Oh Be Careful Little Fingers…

Remember this song? I do. One day this past week, it started playing in my head, but my parody-minded-thoughts added a new verse that I’m sure would’ve been included if it had been written in the current age. What’s the verse? I’m glad you asked.

“Oh be careful little fingers what you post,
Oh be careful little fingers what you post,
For the Father up above is looking down in love,
Oh be careful little fingers what you post.”

Why did this pop into my thoughts? I’m sure you can guess. I see some things that are posted on Facebook and think, “Why post that? They’re just stirring up judgement and hatred.” Don’t get me wrong. There are most certainly times when we must post something that others don’t agree with. However, I believe that even when we post things like that we should do so respectfully. The teacher in me so often times thinks, “Now, Barney, is that really the character you want people to see in you? Read it from the perspective of someone who disagrees with you. Would they see your opinion or would they see your judgement and sarcasm? Would they see who you are? Or would they see someone who’s being disrespectful and opinionated?”

Then, you come across memes. Some make me laugh hysterically. I mean, I love a good pun. Seriously. Love them! Puns are fun! Yet, again, memes can so often times take a hateful turn. Is that truly the testimony you want to profess to the social media world? If your mom wouldn’t smile seeing it on your page, should you post it? Better yet…for those of you who share my faith, would Jesus agree with your meme’s message?

As a teacher, I’ve had countless college students learning and growing their instructional skills in my classroom. There are two teacher-lessons I often share with those college students. First, I advise females to bend over in front of a mirror. I tell them to realize whatever they see in the mirror is the same thing students will view when they bend by a desk to help a student and to pick their attire wisely….or be ready to keep their hand up on their upper chest to avoid issues. Secondly, I tell them to check ALL of their social media. Whatever you’ve liked, shared, posted on those accounts may be seen by potential administrators or even students and their parents! Have you posted a picture that you wouldn’t want seen by a student in your class or his grandma? Believe me…parents check out their kids’ teacher’s page to “see” a glimpse of this person that they’re entrusting their child to for a good chunk of 180 days of the year.

Plus, back many a years ago, a friend told me to try some Christian dating website thingy. Not the ones that cost money, but one that was supposed to let you connect with like-minded people who share your faith. I remember a guy from Carrollton being “matched” with me, and he started sending me messages. I replied. He share comments and platitudes that reflected that he was a Christian. Being the analyzing person that I tend to be, I found him on Facebook to get a glimpse of the real person. On his wall there was so much profanity and promiscuous content that I quickly realized that there was no connection possibility. Granted, that may not have been his “true” self either, but his posts portrayed a character that I certainly didn’t aspire to connect with. Be careful little fingers what you post. Don’t be fake but don’t create an image that isn’t who you are.

Of course, this sentiment doesn’t stop with social media, it can also go with emails. I remember a few years back, I accidentally printed a black & white paper on our color printer. This is a big faux pas when you have been told time and time again to not waste color toner. When I went to the copier and didn’t find the said assignment, I realized what had happened. I found the print out laying on the counter and someone had written a reprimand on it without signing it. I was miffed. I mean, I did it unintentionally, but whomever wrote the reprimand meant to write it, but they didn’t have the gumption to sign their name. I stomped back to my classroom (Okay, I didn’t really stomp, but I was highly irritated and hurt by the comment.) and started typing an email to send to the staff. By the end of my writing, a colleague came into my classroom. I relayed the situation to him, and he read my email. His reply replays in my head anytime I write a reactionary response to something, “Okay, you’ve written it. Now delete it.” Since then, I’ve written countless emails and made a multitude of posts that have been deleted. Why? I’m glad you asked…

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I find myself saying what GOOD will this do? Will this make someone laugh? Will it bring a smile? Will it help teach? Will it speak the truth in love? Will it point someone to Jesus? Will it start a positive conversation? Will it create a calm dialogue? If not….hit delete.

I don’t want to the be the reason that someone has a hateful view of God. I don’t want to burn the bridge of a relationship where I could shine His light. I don’t want to change someone’s smile into a grimace. If my words, memes, or “shares” will do those things, I choose not to post. So, I hit delete…a lot.

BUT….

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Bible verses…
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Pictures of my nephew…
Pics of my felines…
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Educational thoughts…
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And Puns!
I post those! It’s a JODI-thing!

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