April 13, 2021

Before You Post on Social Media — T.H.I.N.K.

Edie Melson         

I didn’t always enjoy social media.

Before I spent time on the various networks, I assumed that interactions there were at best, shallow, with little or no real-world value. I’d formed my opinions by listening to the comments and complaints of others.

It wasn’t until I actually took time to interact online that I discovered there were lots of things of value being shared. The people I’ve met and the skills I’ve learned through online connections have added so much to my life—professionally and personally.

Unfortunately, I’ve also run across my fair share of time-wasting interactions.

These have run the gamut of spam sales notices to misleading articles. But even these experiences have been, in a strange way, valuable. They’ve helped me develop my own set of guidelines to keep me from adding to the worthless noise that clutters up our digital universe.

I think of these things as a series of filters that help me keep out any junk that might otherwise slip through. I call it my T. H. I. N. K. before you share online system.

Here’s how it works:

T – Transparent. I want to be transparent in all that I do. I don’t want those who interact with me online—through social media or my blogs—to feel like I have a hidden agenda.

H – Honest. I don’t even want to mislead anyone on purpose. I don’t want to build myself up as something I’m not or present myself in a way that isn’t true.

I – Inspiring. I want the things I share online to inspire others. I don’t mean I have to be the inspiration, but I want to share things that challenge us all to do more than we ever thought we could.

N – Nice. This poor little word is, in my opinion, under-utilized. I would like to see it regain some of its strength. There’s a lot to be said for being nice. And I try to hold to that standard with every single thing I post online. I can say this for certain, out of all the things in life I’ve regretted, being nice has never been one of them.

K – Knowledge. I want to make sure I’m sharing actual knowledge online, not just noise. This means what I share needs to be helpful in some way.

This T.H.I.N.K. filter hasn’t watered down my online message.

Quite the contrary.

My online focus is stronger because I take care to filter it. I can still share things that may be tough, I can teach others to do what I’ve done, and I can introduce my online connections to people and things I find valuable.

Edie Melson is the co-author of the bestseller Social Media for Today’s Writer. She’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and board member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association.

Visit Edie at

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  1. Edie,

    This article is an important service to writers and helps each of us have a filtering system for social media. Thank you. Without a plan it is easy t5o get sucked into the rabbit hole of negativity in social media.

    author of 10 Publishing Myths, Insights Every Author Needs to Succeed

  2. Terry, you're so right! Thanks for stopping by, Blessings, E

  3. Edie Thank you so much for this information. I definitely will read this over again. Sometimes I get sucked into that hole!

  4. I truly wish more people felt the way you do about social media. I especially like your advice to be nice! I decided if something didn't uplift or encourage or make a person laugh, I would not post or share it on social media.

  5. I love your advice, Edie. Social media can serve multiple ends. Representing the positive and knowledgeable aspects is a worthy goal!