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

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Using Your Social Media Powers for Good

  1. Pingback: Turn Your Filter On Before You Post | Golden Apples in a Silver Basket

  2. Heather Mertens

    Kristen, Did you read my entire post on my blog – the Apology one from yesterday? I put part on FB and I know you commented there. Thank you. Thank you for being bold. You know I have been contemplating and praying over all this. God really showed me in time a couple years ago, but boy is it easy for people to fall in to the traps. Especially bloggers. You know that list above of what can happen is right on… but you know something I realized about those things over the last two years (I actually went off FB for a year or more and have been weeding through it lately) … that all those things, those social media problems that people get into, are all based in judging others. I think, sadly so many Christians live in the judgment game – not salvation – but judging what a 140 character post or a quote shared means about that person in the entiriety of their lives. It is sad. I have had that problem before and God seriously convicted me. That is a major component of what changed me years ago to live more ALL IN after Him. I was no longer happy with myself, my complacency, and certainly not happy with the way others are treating each other because of the “arms length” “anonymity” of the web. Have you have read the “Open Letter to Christians” I wrote a couple years back? It went around the internet a lot. People were very receptive. But I am afraid not the ones who really NEED to figure it out. I believe you would agree with it. You should check it out. I am still praying people would change how they treat each other. It saddens me. Greatly.

    Reply
    1. Kristen Hamilton Post author

      Heather, Yes, I did read the entire post on your site today. I don’t think I’ve seen the “Open Letter to Christians.” I’ll have to go look that up! I agree that a lot of this has it’s root in pride and judging. It is very sad. And yeah, the whole thing is that sometimes we’re left “preaching to the choir,” where the ones who really need it aren’t reading or receptive. (Blinded or too in love with or addicted to their sin.)

      What also saddens me a lot (I think it’s God breaking my heart for what breaks His) is that there is a whole world of hurting people out there, and yet at least a seventh of the world’s population (the more “affluent” part that could more readily do things) are so engrossed in self and judging/comparing and thinking about what we can post next that we miss it. (One of my posts will be about this.) I know we can pray for others and encourage others through the computer screen and that’s a wonderful thing. However, many times, there is so much noise and time wasted and distraction that we miss things all around us to be His hands and feet. It’s a delicate balance.

      Thank you for reading and contributing to the discussion….I appreciate it greatly! I think it’s important that we of like mind support each other. Hugs to you, friend.

      Reply
  3. findingourfeetorg

    I’m glad you are doing this series. I haven’t been blogging as long as you but already see these concerns and struggle with it, especially because prior to answering a call to blog for Christ, I completely got rid of Facebook and really loved not having it. The only social media I kept at the time was Pinterest, which I do enjoy because I’ve found a lot of articles I’ve been blessed by there and have been able to organize a lot of homeschooling or diy ideas there also. I feel like it is important to have Facebook if you have a blog, and I’ve met wonderful people like you because I have an account again, but I hope this series delves into some guidance for boundaries of what is too much when it comes to social media and promotion. I do feel like I’m loving others through my social media and I have had the opportunity to help or pray for others as a result of it, but I still have some internal conflicts about it due to so many of the reasons you listed in this article and the last. I look forward to reading more and am glad you are proactively tackling this issue that I think many of us face.

    Reply
    1. Kristen Hamilton Post author

      Thanks, Kristi! It’s a bit of a delicate and tough issue to deal with, but I think it’s needed. I agree that especially as bloggers, it is important to have a social media presence. I have accounts on five social media platforms and I like them all for different reasons. There are many opportunities to “use our powers for good” on social media. I want to cover those positive areas, and I’ll address the boundaries and promotion concerns, too. I’m not perfect or an expert…a lot of what I write is processing through this for myself. The big key is to always seek God’s direction and be aware of the Holy Spirit’s nudges and follow it. I think each Christ-follower’s online use should ultimately be unique and reflect how God is leading them individually. I’ll get to that, too!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s