by Kristen Walker
It's 6:21 AM. I'm supposed to be in my car, leaving for work by 6:30, but instead I'm lying in bed wondering if I can make myself throw up so that I can call in sick for work. After deciding that that isn't a mature idea, I check to see if I have any unread text messages (normally it's just an automatic message from Old Navy about their BIGGEST sale of the season.) I then scroll through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and then, last but not least, I check my email. Then, I jump out of bed and throw on a shirt, jeans, and draw on some uneven eyebrows.
I start off every morning like this. I find myself rubbing my mascara-stained eyes as I look at all of my favorite mommy bloggers and adorable friends on every social media platform out there. They all have such good and amazing lives. I find myself wishing I was thinner, taller, had more followers, and had more money, like all of my friends. That's no way to start your day.
So ... I'd like to talk a little bit about sharing goodness via the internet, because no one likes feeling like a loser at 6:30 in the morning.
Elder David A. Bednar spoke at Education Week at BYU in August 2014. The address he gave that day, To Sweep The Earth As With A Flood, talked about the importance of sharing goodness with others, and it was also the parent to the #ShareGoodness movement.
There is so much good in the world, and it is our special opportunity to share that goodness with our friends, families, and followers. You might be thinking one of two things, either 1) I already post a lot on social media + I don't want to annoy my friends or 2) I don't know how to use social media... and I don't want to annoy my friends. Either situation has the same fear, we don't want to annoy our friends with excessive pictures of temples and general conference posts. These fears? Totally understandable. This is why it's important to remember that we can find goodness in pretty much anything.
Here are a few tips I've found helpful when trying to share goodness with my friends and family.
1. Use your own voice and your own life to share goodness. It's totally cool to post a quote or a post from someone else, but remember to add a little bit of your own thoughts on what your posting. Posting a quote? Add why you like that quote or what it means to you. Sharing a video? Tag a friend that you think might find it interesting. The social media world can be such an impersonal place, make sure your friends and loved ones know who is posting and why you're posting it.
2. Share your talents! We have been given talents as gifts from our Heavenly Father to help not only ourselves but to bless others. It's so important that we recognize, develop, and share our talents each and every day.
“For all have not every gift given unto them; for there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God,” (Doctrine and Covenants 46:11). I don't know about you, but I've sat on my bedroom floor for hours at a time trying to figure out what my talent is. I'm allergic to anything that involves running or other things that make me sweat, I can't sing without dogs howling, and I'm pretty sure I've been featured on a Pinterest Fails video or two. On the other hand, I can start a conversation with pretty much anyone, I can make a joke about almost anything, and I love meeting new people. Are these things that I can do in a talent show? Not necessarily. But, are these things that I can share and use with others? Most definitely. Figure out what your talents are, and don't let them go to waste.
3. Share all good things, not just church-related good things. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has come out with so many amazing messages, videos, and pictures that depict wonderfully good things. It's great to share these with your friends, family, and the world. But, it's important to remember that there are also so many other good things in this world. When scrolling through my Facebook page I find myself looking at so many negative videos, news articles, and statuses, it really brings me down. Don't be afraid to post that clip of adorable baby Dory being adorable or a link to the blog about gaining confidence or a throwback ugly childhood photo. If it could bring a smile to someone's face, it is good, and you should share it.
4. Be genuine. Authenticity and being genuine is so very, very important when trying to share goodness. Like I said earlier, the social media world is so different from the real world that we live in. Everyday I scroll past people with perfect hair, perfect makeup, perfect relationships, perfect families, and perfect lives. I know that this idea that everyone is perfect is far from true, but it's so easy to get wrapped up in this fake idea of what life should be like.
Tolstoy once said, "It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness." Beautiful and perfect things are just that, beautiful and perfect. Goodness is so much more than that. Goodness is being covered in dirt after pulling weeds in your elderly neighbor's yard, it's ugly crying with your friend while trying to comfort them, it's being real. Be sure to post all parts of your real life; it helps remind others the difference between the internet world and the beautiful, good, real world.
5. Use hashtags. I know, there is nothing more annoying than hashtags. #annoying #obnoxious #hashtag BUT, did you know how powerful the hashtag is? The hashtag makes your posts, and the posts of others, easy to find, use, and share. Here are a few hashtags that lds.org suggests that we use:
- #BibleVideos (see the Church's Bible Videos)
Try using one or two hashtags the next time you share something good in your life. It's #fun, I promise.
I hope that this was a little slice of goodness pie for your Sunday afternoon and that this motivates you to share a little bit of your own goodness. Whether it's posting a status talking about how much you loved (or cried twice during) Finding Dory (my 2nd time mentioning this movie, did I mention how much I loved it?), retweeting a quote from Mother Theresa, or even posting a photo on Instagram of your day, just do it. The internet is such a big place, you never know who will see it or more importantly, who needs it.
Sharing what is important to you with your friends is good; what good things are you going to share?
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