We read something we agree with on the internet, and the inner drive kicks in: I can share this with all of my friends on Facebook; vent or even enlighten. The post must reach everyone I know!
But wait, someone, I haven’t spoken to in a while has just responded negatively. And even more awkward, my best friend just “liked” their negative comment.
Who has this not happened to?
Too many articles spend time telling people what to say or to not say, appealing to Christian authority and witness. This is not one of those articles!
Rather than telling people what to say, perhaps we should focus on ‘how’ to say what we mean in a world of immediate controversy and thoughtless responses.
Here are some penciled in rules to consider:
- Use the scripture to deepen a conversation, not end one.
- Ranting is a good thing to do, except when it’s clear that you are just talking to yourself.
- Make sure that you understand what someone is saying before you disagree with them.
- Don’t arrogantly make fun of someone else’s holy book because you’ve only read passages quoted out of context in a blog by another famous Christian, or from a book you bought from the Christian bookstore, written by someone who completely supports your bias.
- Heresy has to do (primarily) with claims about the nature of Jesus, not someone you simply disagree with on an issue no one cares about.
- Sharing pictures is what we all do, but sharing pictures of your pastor every Sunday is just weird (not to mention how it makes your church look like a *cough* cult of personality).
- If you struggle to find the profundity of a statement in a sermon it is best not to post it for everyone to also pretend like it is profound.
- It is better to post thoughts on scripture than individual out of context scriptures with weird images.
- It is better to be known by what you are for than what you are against.
- Participating in the cult of outrage is not a spiritual discipline.
- “God” is an extremely complicated word, tied up in traditions, experience, history, and people’s communities; so let’s try to show humility when we invoke the Name.
- Take a breath before responding to angsty comments because odds are, you have everything you need to win a friend, not make an enemy.
- Playing “gotcha” with someone’s post is the activity of a child.
- A profile is your digital room, and you can rearrange and throw out the furniture as you please.
- Facebook is a sharing medium, not a good platform for propaganda, so try to bring people *in* rather than pushing them away.
- Social Media is a tool that you can use to start conversations in real life which lead to drinking good coffee.
- Before posting, ask yourself this question: What is my goal?
- Facebook is not your real life, so don’t act like it’s everything.
- Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter, are mass-personal mediums, so post accordingly because it all gets taken personally.
- Click “like” on posts you don’t completely agree with, that way you don’t tell the Facebook algorithm that you only want to see posts you agree with.