Social media today has become a voice where anything goes. All the facets to Social Media on the internet today simply boggle this old gals mind. I first became aware of Social Media sites when “My Space” gained popularity. Doing a simple Google search for Social Media Websites I found many; most I never heard of before posting this blog. One website ranked the top 15 social media websites.* Here are the top 5, in order; Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, My Space and Google plus close behind. Social Media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have become the place to say, whatever pops into your head; no matter the tone or content (with a few exceptions). You can easily lambast someone one moment and in the very next minute sing praises regarding something else. Thousands of pictures in the form of posters and sayings get posted – shared – reposted and shared over and over. All designed with a message which attempt to convey the postee’s thoughts or feelings. With a quick click on a like button you’re able to post a thought or feeling without typing a word. For many, social media websites have become an avenue to voice to others what one would never say face-to-face.
Everyone has their opinions on the President, gun control, immigration, which political party’s the “right one” what color to paint a house and a myriad of other subjects. We are never short on opinions controversial or otherwise.
I am very passionate about certain topics. Does that mean everyone should see things the same way as me? Look at the Disciples of Jesus, a variety of personalities and occupations; fishermen, tax collector, treasurer, rancher and a zealot to name a few. When you look at all these occupations you know they did not have the same opinions; yet allowing room for differences they went on to change the world. There is an old saying, never talk politics or religion. Why? Why can we not talk about such things? I say talk about them! But, talk about them with respect, understanding, integrity and grace. We need to talk about the leadership of our country, civic affairs, injustices of others, and the weather. Ignorance is not bliss. We need to talk about matters of life. If no one talks how can we come to understand? We need to talk about them… but do we need to Facebook them, Tweet them? Are these the best places to have these conversations? To be honest, I’m not so sure. I would say, yes, have these discussions on Facebook with this caveat, “only if we can do so with integrity and grace allowing room for others diversity in opinions”. Who is to say we are right and they are wrong. Look at the Pharisees of the Bible; they thought they were right and said so with conviction; yet, what did Jesus have to say about the Pharisees?
I am not saying Facebook, Twitter, or any other Social Media site is a bad thing. Social Media is a wonderful place to chat with friends daily. Social Media helps us stay in touch with family and friends far away locally and in other countries; even our neighbor next door 😉 it allows us to share, almost immediately, pictures with moms and dads, grandparents and friends. I have friends who have received great coupon deals via Facebook. The games available to play and entertain seem endless. Organizations and businesses with Facebook Pages keep us informed; the world virtually at our fingertips.
What I am saying… “Because the world is at our fingertips we have a responsibility to handle Social Media wisely”. With the ever-changing rules on privacy and friends do we really know who is reading our posts? No. I see posts streaming down the side of my Facebook page of people I do not know. They are friends of friends of friends. Just how far removed can the trail go? I wonder?
Perhaps it’s time I really look at my posted comments. Perhaps it’s time I really look at each post where I click “like”. Perhaps I should look at Social Media sites through the eyes of others; the eyes of a perspective employer or publisher. Or, a friend of a friend, who does not believe in Christ, yet knows I profess to be a Christian. What about a non-believer’s eyes, what would they see if they came to my Facebook page? Would they see a judgmental spirit, a person with a holier than thou attitude where there’s no room for a differing opinion? A person who condemns rather than encourages. Or, will they see, words of integrity, shared in truth, shared in kindness, said with compassion, lined with grace and understanding? Hmm, I wonder.
Until next time,
I found this blog this am… pretty awesome… check it out http://emilyswindowpane.wordpress.com/2013/03/19/opinion/