Using Your Social Media Powers for Good

SocialMediaPowers

I recently wrote a review on the book, What Would Jesus Post? by Brian D. Wassom. {Affiliate link} It’s not a long or in-depth book, but it did a very good job of making me stop and think before I post anything on social media. And it’s not that I was ever using social media in a “wrong” or even negative way. For me, it has made me think on a deeper level, taking time to consider others and my own motives before I post.

My husband just showed me a meme (photo with words) that was on his Facebook newsfeed last night. It totally relates to what I’ve been chewing on. It was a picture of a lady at a gym in a workout outfit with a towel in hand. She was sort-of rolling her eyes, with a “darn it” expression on her face. The words said something to the effect of, “Perfectly worthless workout…I forgot to post about it on Facebook!”

Facebook, especially, for many people has taken on the role of a stage in which they’re “performing” for their “friends.” I’m guilty, too. I know. It can be a long rabbit hole. People can…

  • derive some sense of self-worth through recognition (“likes”).
  • get into comparisons and almost brag about what they have or what they do to feel better about themselves.
  • publicly declare ways they give, whether with time or money, when it might be better kept in secret.
  • take sides on issues, from politics to sports teams, and offend or make divisions.
  • become disenchanted with always seeing happy, positive posts.
  • be put off by reading too many whining and complaining posts.

Then there are my pet peeves like those “chain”-type posts…ones about “let’s see who my real friends are…who really reads my posts…” or posting some crazy thing that is supposed to support a cause. How does that truly support a cause? Time or money wasn’t given by posting something crazy. Don’t get me started…

And this list isn’t even talking about “bad” things like rants, gossiping, fighting, stalking, impersonating someone else, and addictions.

Unfortunately, this depiction of social media is probably very true:

socialmedia

Check out these stats: (Taken from What Would Jesus Post?)

  • 98% of Americans between the ages of 18-24 already use at least one social media site.
  • Over a billion people – about a seventh of the world’s population – have Facebook accounts, and the average amount of time that a Facebook user spends on the site is more than 15 hours every month.

Do you get an idea how large the “stage” could be upon which we can virtually “yell?” I picture each person with a social media account on a platform with a bullhorn yelling out their thoughts, opinions, causes, complaints and quotes. If they have many friends/followers and people who actually pay attention to them, there is great power.

Like me, you can have friends you’ve never met in person. You can know that your friend in California is surfing, your acquaintance in France is brushing their teeth, and your next door neighbor’s car just got stuck in a snow drift, all in a 20-second glance at Facebook.

“Never before has virtually every person on the planet had an opportunity to communicate with every other person, let alone in real time, through text, images and video. … It is only relatively recently that the technology became ubiquitous and mobile enough to insert itself into our daily social lives and interactions with friends. But in a few short years it has already reshaped the way we engage in even those basic activities…” [quoted from What Would Jesus Post?]

You can choose how you act, what you say, and how you use your communicating power to influence others in virtual spaces. Are you using your powers for good? Are you loving God and loving others in your online spaces?

And there are the harder questions about motives of your heart when you post.

But for this post, take a few minutes to consider the power we’ve made and given ourselves in setting up our virtual stages as we perform (or at least let everyone in to our lives) and watch others in their performances as well. (My husband is right…social media has taken over the former soap opera craze. Except now everyone can play a role!)

Join me as I plan to explore some of these things about social media more in-depth over the next several weeks.

Ephesians Chapters 1 & 2