We live in a social media world. From Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat to Twitter, let’s face it: we share a lot. We share how we’re feeling about everything from feelings about our dogs to our boss. We share pictures from exotic places to our bathroom mirrors. In our posts, we strive to look our best; so everyday is like a photo-shoot with the right smile and the perfect pout. But we all know that real life is filled with mountaintop experiences and happenings in between. So how do we share those disappointing and unfortunate life moments? You may say well we don’t need to share those. True but if they impact your life and your life posts, then we do.
How does a woman who has been sharing her pregnancy journey hide a miscarriage or a still born baby? That’s tough. Everyone who has been excitedly following her journey expects to see her beautiful child and joyful smile. How does she now share this heartbreaking news and monumental moment of sadness and despair? How does a happily married couple share news of separation and pending divorce with their Facebook friends without seeming bitter or drawing folks into any private drama? How does someone share they’ve been fired from the job that has taken them to exotic locations? No matter what the unfortunate and life altering changes are, the following are five ways to share bad news on social media.
1. You must Wait
Do not share the news as soon as it happens or as soon as you find out. You have to wait. You must wait and give yourself time to process. Don’t share any life moments from a knee jerk reaction, whether good or bad. Step back. Give yourself time to digest what just happened. Give those in your life who are closely impacted by the unfortunate change the time they need to also process before you take it publicly. If it’s a miscarriage, give your wife, your husband and your kids time to process the pain and loss before he or she has to face comments on inputs or even questions from others. Once you’re both strong enough and are both ready to share your news with the social media public, then you do so.
2. Don’t be petty
Before you share, make sure you’re good. Make sure there’s no residual pain, hurt, anger and unforgiveness in your heart and motive. If there are, at least make sure you’re in a place where you’re able to express your feelings in a productive, positive and non vindictive way. Don’t be petty. Nothing good comes out of drawing others into your personal drama or temporary outrage. It’s just not a good look.
3. Keep it classy
The public at large doesn’t need to know every detail of your breakup. The moral of the story is you’ve both gone your separate ways. Keep moving in a forward positive direction. Keep it classy. Who knows, your next bae may be watching how you handle this unfortunate moment in your life. Show grace not rage.
4. Keep it short and simple
No one needs a five paragraph recap. Keep it short and simple. Don’t leave room for ambiguity. Please, don’t ramble. Have a trusted (non-petty) friend read it before you post. Move the situation forward. Don’t be fake. Be genuine, mature and progressive. Post it once and that’s it. Don’t go back and forth answering questions or giving more details. This is not a press conference. This is a moment of painful change in your life and your focus is moving forward and not living in bitterness or the past.
5. Move on
After posting your news, avoid the urge to post about it everyday. It’s great to share lessons from loss, but don’t stay there. Move forward. If you need to take a break after posting your news, then do so. Whatever it takes for you to deal with your loss, do so for your betterment but do so in a positive way. Anger, bitterness and pity only tears you apart. Keep yourself togther. Post positive quotes, Bible verses or cute puppies or kittens videos until you’re ready to engage your social media world.