I confess, I’m a social media addict. Not a day goes by that you can’t find me on Facebook. I love the connectivity, conversation and in same cases, the opportunity to just act plain silly. But moreover, I love the exposure it brings to blog links and other avenues of information. I avoided Twitter until recently. Once I signed on I wondered why on earth I had neglected it for so long. More connectivity, conversation …and more blog links. Needless to say I love blogging and follow blogs. Between the recent Twitter addition, starting my own blog, and my normal Facebook activity, I’ve been in social media heaven.
I’m always on the hunt for good blogs. I love hearing what people have to say about things, especially about theology, the bible and life. I encounter different perspectives that maybe I hadn’t thought of before. In fact, Parchment and Pen was the first theology blog I followed and it served as the gateway into the blogging world. I love that world. I learn things, all kinds of things. The exposure has been great. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I disagree.
But with the increased social media and blog activity, I’ve noticed something else I’ve been exposed to. Instruction, prescriptions, exhortations on who I can be or should be living the Christian life better. I read on a regular basis how I should be holy, evangelize, represent Christianity, parent, pray, study scripture, handle forgiveness, support my pastor, leave a church, avoid this or that sin, recognize sin, fellowship, find a spouse, stay single, handle conflict…and the list goes on. In the midst of it, I’m confronted with areas in my life that maybe aren’t so strong. Before long the deficiency can start snowballing into deflation where I don’t measure up. A deficiency blitz.
I bet I’m not the only one. Of course the simple solution is not to engage with social media or blogging. I admire people who are able to do that but I recognize I am not one of them. I do think there is a need to disconnect from time to time. But I think the benefits can be preserved by keeping in mind a few things(kinda funny that I’m offering prescriptions :)
- Guarding: protect yourself from allowing everything you read to dictate your actions. It means making sure a filter is there. Of course, the newer you are in the faith, the more difficult that would be. I have to read a lot of things with a grain of salt and much discernment.
- Consulting: for those areas that really strike you but are not sure about, consult with your pastor/elder or a trusted church leader. Get other opinions about what something means for you. The world of social media and blogs is a great outlet but never meant to replace the church.
- Glazing: passing over status updates, tweets or blogs that you know will create disharmony. Once I see some topics being introduced, I know its best to stop reading. Know what you shouldn’t read even before clicking on that link. I know this is harder on Facebook where that status just hits you in the face.
- Shelving: ff it does strike at an area of deficiency, it might be good to shelve it. Not everything needs to be dealt with at the same time and the Lord has a way of letting us know what we need to deal with when we need to deal with it.
- Limiting: the number of blogs you read and/or time on Facebook or Twitter.
But most importantly, understanding that you are a work in progress. Whatever prescriptions are being thrown out there don’t expect that everything needs to apply or even will apply. Stay secure in your relationship with the Lord and know that the same people who are blitzing you with prescriptions have not arrived either.