The Character Equation – part Social Networking positivity

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The Character Equation – part Social Networking positivity


How do you judge good character?

As i have been thinking about the idea of ‘Character’ and ‘A person of good character’  it seems to be a bit subjective or elusive in terms of definition.

One of the dictionary definitions Uncle Google came up with was ‘the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.’

But the problem with that definition is that it uses the word moral [which in itself, these days, seems to be a subjective term] which Uncle G describes as ‘principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.’

And so, instead of trying to come up with any kind of definitive definition [is there such a thing as a non-definitive definition?] of what i mean when i talk about a person of character, i thought it might be more helpful to describe some aspects that i [and possibly some others, and hopefully also you] think of when i think of the idea.

This could be a multi-parted post and as i suggested, instead of trying to find ‘the answer’, i am rather wanting to explore a few ideas and concepts that might give us a clue and you can decide out loud in the comments section whether or not you agree with me. These are in no way in any kind of order of more or less importance but simply as ideas come to mind, i will look at them and invite your opinion and please do give it.


I was alerted to the fact [again!] today that a LOT of Facebook statuses tend to be negative – people complaining about the weather [too hot or too cold or too rainy or too snowful] or moaning because their sports team lost [usually carefully disguised as a rant against the biased ref] or a whole bunch of other things.

This made me think of my own. Do i tend towards being more positive in outlook or more negative? And what message do my social networks carry about me in that way?

And positivity or negativity are both highly contagious. Hang around with either type of people continuously and you will find yourselves likely to start sounding the same…

Maybe a good character check when it comes to Social Networkings is subtracting my negative/complainy/dissatisfied with someone/something messages from all the positive/life-giving/gratitude ones and seeing if i can come up with a positive number? How would you do on this?

A few months ago i started removing some of the constantly negative voices from my The Twitterer feed and it has done me the world of good. I am not talking about people who speak prophetically into a broken system and call for change, but simply those who always seem to be moaning or complaining and not offering any solutions or seldom focusing on the good and the great. Same with Facebook – if someone is constantly negative i eventually turn down the frequency of their involvement in my newsfeed.

i would suggest that the ability to be positive and hopeful and see good or the possibility of change, even in the most difficult and trying of circumstances, is a strong indicator of character.

i would love to hear your thoughts on how character can be defined for you…

[For the next post dealing with consistency, click here]

By |2014-03-23T06:27:16+00:00Mar 23rd, 2014|challenging thorts, inspire-ations, people, Uncategorized|8 Comments

About the Author:

Brett Fish is a lover of life, God, tbV [the beautiful Valerie] and owns the world's most famous stuffed dolphin, No_bob (who doesn't bob). He believes that we are all responsible for making the world a significantly better place for everyone.


  1. David Fee Mar 23, 2014 at 9:45 am - Reply

    I agree that often when we are in the habit of looking for the good and the positive in situations and people, we are demonstrating and building character. Particularly when it comes to lifting up those who are in a bad or lowly place.

    I also think questioning, critiquing, or even being negative about the status quo, the authorities, the pulpit, the people in power is a sign of character. If we are in any sort of power, even a relatively mild, self initiated kind like you and I have with our blogs, we should welcome and expect it. As well as being an improvement on being ignored, it is potentially a very healthy thing, and it’s absence often leads to defective character. In the worst case scenarios it leads to wars and persecution.

    As with most things it depends on the situation. There is such an entity as dangerous praise. And also one of the justifiable throwing of rotten tomatoes.

    Having nowhere for honest questioning was a major factor in driving me out of the church. Honest questioning will often seem negative. It’s kind of unavoidable. The problem, I think, is that questioning an idea (or even a small part of the idea) can feel personal when the persons life is based on that idea. So anybody questioning it (and remember that person is also usually being asked to base their life on that idea, or will be affected by it) is seen as being destructive and dangerous to faith. Or whatever other ideology is at stake.

    At the end of the day it is sadly often a choice between honest, painful, discussion or separation.
    Sometimes separation is even the best option. But we should always give conversation a shot I would say. And positive, creative, constructive community is by far the best deal if possible.

    That’s me with another short response Brett 🙂 Mind you, you’re blogs aren’t exactly the essence of brevity either! 😉

    • brettfish Mar 23, 2014 at 12:07 pm - Reply

      i agree with your comments, David [What? What? What? Sorry just channeling a bit of David Tennant there] but i do feel like you may have been responding to a different blog post because my focus here was more on people commenting in social networks in a whiny or negative way as opposed to people challenging and questioning which i am well for… some people are just completely negative and whiny all the time and that displays a certain lack of character in my unbrevitous opinion… people who despite adverse conditions and context can still find things to be positive about show even greater sense of character.

  2. […] started by suggesting that having a more positive than negative presence on social media [and in life in general] was one way of assessing […]

  3. […] [To return to the start of this Character series, click here] […]

  4. […] How do you judge good character?: A series investigating what it is that defines character and taking a deeper look at some of those aspects that make it up […]

  5. […] the previous post in this series on different aspects of character, i took a look at the power and importance of living out your words. If there is no action, the […]

  6. […] i have been looking at some aspects of a person’s life that i see as defining them as being a person of good character, the last two posts i did focused on Living out the Words you Speak and Speaking out the Words you […]

  7. […] [To return to the beginning of this series on Character, click here] […]

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