Dealing With Social Media Sharks
Social media can REALLY trigger our insecurities. Whenever someone vents political frustrations in a status or misappropriates words like “heresy” or “liberal” in a post, watch out!!! Some Christians react like sharks detecting blood in the water—rushing to the thread, assuming, trashing empathy, adding their 2 cents, leveraging the circumstance to write a post on their blog, attacking spiritual siblings, etc... sad.
More than ever, believers should be intentional about what statuses they share and engage in. Statements made and words used can be easily misinterpreted. Perhaps self-reflective questions are needed before we join online conversations? Questions such as:
-If I chime in, where do I have the potential to redirect the focus on God? -How might those who aren’t following Jesus interpret my engagement of this topic? -Do I have enough facts to engage? -If the situation involves people—how are they feeling, what do they need, is this online exchange of words helpful to them, etc? -How might my emotions or past experiences aid or sabotage my words? -After considering the topic of discussion, do my faith and character lend me the credibility to participate? -When would be the time to graciously bow out of the thread? -Where’s “the win” if I join in?
Jesus followers should dialogue and disagree. The more we discuss, the more we listen, the more we share—the more we’ll grow. But our words and treatment of others should never undermine what Jesus said about love:
“I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you. All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.” ~John 13:34-35