There are many ways to misuse social media. It is so easy spread information that is incomplete, to join a nasty mob taking down someone, or to engage in unproductive arguments. Too often we violate James 1:19’s admonition to be “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.”
And yet it doesn’t have to be this way. The Internet isn’t going anywhere, so we can either complain about how corrosive social media is or we can use our voices to elevate what is good and true and beautiful. So just as it is easy to press “send” on another nasty tweet or post, it is easy to press “send” on content that brings joy.
Easy Ways to Bring Joy
1. Share a good word about something praiseworthy you’ve enjoyed.
Are you reading a good book? Why not say something nice about it online and tag the author? Believe it or not, authors are encouraged by these kind words about their work. What’s more, this is a way of letting others know about the good book you are enjoying. Or if it’s not a book that stirred your soul, why not share about a piece of music or work of art or a newsletter you enjoy? Let others discover what has brought you joy.
2. Write a kind note to encourage someone whose ministry has blessed you recently.
Send them a direct message or find their email and let them know how much their sermon or article or book has changed your life in a good way. This personal touch will be so meaningful. I’ve tried to make a habit of doing this when I’ve read an author’s work. I try to send them a short note of encouragement.
3. Find a good tweet or post and respond publicly to that person with kind words of affirmation.
Something like: “I really appreciated this.” Or “You raise some good points.” Or “I’m thankful for your voice.” Again, a small, but kind word in response could really bring joy to someone’s life.
4. Share a meaningful Bible verse or quote.
I know this is so cliché, but I still think a lot of people find encouragement from reading Scripture online. You never know how a passage you post could be the very words God uses to lift the spirits of someone scrolling by on a bad day or the catalyst for someone who is seeking to find out more about Jesus. Just make sure the Bible verse is accurate or the quote is, you know, verified.
5. Share some good news.
Actor John Krasinski, several months ago, created a YouTube show, “Some Good News” that he filmed from his home during quarantine. It became wildly popular and was picked up by CBS. It was (and still is) wildly popular because in a world filled with uncertainty and sorrow and rage, people are hungry for good news. You probably can’t start a viral TV show, but you can share uplifting content on your timeline to break up the constant parade of horribles that dance in front of our eyes. It’s okay, really, to share good news.
6. Be funny.
We live in serious times and should advocate for serious issues, but we don’t have to take ourselves so seriously all the time. Our feed doesn’t have to be the digital equivalent of a furrowed brow. We can break up serious posts with funny tweets and lighthearted moments. We can poke fun at ourselves and can talk about less-than-weighty topics. Comedy is vital for the soul. Proverbs calls it medicine for the soul (Proverbs 17:22). So laugh away and make others laugh. Check out Rex Chapman’s feed. Share a meme or two.
7. Commiserate about your favorite sports team.
Take a break from difficult issues and talk about your favorite team, why you are frustrated with them or why you think they are poised to win it all or why you like their uniforms. Sports talk is the best kind of social media content, arguing about the designated hitter, whether Michael Jordan is the GOAT (he is), or what college football conference reigns supreme. Plus, in sports-twitter, everyone is right and nobody is wrong (unless you are a St. Louis Cardinals or Green Bay Packer fan).
8. Resist a useless argument.
One way to spread joy online is to pull yourself back from getting involved in a stupid Twitter fight or meaningless Facebook argument. Yes, you read this right. If you can scroll past a digital donnybrook and resist the dopamine hit of crushing someone with your rhetorical arguments, you’ll find satisfaction and joy. Not getting knee-deep in a mud fight means you are one less angry person online. And now you are free to, you know, send someone a kind note or share a hilarious meme or rag on your least favorite football team.