Disclaimer: I am not a writer, my grammar and vocabulary would probably struggle in a grade 10 english test… but that’s not what this post is about.
I’ve been in the States for just over a month now, and countless times I have heard “I’m thinking of deleting my facebook account, I hate all the crap on my feed!” or “Every time I get on Facebook I have anxiety, or I feel stressed out”, or “I can’t handle facebook anymore, it’s all a bunch of junk…”
The list goes on and on but the point is that I’ve noticed a huge difference in the attitude towards social media since being home. I started to wonder why it’s that way and I think it’s quite simple actually.
I use facebook to keep in contact with loved ones. The people I wouldn’t normally be able to keep in contact with, talk to, see photos of their children growing up, or have updates on the latest chemo session, surgery, or job that they got. It’s a crucial part of staying connected because I can’t see someone face to face from 10,000 miles away.
For me… I don’t mind all of the “junk” on my feed because it’s worth it to me. It’s worth scrolling three times through just to see one video of my nephew singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star or see a photo of my niece on her first day of school.
Social Media keeps me social where physical location would normally prevent it.
I get it, I do. Between Ebola, ISIS, Obama, Ferguson, the Weather, and the countless other things going on in the world it just gets overwhelming! How could we ever be expected to keep up with everything? I’m aware that things have never been so readily available to us as now…it’s just too much.
But… that’s not the way this started.
It’s out of control, because we are in control of it. It’s so easy to “share” or “retweet” or “like” something, and it’s often so easy that we don’t even think about it when we do it.
As kids we were taught manners right? We were taught the principles of life like being kind, sharing with our siblings, treat your neighbor as yourself, and the classic “If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” These things were just as important as being potty trained, or learning our ABC’s!
The only problem is that we aren’t teaching, or using these same exact principles when we sign up for Facebook.
A few weeks ago there was a young man arrested for drug possession in my home town. The only reason I knew was because I follow one of the news pages and they posted his photo along with the story. I recognized his face right away….I passed him in the hallway at school, I know who his parents are, where they lived, his brother even dated one of my friends in highschool. I didn’t KNOW him, but I knew him (ya know?). I clicked on the post and saw that his wife was arrested along with him.
I didn’t even know he was married, but I knew only 8 hrs after he was arrested that he was in some trouble.
After seeing the post I felt horrible that day, I can’t imagine how his life will change or what this will mean for his family. Not knowing much about where life had taken him I looked at his FB page. He married her only a short while ago, he was young, and just started working as a trainer at a gym not far from here.
Since the post was made it has been shared 732 times (on ONE site).
This really makes me angry… I mean, what if God had a facebook?
What if God wrote up articles about our deep secrets and posted them online for us to all share around?
We would feel betrayed, and vulnerable. We would be confronted with the fact that we thought we could trust him and now that’s gone… it would be as if your very best friend blasted you on live television.
I live in a small town with approximately 262 churches listed in the phonebook…
I live in the Bible belt of America where we pride ourselves on small communities that have each others backs, who care about each other, and call everyone family! If WE can’t get this right, then who will?
We have an opportunity to change lives, have a voice, make a difference, and TEACH people how to multiply what Christ did and how he acted.
We are the church, and somehow along the way we forgot that when we got a facebook account. It doesn’t mean every post we make has to be a verse from Romans, or have our cover photo as the cross… it just means that no matter the setting, “they will know we are Christians by our love…”
This guy made a horrible mistake, and eventually he will stand in a courtroom and someone will read off the consequences of these actions. We know that will be handled, because that’s how the system works. I think we owed him more than 732 shares. I think we owed him love, mercy, and a few prayers… after all, he’s not that much different than any of us.
I’m not saying I’m innocent, and I love social media more than most people I know… but I think “with great power, comes great responsibility”. We can’t afford to be Social Media Bullies anymore… we have to accept the fact that “Sharing” an article is the same thing as gossip… we have generations behind us that need to learn the principles and etiquette of facebook, but we have to walk the walk (or type the type I suppose!)