be earned, not given freely to every internet traveler who stumbles upon your blog. There are certain subjects that are particularly sensitive to broadcasted - those being suicides, surprise pregnancies, emotional lapses, relationships statuses, etc. Please save yourself the troubles you will deal with when the world knows what you’re dealing with. You wouldn’t stand in Times Square and yell these things - would you?

Suicide is a particularly bad subject to talk about online. The media tends to keep details of these as conservative as they can - because people who are struggling with depression do not need easy access to these details. I encourage you to not speak of these events in a broadcasting manner as much as possible. If you or your friend is dealing with this subject, seek help as soon as you can. There are really smart people out there who receive joy helping people through their struggles. I promise, I’ve met plenty.

Christian friends, please remember that vanity is sinful and that discernment is a particularly important thing for us to practice as well. You will certainly receive attention when you post pictures of yourself in a bathing suit daily, but it’s not the kind you’re looking for (Proverbs 31:30). Please remember to use social media and blogs not to beg the world for attention, but to be a light and influence to those around you.

This stuff matters, I promise. There is respect for those who use social and communication platforms to better the world around them - religious or not - please consider that next status update, tweet, or blog post. It might be better off in your journal.

Thank you for reading.