General,  Lessons,  Spiritual Growth,  Unity

When Social Media Isn’t “Social”

Have you ever been misunderstood, criticized or even attacked on social media? It’s painful, is’t it? It’s frustrating when someone assumes they know your intent better than you do. Without hearing the sound of our voice, a person doesn’t really know how we said what we said.

Often we think that our own opinion is the only one that is correct and assume we know what is best for someone else. I was on the opposite side of this coin recently.

Someone asked a question whether we’d ever had a man in our lives who has encouraged our leadership as a woman. I responded with the name of a former supervisor when I served on church staff. He pushed and encouraged me, and many other women and men, to take risks and overcome fears in serving Christ.

Someone commented about never having had a positive male influence and I said I was sorry she had never experienced that. She responded with, “You drank the kool-aid.” It was a negative slur against all men in Christian leadership. I responded simply, “not at all.”

But it really made me mad. I thought, she doesn’t even know me and she certainly didn’t know the man I mentioned. Just didn’t seem fair.

But, fair is not what social media is all about I guess. I recently wrote a post about recent ugliness on social media so I am not going to talk more about that. I want to consider about how we can use social media another way.

My Bible reading this week took me to Daniel. It’s obvious Daniel is a man of God and I especially saw that in Daniel 2:14:

Then Daniel responded with tact and discretion to Arioch, the captain of the king’s guard, who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon.

The King was evil and was about to kill all the wise men who served him because they could not interpret his dream. And Daniel responds with “tact and discretion.”

What if we apply that to social media? It would probably change the landscape of our posts completely!

I also just started reading Ed Stetzer’s book, Christians in the Age of Outrage: How to Bring Our Best When the World is at Its Worst.

I’ve only read the intro at this point but it has captured my attention as the author talks about a social media frenzy concerning Starbucks that was based on partial truth. It is obvious that we often read these kind of posts and take them as true without checking to make sure we have the whole picture. (I’ll let you read the book and will not give away this story! You are welcome, Ed!)

So, I want this post to take the positive side of social media and talk about what we can do to honor Christ, stand for truth and post online updates with tact and discretion.

6 Things to Guide As We Read or Post on Social Media:

  1. Pray before responded to a critical or unkind post.
  2. Pray before you post a questionable comment.
  3. Ask God how you can reflect His character as you engage in social media. He can help us balance grace and truth.
  4. If you regret making a comment, apologize.
  5. Ask for clarity if you think another person’s comment is unclear or questionable.
  6. Use tact and discretion in all correspondence, especially on the Internet!

Banner photo by William Iven on Unsplash

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