On a typical day on Facebook, it can seem like almost everyone’s a profound philosopher. As one views one status to the next, people offer some great advice. What’s ironic about the advice many people give via their Facebook status is they don’t follow it themselves. If you’re not going to adhere to your own advice, what makes you think others will be convinced to do it? For one to live a purposeful life, you need to live those things you write on your Facebook status. Now, many people compose so much foolishness on their Facebook status that I wouldn’t recommend them to live like their status reads. This piece is not about those who frequently pen ridiculous things on their Facebook status. You will be addressed on another day with a different and essential message.
This piece is focused on those people who compose one thing on their Facebook status, but don’t put into practice those things they promulgate.
Before you press the “post” button on your Facebook status, make sure the advice you’re presenting to your friends is grounded in truth. What I mean by “grounded in truth” (in this instance) is make sure you provide for people a living example of what you’re communicating to them, so that they can focus on the quality of what you have to say and not on the inconsistency of your message with the way you live. If your advice is good enough for you to submit to others, then it must be good enough for you to heed too. Now, if what you’re writing on your Facebook status is a form of personal narrative therapy where you write things you hope to follow, then one will have to forgive you for not following your own advice.
Most people who are penning these “profound” Facebook statuses are not engaging in personal narrative therapy, however. Many people who offer these “deep philosophical” statuses desire to draw attention to themselves to ameliorate their low or problematic self-esteem. The dominant motivation for the advice they offer, therefore, is not really about the advice itself, but about using the power of that advice to put the focus on themselves. Now, many will say that “it’s my status” and “of course, I want to draw attention to myself, which is the reason I wrote it.” My response to them is to be transparent about what you’re doing then. Don’t have people thinking you’re giving them sound advice that emerges from your lived experience. Let them know that what you’re saying just sounds good and you thought it would make you look good and gain you many “likes” on your Facebook status.
You may fool many people with the things you write on your Facebook statuses, but there are many others who can see the real motivations, ironies, and incongruities in your statements.
For those of you who like to send messages to specific individuals through your statuses, how about drafting them a brief email, giving them a quick telephone call, and/or visiting them at their domicile instead? Those third person statuses can be destructive to relationships. It’s not like you’re fooling anyone. Don’t be so arrogant to think you’re so full of “wisdom” that people cannot recognize when you’re referring to them via your Facebook status. The least you could do is “tag” any person you compose a status about, especially since you’re so “courageous” enough to post a status about him or her.
All great philosophers take their own advice first. They share the wisdom of that advice from what their experience with it has taught them. Use your own Facebook statuses before you publish them for others.
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