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You’ve probably heard that nothing is ever really deleted from the internet.

Recently I discovered just how true this statement can be.

I had a craving for waffles and was planning to try out a new bag of gluten-free sorghum flour. But finding a 100% gluten-free sorghum waffle recipe was a challenge until I saw one in Google that looked promising.

I clicked it, only to discover that the recipe couldn’t be found….but then I remembered the Wayback Machine.

Using the Wayback Machine, you can paste in a URL and discover online snapshots of a website from recent months to years past….just what I needed to successfully find my waffle recipe.

It’s the online equivalent of your computer’s recycle bin, perfect for anyone who wants to go digital dumpster diving to find something that got thrown away.

While I was happy to find the recipe, it reminded me once again that many things are never fully deleted from the internet.

Like those posts we write simply because we’re mad about something.

Or those memes we share that seem funny to us but aren’t so funny to a person of another ethnic group.

Or those complaints against an employer or the job that puts food on the table and a roof over our heads.

Or that cruel insult toward a politician who sincerely but misguidedly believes they are making a positive difference in the world.

It never ceases to amaze me what can happen to people when they are hidden behind a computer screen. Maybe it’s the electromagnetic pulses that are frying our brains—or maybe they are just revealing the hidden parts of the heart?

These types of online postings are unnecessary, wrong, and can come back to haunt you. Even if you have a fit of conscience and “delete” them, they can still surface when you least expect it.

Two simple rules can save you a lot of grief:

1 – When in doubt, just don’t post it.

2 – If you wouldn’t say it to a person in front of their face, don’t say it to them—-or about them—online.

But even more so than a fear of a post that can’t be deleted, we should have a fear of God who warns that we Christians will give an account of every idle word we speak.

And that includes social media.

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Aaress Lawless

Aaress enjoys helping small businesses and ministries, having budget travel adventures with friends, and blogging about life lessons on Instagram.

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