I’m terrified that because of social media, the entire world can see my words. It means I can hurt more than just the people in front of me every time I choose to not live like Jesus.But what I’ve come to discover is, many people don’t realize this cost. We still treat social media as if it is an exemption from being responsible for our words and actions.We need to get over the power that makes us feel we can say whatever we want on social media, and instead embrace the power to say what only builds up.
When we are doing this, we can use social media as a tool for change something that would honor the life of Jesus rather than shame it.It truly is possible to live and love like Jesus on social media. It is possible to glorify God with our social media activity. We just need a few guidelines to point us in the right direction:
1. Strive for Connection, not Attention
There are two kinds of social media users: one who goes on with a “look at me!” perspective, and one who goes on with a “let’s connect” perspective. Social media was made for the latter.This doesn’t mean you can’t share your work with others online.This just means you shouldn’t use likes and comments as validation for yourself. Aim to connect instead.
2. Be Transparent, but not too Transparent
Jesus revealed personal information to His disciples, not to everyone. This means we should strive to be transparent with those who love us and gather around us in real life.While social media opens our lives to the entire world, the entire world doesn’t need to know about everything. Be transparent, but mostly with your close friends in real life.
3. Ask Yourself: Could I Say This Same Thing in Front of Someone?
Social media distances us from the impact of our words. We could say things and then walk away from our keyboard, being blind to how others react to them.But just because we can’t see the impact of our words in real life doesn’t mean our words don’t make a splash. If we’re saying things that aren’t words we would say in front of someone’s face, then we shouldn’t say them at all.
4. Don’t Buy into the “Say What Needs to be Said” Culture
On social media, everyone is “saying what needs to be said.” But when everyone is doing this, it’s hard to filter what actually needs to be said. A better way to get across a message is to say what needs to be said, but also live it in real life.This is what Jesus did. He gave the Sermon on the Mount, and then immediately after began healing people. A message is better communicated when it is not only said, but lived as well.