Twitter and Facebook provide huge opportunities to have conversations, to share ideas, to promote products and events, and to share the random thoughts of everyday life. Pam and I are realizing more and more, though, that we have to be super careful about our posts because they can be misinterpreted and misquoted.

Not long ago, I posted a comment about the number of tattoos on the Denver Nugget players. It was just a little late night sarcasm, but it prompted a lot of angry responses from people who also have tattoos. I regretted sounding judgmental because that is not who I am.  Last fall, after the Cowboys lost an early season game, I made a derogatory remark about Head Coach Wade Phillips and a wise man in our church kindly corrected me.  Since those two posts, I have tried to use a bit more wisdom and discretion in what I put online for all to read.

Since Twitter allows for only 140 characters, we often cannot fully explain what we are thinking, thereby leaving a lot of room for misinterpretation. Here are some rules I try to follow.

1. Don’t post about things that happen in the bathroom. Enough said.

2. Don’t post when you are angry or hungry, especially when you are both.

3. Don’t post stuff that points out physical or mental deficiencies in others.

4. Don’t post stuff about movies or songs that contain material that others may find offensive.

5. Don’t overhype an event. Promotion is fine, but hype is not classy.

I cannot tell you how often I have had to delete something I was about to post because it broke one of these rules. I have never regretted a deletion, but I have regretted a number of posts. I love social media and have made a lot of connections with people that I would have never met otherwise.  Like any good thing, it can become a snare if we are not wise with its use.  What are some of the rules you follow with social media? What are some of the mistakes you have made that the rest of us could learn from?

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