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6/12/2018 - Discipling in and through Social Media

As far back as the Old Testament, those who were older and more mature have had an acute awareness that they were responsible to lead those younger and less mature.  With today's generation being more devoted to their phones and screens than any generation before them, those who are older and more mature should think carefully about their 'footprint' on social media. Younger people are watching you!  

What are the behaviors being modeled for the next generation on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram? Here are some of my observations:

  • Be reactionary.
  • Be snarky.
  • Make hasty assumptions without all–or even some–of the facts.
  • Don’t think critically, just feel.
  • Demonize the opposition.

I am not surprised when I see non-Christians conduct themselves online this way, but as followers of Jesus, we must do better.

God’s Word offers a better way. Here are some things to consider when you post:

  • Am I building up or tearing down with this?
  • Do I have all of the facts? Or at least enough of them to make a reasonable judgment here?
  • Have I tried to understand the other person’s point of view?
  • Am I attacking the person when I should be critiquing their ideas?
  • Just because something is trending doesn’t mean I must comment, retweet, like, or share.
  • History and culture are complicated, have I oversimplified the issue/topic to more easily marginalize someone who doesn’t share my point of view?
  • If I was sitting across from this person would I say what I just said online?
  • Is what I am about to post helpful at this time? (some things don’t need to be said at certain times)
  • Am I being gracious in how I am saying what I am saying?
  • How can I leverage this moment to influence others toward Jesus and the way of life he offers?

Social media can be a powerful tool of influence but it can also be a devastating weapon.