Being human makes us susceptible to the onset of feelings. The role of these emotions varies. Some of them are useful while others may be harmful.. The use of social media for self-expression has rea...
Being human makes us susceptible to the onset of feelings. The role of these emotions varies. Some of them are useful while others may be harmful..
The use of social media for self-expression has reached a point that it makes us feel we can say anything. This begins when we see people expressing anything and everything that come to mind. When we see everyone else voicing their likes and dislikes, their irritations and desires we tend to imitate what they do. And because many engage in this, we think that it is normal and healthy. However, when we get used to unbridled self-expression, we come to believe that all feelings are valid. We become convinced that in real life, we should also act on our emotions and our impulses. Using social media this way erodes our ability to regulate our actions and reactions.
To illustrate, when something small irritates us we think that it’s okay to feel this way. But isn’t it better to foster one’s patience and resilience instead of immediately complaining? Or when we develop an attraction to someone despite that person being in a relationship, and because social media has conditioned us that all feelings can be expressed, we tend to think that acting on this attraction is okay. Not all feelings deserve expression
We find ourselves creating our own problems when we let our present emotions control our actions. This should not be the case. We should be in control of our emotions and not the other way around. Self-control is far healthier than wanton self-expression. It is our lack of self-limitation that leads us to act on dangerous feelings. Emotional self-regulation is lost when we believe that all our feelings should always be expressed. Doing so not only harms us, but it harms others as well.
Biblical passages support the argument that we should control what we say and do. The timeless message of a Proverb (16:32) concerning emotions tells us that it is better to have self-control. And it is what we speak which comes from the heart that defiles us (Matthew 15:11). Emotions should help us appreciate life in a responsible manner that allows us to not only respect others but also ourselves.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Frederick Fabella, PhD is a research director, a dean and a graduate and undergraduate professor in the Philippines. He is an editorial board member of the IRP international research journal and a Fellow of the Royal Institution Singapore. He is the author of Transcendence: Essays For Personal Reflection. His blog can be found at Meanings and Perceptions.