Before Your Next Post or Tweet, Don’t Forget to H-A-L-T

HALT can serve as a reminder to all of us that we need to take care of our basic needs every day.

We’ve all been there. Annoyed with traffic, waiting in line, poor customer service, and unmet expectations in general.

What separates the ‘men from the boys,’ so to speak, is how we handle these daily frustrations.

It’s all too easy to post to Facebook or Twitter on the latest experience we’re having, good, bad, or ugly. In fact, being connected and social is what social media is really all about.

Think about it, when are you most likely to complain? In 12-step programs there is a popular concept:

H-A-L-T – Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.

And when you’re hungry, angry, lonely or tired you are more likely to make poor choices, including venting on-line. How do you calm down when angry (or hungry, lonely tired)? HALT and think about it.

In reality, sharing is where the magic happens. People can’t connect if they don’t share. I don’t know too many people who have perfect lives. Breaking isolation through shared experience can often serve to lessen stress and provide genuine support.

The good thing about Facebook is that you can control your privacy setting. This provides a measure of protection so that your closest friends can be there for you (the ones who actually ‘know’ you).

And Facebook just added a new group feature that lets users create small groups for a more intimate space. Families can have groups, churches, you name it. That way, not all posts go through your news feed. Think about it, does everyone in your feed need to know about plans for your upcoming family function?

Yes, there is the Facebook list feature. But A), not that many use it and B), your posts are still available for all to view on your wall. This new group feature allows for privacy that will eliminate each posting showing up on your wall.

Twitter also has a way to make tweets private, yet I rarely see people protecting their tweets. And besides, Twitter is about reaching people – and the idea is to tweet interesting and useful information so that they go viral.

But how much piss, moaning and complaining on line is serving you, or others?

The reason I bring it up is that I see many tweets that just seem like pure venting. It’s becoming standard operating procedure to live out life online. Those cell phones make it super easy to be connected 24/7/365 to all social media.

Once you put it out there, it’s out there. Yes, comments on Facebook, Twitter and blog posts can be deleted. But left ‘as is’ leave a trail that others may find.

Potential employers and clients are certainly using Google today to do back ground checks. What do you want them to find? A candid comment, here and there, is one thing; a pattern of chronic complaining is another! (Unless your goal is to be outrageous, but that’s another story.)

I have to wonder, isn’t there a better place to process your life crap?

Before you whip out your phone or keyboard to make a post, think about it. Do you need to HALT?

Take a moment each day to check in with yourself. Ask, “Am I hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?”

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