Pouts and Spouts: when in doubt…be positive!

It is easy to complain.

Trust me.

My mantra is choose joy – but even my husband has to remind me to choose joy every once in awhile – okay, lots of “onces” in a while. We complain because we feel like things aren’t fair, people aren’t treating us right, and it didn’t happen the way it was SUPPOSED to happen. Sometimes those statements are actually the truth.

But what we consistently feed on will fatten us.

So if I continually tote around negativity in my backpack, I am feeding that monster. And I will eventually allow it to fill me until everything that spills out of my mouth is spewage, vomit, and yuck.

This negativity has become more prominent now that we can hide behind social media. Okay, maybe not more prominent, because it was always there. But it has definitely become more VISIBLE to more people. Social Media allows us to have a platform for people to see and read our thoughts, feelings, and desires.

Most of the time, what I see on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are two things: pouting and spouting.

POUTING: Feeling sorry for myself because things didn’t go my way. Someone mistreated me, someone left me out, someone made me feel bad about myself…the list goes on and on. Pouting is usually when we feel like our rights have been violated in some way.

SPOUTING: Blurting out my strong emotional feelings about an issue that could possibly have a negative, misunderstood, or hurtful impact on those reading my posts. Typing while in an emotional, angry, or bitter state.

Now, I am not talking about standing up for what is right. There are many who take a hard stance on truth, and I admire that. I try and take a stand for what is right (like promoting positivity on social media :)) but when I do, I try and carefully mince my words, thinking about what kind of connotation people are picking up from my written messages.

We all feel the pouts and the spouts. Oh my goodness, I probably feel those on a weekly (if not daily) basis. Those are natural feelings that bubble up when we are hurt, we see injustice, or we plain disagree with what we see happening online. Pouts and spouts roll around inside our chests, causing our hearts to beat fast and our breathing to quicken. We might disagree with someone’s choice of words, a picture we see, a political action being taken – so much that we find on the internet can anger or hurt. So much that we find in life can anger or hurt.

But before we post (or say) something negative, do we think about these things?

  1. First and foremost, do I have RELATIONSHIP with the person I am posting about? Have I earned the RIGHT to confront this issue, say these words? Is this the most loving and beneficial way to say these things? Have I confronted them FACE TO FACE instead of in public or on social media?
  2. Will my comment, post, or picture BENEFIT my readers or the person involved? Will it cause them to become BETTER versions of themselves? Will it help them think positively about others, about themselves?
  3. How will this affect my PLATFORM (Your online persona – how people view you and see you operating on social media and online)? Our platforms are super important – we have an impact on the people around us. We leave a footprint everywhere we go – not just on social media – soooooo… what kind of footprint are we leaving? What kind of footprint have you left?
  4. If it is even close to a pout or a spout, or you aren’t sure, ask someone around you. My husband and I help each other with a lot of our posts. We are good “barometers” for one another. Ask a mentor, a spouse, a sibling, a parent…but honestly, if you have any doubts, don’t do it. Just don’t.
  5. I am going to change Philippians 4:8 a bit – but I truly think it doesn’t change the meaning of the verse. “But FINALLY, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–POST about such things.” When all else fails, be positive.

I teach high school students – and there are many seminars about how long your online presence stays around.

Oh yeah, forever.

Even if you delete, erase – it’s all accessible. And what we post – it says a lot about who we are.

But not just online. What we say, how it affects people, affects how they see us – how long does it stay around?

Oh yeah, forever.

So, I’m calling for a mountain of people to say they are DONE with negativity. Not just online, but in life. Let’s fill our timelines, newsfeeds, and Twitter feeds with words and pictures that lift others UP, not bring them down. Let’s think carefully about what we say and how it will impact those around us. Together, let’s make a difference.

Let’s put WATER on negativity, not GAS. Let’s NOT feed the fire, the monster, the darkness of gossip, hurtful words, and negative diatribes. Let’s not fight with those online who disagree with us, let’s just delete their comments. Let’s make phone calls and meet face to face and confront the issues instead of hiding behind a screen. Let’s change the world around us by changing ourselves first.

I will make mistakes.

But I will do everything in my power to choose joy and commit to promoting positivity on social media…and in life.

If you are on board with me, please share the photo attached to this post on your Facebook timeline, your Instagram, on Snapchat, on Twitter – anywhere you can. And then commit to using the five rules above to determine whether what you are about to post is going to promote positivity or not.

Let’s replace all the hurt, pouts, and spouts with happiness. And then let’s post more happiness. And more. And more. Let’s make a difference, people. THAT will make today the best day ever.

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