The Perils of Social Media
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The Perils of Social Media


I think we’re starting to realize that social
media has some real limitations built in. Twitter may have doubled their character count
from 140 to 280 but I think we’re still realizing it is not a very serious medium. It can not
do very serious things. In many ways, it’s not a very helpful medium. I think in some
ways we’re learning that about FaceBook as well. That there’s certain ways, there’s certain
media that are helpful for some purposes but not for others. So Twitter I think is very
helpful in some ways, it’s very helpful for sharing news, very helpful for pointing to
other things. I don’t think it’s very helpful for engaging in back and forth debate. I just
don’t think it’s the right medium for that. Right, not every medium can carry out every
purpose. I don’t think Twitter’s the right medium for great debate. I don’t think Instagram
is the right medium for theological debate. I really don’t think FaceBook, which allows
longer content, I don’t even think that is really a great medium for debate. You know,
the more characters you have available to you and the more serious in a sense the medium
is, probably the more you can do with it. I just think over time we’re realizing that
really, we’ve got to get back to face to face, real conversation with real people where we’re
acknowledging one another’s humanity, we’re sharing space, we’re reading non-verbal cues,
body language and all that. So we’re really engaging with another person. Or going to
more thoughtful, thought out forms of conversation. So maybe that’s blogging, maybe that’s more
book writing. But not where we’re just throwing things back and forth thoughtlessly and quickly
and without context and without emotion or without being able to display more about ourselves
through emotion but we’re just blasting back and forth. I think we’re probably going to
look back a few years, look back at this era of social media and kind of laugh that we
ever tried to do anything serious with it. Maybe social media will develop a little bit
more. So, I just think as Christians as we’re talking about politics, we’re talking about
religion, we’re talking about other things, theology, things that can be very polarizing.
Get with other people. You know, don’t engage online in things you’re not engaging face
to face. A big conversation out there is race right now, on the internet, on social media.
Probably don’t talk about it a lot online if you’re not talking about it in real life
first. Talk to somebody else, engage with that person and then out of the overflow of
that, maybe you’ve got something to say on social media. But if you’re never conversing
with somebody of another race in the real world, you probably don’t actually have a
whole lot to say online. With theology, you know, reformed theology, find someone in your
life that you can talk about with those things. Or maybe somebody who’s really interested
in that theology and have a good back and forth, and then maybe you’ve got something
to say online. I just think when we’re abstracting these things, when we’re living online instead
of living in the real world, I just don’t know that we’re being that helpful. I don’t
know that we’re really able to communicate in distinctly Christian ways.

5 thoughts on “The Perils of Social Media

  1. Excess information sucks life out of people .

    Ecclesiastes 12:12 – from Solomon . A man that God blest with Wisdom & every thing else.

  2. Great take on social media and Christianity. There's a purpose for every platform. The question now is how will people see eye to eye on the purpose. 🙂

  3. I have refrained from social media for over 8 months now in favor of face to face evangelism and apologetics.

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