I have Mother Teresa’s humility list hanging in my bathroom. I read a little of it every morning with hopes that God will bless me with even a fraction of her humility. It certainly gives me much to think about as I interact with others throughout my day, but lately I have been pondering how her list might apply to social media.
How can this simple yet profound list guide me to better use social media as a way to glorify God and lift others’ spirits?
How can I better moderate my use of social media and not allow it to slowly infiltrate my life to the detriment of my well-being and attention to my primary vocations as wife and mother?
Speak as little as possible about yourself. Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others. Avoid curiosity. Do not interfere in the affairs of others. Accept small irritations with good humor. – Mother Teresa
How often do I post something on social media?
Am I simply using it as a platform to talk about myself or my accomplishments in a boastful way?
When I do have something to share, do I seek true humility by being honest about my God-given talents? Or do I fall into the false humility of self-deprecation?
Do I waste time scrolling through others’ posts just for the sake of satisfying curiosity?
If I am genuinely wanting to know how someone is doing, do I try to reach out to that person with a phone call or face-to-face meeting?
Do I remember that others’ posts can be easily misinterpreted and not allow careless words to get to me?
Do not dwell on the faults of others. Accept censures even if unmerited. Give in to the will of others. Accept insults and injuries. Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded. – Mother Teresa
When I read emotionally charged posts, or posts about a choice I don’t agree with, or posts about a difficult life circumstance, do I remember to still see and respect that person as a whole — someone who is much more than that one post?
Do I try to avoid getting wrapped up in arguments and debates over social media?
When I am rightly upset by something I see, do I just vent on social media about it, or do I seek out ways to actively and productively seek justice?
Do I feel the need to always have the last word in social media conversations?
What is my response when I see posts or photos about a gathering I was not a part of, or a party I was not invited to?
Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone. Do not seek to be admired and loved. Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity. Give in, in discussions, even when you are right. Choose always the more difficult task. – Mother Teresa
Do I ever post angry or sarcastic words?
Do I use social media as a source for finding approval?
Do I get caught up in how many “likes” or “friends” or “followers” I have?
Do I find myself checking my phone or computer excessively, just to see how many people saw or commented on my last post?
Am I willing to be vulnerable?
Without becoming unnecessarily argumentative, am I willing to stand up for what is right on social media, even if I know it is not the popular opinion?
Do I feel the need to always be “right”?
Am I always willing to put real people and real relationships ahead of the lure of social media use?
Sometimes the most difficult task is turning away from the computer screen to look my child in the eyes, putting the phone away while out on a date with my husband, or “fasting” from social media for a time if I sense overuse, addiction, depression, or disengagement from the real world are becoming a problem.
How do you use social media? How do you balance that use with your vocations as wife and mother?
Copyright 2019 Charisse Tierney