Ponder before you post

When considering social media, snow fighter Troy Clogg suggests a mental inventory of your goals, intentions, and what the posts really say about you.

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So, once upon a time , in a time and place that many of us remember, “ being social “ included activities such as attending dances (and actually walking up to a girl looking her in the eyes and asking her to dance), or joining a club and showing up weekly to meet face to face to discuss the book you read, or politics, or your high school, or the next mission trip with your church.

As we grew older, other things that may have looked or felt like “being social” included joining an after-work softball team, a golf league, a card club, a small group at church, going out to the bar with your friends, or a bowling league. Regardless the activity, “being social” was actually being face to face with other people.

In today’s world – our world – our lives and expectations have changed and are evolving faster than most of us can keep up with, or actually care to. After all, what was so wrong with the way we did stuff last year, or 10, 20, 30 years ago? To be honest, many things we did, our parents did, and our grandparents did, should remain part of our lives. There is no valid reason to stop doing them. After all, no matter how much we try to “embrace” technology, we can’t change the simple biological fact that we really need and enjoy direct contact with other human beings.

So, we find ourselves in late 2018. A world where our president tweets more than most teenage girls, and a world where when a question is asked around a group of people and the group doesn’t know the answer, the knee jerk reaction is to GOOGLE it. Hmm.... Now, wait a minute. This is not about what was or why it is the way it is today?

Good news! We get to pick, control and decide if we put information on social media or not? This is awesome news, because in the future when the information we post or don’t post helps or hurts us we only have one place to look – the mirror! My job is the owner of a landscape and snow company. My purpose is to transform lives. Therefore, I live my life to help others, to provide solutions, to provide visions of the future, to help people see the world from a different perspective, to serve God, and to do what I can so the next generation is a better, wiser, more caring, more loving and more sharing selfless generation than the one before them.

That being said, what you post on social media is you. What you support on social media is a reflection on you. And it will be recorded in perpetuate forever. So, be very careful and be really confident that you are sure ... I mean really sure... what you post won’t hurt someone, create a situation you will have to defend, or simply embarrass you, your loved ones and the next several generations that will be able to access and read/see all that you post.

So, fast-forward 15 years in the future. You’re sitting with our 15-year-old granddaughter and she says “Grandpa, I was looking back through the years on your social media feed and I have a few questions …” I don’t want to be embarrassed or more importantly disappointed in what I said or did. I believe social media is a man-made tool that when used for evil, or manipulation of the truth, or shameless self-promotion, or to fill a void in the lonely heart of a lost soul. It’s just not going to end well.

Now, I’m sure many of you may be wondering where I’m going with all this? Some may be thinking “Dude, just tell us how to best manage our social media strategy.” Here is what I have to offer.

Why are you on social media and what do you want out of being on social media? Clearly define the answers to these questions for this year, next year, and the next year and as many years as you can in the future. Then really study your answers, your plan, your goals, your expectations from your efforts on social media. And then, only then, should you post or not post. You see, I believe our lives and our businesses become the product of a series of choices. What are you choosing to be, to look like, to sound like, or to be remembered for?

Picture yourself 10 years from now. Before you post pause and ponder will you look back on this post and be proud of yourself? Will I look back on this post and know that it helped someone, or will I look back on this post and be disappointed in myself?

In the end, it’s up to you and it’s up to me. Make decisions, choose to post or not post, follow your heart, and ponder before your post.

Troy Clogg is the owner and president of Troy Clogg Landscape Associates in Wixom, Mich. He is a 2010 Leadership Award recipient and a frequent Snow Magazine contributor.

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