I’m currently on social media more than normal, which often happens as a new book is being released. But I confess that posting is a delicate dance. I find that balance is important and I often take a whole month offline, just to rest. Yes, I want to make a difference in the world and reach as many as possible with the hope of Christ. But I am not willing to live on social media. And each of us must decide what our weblife costs in terms of time, energy and integrity.
Social media is a fabulous tool to stay connected to friends and family, to learn from those we might never have met before, and to share the creative side of life. But social media can also turn into a temptation – when it slowly becomes our alternative reality without any accountability.
Joanna Gaines, who has a huge public platform, warns, “What it [social media] shouldn’t be is a means to measure our worth or compare our lot in life with another’s… Don’t fall for the trap and believe it’s anything more than a snapshot in time, even it it’s highly edited and beautifully presented.”
A snapshot in time. Not the whole story or the whole picture of our lives, just a glimpse. And yet, those glimpses can be used by God to lift a spirit, prod a memory, teach a life lesson, or comfort a soul. And well we know that it only takes a glimpse to also crush a spirit, fuel a fire, judge a fellow human, and shame a sinner.
Which would you like your posts to accomplish during that quick scroll by someone else’s fingers?
And is it even possible to be authentic on social media without going to either extreme – airbrushed perfection or curated imperfection? I find that answering these six questions help in deciding on what I will throw out there into the world wide web:
- What is my motive in posting this? Am I bragging, sharing something best kept quiet, or provoking controversy?
- Is the content rooted in truth and my values? Am I sharing fake news, a false image of my life, or something that could reflect negatively on someone else?
- Is this post helpful? Does it celebrate, encourage, offer hope, give positive information, or even share humor (at no one’s expense)?
- Could this post be hurtful or harmful? Am I betraying a trust, sharing someone else’s news too soon, revealing family secrets, potentially endangering a child, or disobeying employee social rules?
- Will I cringe when this post pops up next month or next year? What would my future self say about what I’m considering making public today?
- Does this post give glory to God? Does my social media witness as a Christ-follower draw others to Him and His people?
When we meet Jesus face-to-face I don’t think He is going to ask us how successful we were in the eyes of culture, but did our choices and actions bring Him glory.
We bring God glory when all we do points to Him, and not us. Yes, even social media posts.
under the mercy, Lucinda
©2020 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
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