Wednesday, 19 October 2016 04:33

A leader shares Hope: Dos and Don’ts of Sharing on Social Media

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On Monday morning, eight of your friends have forwarded the same message to you on WhatsApp.  It ends thus: “Please don’t break this chain.  Send to at least 7 of your friends.  If you break it, you will not receive the good news you’ve been waiting for.” 

Besides the fact that it lacks originality, you find the message offensive for several reasons: 1. It’s coercive in demanding you forward the crap to other unsuspecting friends in order to ruin their Monday; 2. It contains a veiled threat of mayhem should you fail to comply; and 3. It clogs up your inbox. You’re sorely tempted to unfriend all culprits.  But before you do so, you hope they will read this blog post of what’s appropriate to share on social media and govern themselves accordingly.

Let’s start with the Don’ts:

  1. Don’t peddle ghastly photos and stories featuring unsavory practices such as cannibalism or bestiality.  If it outrages you, it damages other people’s psyches too.  Your sharing unwittingly spreads around what you claim to abhor.  As the saying goes, “what you focus on, persists.”
  2. Don’t post unoriginal and unimaginative drivel – If you did not write it, check twice before you repost.  First, check its accuracy, its soundness, and its capability to elevate the minds of your readers.  Some items posted as jokes on some forums hearken back to the days of Beavis and Butthead.
  3. No ethnic, religious, political posts on heterogeneous groups.  Don’t offend or marginalize persons in the group.  Cartoons of the latest political buffoon may be floating around in cyberspace; do not repost in your politically diverse forum.
  4. Don’t double-share.  If a group is a microcosm of a larger one such as the women’s group of the church, do not post the same article on both forums.  Either launch it on the larger forum or target the inner circle.  Avoid inundating your audience with repetitive postings.
  5. Do not post inappropriate items on a group board.  Too often, one opens a group page to find all kinds of information not remotely connected to the group e.g. caustic jokes, crass stories, unscientific medical advice, etc.
  6. Avoid long, windy posts.  If you can help a friend focus less on the small screen, you’ll be doing her eyesight and posture a world of good.
  7. Even if true, do not be the eager bearer of bad news.  Hesitate to broadcast the death of a celebrity or personality.  If s/he is not a family member, have a care.


  1. Post news and information relevant to the group including upcoming events, minutes of meetings, information to be shared, etc.
  2. Share uplifting stories and anecdotes that inspire and elevate your readers.
  3. Broadcast original articles about your area of expertise – healthcare, home care, parenting, jobs, teaching, sewing, etc.
  4. Tell all your friends about good things that will bless their hearts and uplift their moods.
  5. Teach skills and spread how-to posts for a better world.

Like a leader, share hope!

(Insert photo: Post on Wow! Words of Wisdom)

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Abi Adegboye Ph.D

Abi Adegboye began writing as a young girl growing in western Nigeria.  In a culture that reveres boys, she was born the second of three girls.  Certain she had to be her family's 'boy,' she climbed trees to harvest fruit, dressed chickens for dinner, caught mice, and whatever else required male-handling.  She also loved to read, write, and draw.  Her initial efforts yielded publications in local newspapers and newsletters.  However, she was advised to get a day job which turned out to be as a professor of political science.  This opened to her, a different avenue for publication in her areas of research including African women and development, women migrants, and the impact of public policy on women’s political economy.

On her 40th birthday, she rekindled her creative writing with the publication of Butterfly, a picture book and Reflections on Nigerian Christianity, a social commentary.  Since then, she’s co-authored Owanbe! Yoruba Celebrations of Life (2010), a cultural anthology and published Wanna B Prez? 10 Life Strategies from President Barack Obama’s Journey to the White House (2012), a YA motivational YA book, and Renike comes to America (2016), a novella.  

Abi writes multicultural fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults.  She shares her writing through speaking engagements, performances, storytelling, and classroom visits. 

For more information about Ms. Adegboye’s publications, or to connect with her, visit her

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