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Maria V. Gallagher advocates for spending time in the encouragement zone in cyberspace.

It had been one of those weeks. I was feeling emotionally and physically exhausted, and not quite sure if my efforts on the work front or the home front were bearing any fruit. While I was clear on my vocation, I was a bit fuzzy on the details of fulfilling it.

Perhaps you’ve been to that lonely spot, when you wonder if your well-intentioned efforts are in vain. You’re trying hard to be a great mom, a sensational co-worker, and a valued employee or rockin’ entrepreneur, but you are not celebrating any victory laps at the moment. You feel a bit demoralized and rather depleted.

And then, seemingly out of the blue, comes a ray of sunshine. Someone posts a few kind words about you on your favorite social media platform, and your spirit soars. It’s a good feeling, but it’s possible to experience an even greater joy, when you yourself spread the love on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

It can only take a few precious moments to turn somebody’s day around with your compassionate comment. So often, people turn to social media to vent — and let’s face it, there’s a lot to vent about these days. When you see someone online who is struggling, why not offer them a few encouraging words? They’ll last longer than a “like,” and they could just motivate your friend to look at life, and their problems, from a different perspective.

It happened to me. When I was down in the proverbial dumps, a Facebook friend came to my rescue, offering words of solace and support. My gratitude soared, and I realized I had much to be thankful for — including the friend who was willing to take time out of her schedule to minister to me in my moment of frustration.

As Christians, we are called to evangelize. Often, a kind word can be an effective way to share the love of Christ with other people.

Often, a kind word can be an effective way to share the love of Christ with other people. #catholicmom

Consider these encouraging words:

If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing. Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but [also] everyone for those of others. Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. (Philippians 2:1-6)


All too often, we may feel too busy to offer encouragement online to another. If so, perhaps we can reassess our priorities. Isn’t better to spend our social media time trying to lighten someone else’s load, rather than unload our wrath on others? If we spend some time in cyberspace in the encouragement zone, chances are we will feel better, both in the short-term and in the long run.

Think about it: Have you blessed someone on social media today? Being kind in cyberspace may not only brighten someone else’s day, but yours as well!    

Copyright 2020 Maria V. Gallagher
Image: Rodion Kutsaev (2017), Unsplash