I have DIS. It is a disease called “Drama Intolerance Syndrome” and it causes me plenty of dis-ease. I find that drama makes me irritable which, of course, only adds to the drama I so despise. I fully realize that in a fallen world populated with humans with internet access, that there is going to be SOME drama. I get that. What I can’t tolerate is perpetual drama, recreational drama and drama evangelists.
Here are four quick suggestions on how to decrease drama in your life.
1) If you truly were happier before social media took over the world, disconnect from it. Deactivate your account and be done with it. I assure you the cyber world will not miss you (or me) but you may be healthier without it.
2) Don’t be afraid to use the “unfriend” option. Cyber “friendships” end quite painlessly and “unfriending” a person who aggravates your DIS with every post will actually be much better for your real life relationship (if you have one). There are LOTS of people I liked better before I knew their every thought. And if they notice you “unfriended” them and ask why, tell them the truth with all kindness. Many people don’t have good self/others awareness and this could be the best thing for them in the world.
3) Be careful with what you post. Some people post stuff that is sure to cause a firestorm and honestly can’t figure out why they got burned. If you aren’t sure you should post something, don’t. If you can’t take it, don’t give it and if you don’t want it, don’t ask for it. Also if you don’t want people in your business, don’t hang your dirty laundry in front of their house.
4) Develop a mission statement for your social media use. “To keep up with friends and family” or to “help connect people with Jesus” would be two examples of this. And then stay on mission. Don’t get drawn into religious arguments, politics, relational drama or debates you don’t want to enter. I hate to argue. My mission is “to celebrate the joy of authentic Christian living.” Music, faith, sports and culture support this mission; criticism, party line politics, rancorous debate and dogmatic diatribes do not, I want to keep it positive and have a good time while I am at it.
Social media offers some real opportunities to enhance or detract from the quality of your life. Facing it honestly, intentionally and on mission will make sure what you hoped to be a blessing doesn’t turn into a curse.
-Rev. Shane L. Bishop is the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois