I saw something on Facebook yesterday that compelled my blog today. A single mother of a beautiful eleven-year-old girl posted a photo of her daughter with the caption: “My child is starting to look just like her dad. YUCK! I still love her to pieces tho.” I’m going to ask you to read that back a few more times because that’s exactly what I did when I saw it. Granted, this is a person who uses social media to vent about her ex and his ways on a regular basis (as well as other topics I would consider inappropriate for the public to be privy to, but that’s my opinion). Although I wasn’t surprised to see another post remarking of her disdain for this former man of her affection, I was floored to see her daughter’s looks be mentioned parallel her contempt for him.
I remember thinking, “My God…if this is what’s on Facebook, what the heck is this child hearing at home?” A rush to judgment you say? Perhaps you’re right, but I can’t do anything but be honest about my raw feelings in the moment. The comments began to roll in to the thread of her post…the majority of them, chastising her. “What were you thinking?” “I hope your daughter never reads this.” “How dare you.” The post clearly hit the same nerve with others that it hit in me.
After several hours of the post first going up, I began to read the thread of comments, which had grown in number. Within, I saw her justifying her original post and stating, “I wasn’t implying that my daughter was ‘YUCK’. People need to learn to read between the lines and get the true meaning of people’s posts.” Oh wait…so now it’s my responsibility to decipher exactly what you meant in your head, even though it didn’t come out that way in words? Oh ok…my bad. lol. I posted a comment that simply said, “People are offended for a reason…it’s not to attack, it’s to call attention to. You’re educated and know how to word things to avoid mixed meanings. The truth hurts sometimes and isn’t always easy to receive but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s the truth.” She never replied to my response, or anyone’s after that. Hours later, I looked again and she deleted the post completely.
This blog has a few different layers, which I will address in three brief points:
1) I truly thank God for my mom. With all of her flaws, I can honestly say, she never bad mouthed my dad. Regardless of what they were going through in their divorce or how things looked in my kiddie eyes, she always made it a point to encourage me to honor him. Their failed marriage or how they felt about each other personally was not a reflection of me or my brother. I really wish more parents would take that same approach. Not only is it mature…it’s Godly. Your kids self-esteem should never be a casualty of your ego or ill-feelings towards their other parent. (sidenote: Honor is an inward attitude of esteem for the position of a person…not necessarily based upon whether or not they have earned respect.)
Look up: Ephesians 6:1-3 & Matthew 15:3-9
2) Social networking is a way to open your life and feelings to the world…if you so choose. When you do, you must expect feedback from the world that you’re sharing with; even when you may not like what’s said in return. If you can’t handle it, social networking is probably not for you. Be aware that your actions (online, physical, & otherwise) affect other people…even if you don’t believe they have a right to an opinion because it’s not their business. When you open up your life, thoughts, and opinions to the public, the public has a right to voice their opinion regarding it. It essentially becomes everyone’s business.
Look up: 1Peter 2:23 & Proverbs 15:1-2
3) Never underestimate the power or accessibility of social networking. Your child (& others who you may be posting about, for that matter) may not be your personal “friend/follower” on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. but that doesn’t mean they can’t hear about what you post indirectly through others…you’ve heard of six degrees of separation, right? Be very careful regarding the types of messages you put out into the atmosphere. The same way the bible tells us to watch our tongues because in the tongue is the power of life and death…the same applies to these alternative forms of communication.
Look up: Proverbs 18:21 & James 3:1-18
That’s my piece for today. God bless and keep you all.
*Wednesdays With INDIGO*