Let’s Talk

Am I alone in my complete exasperation with social media? It has become a battleground full of anger, hatred, and vulgarity, and a convenient hiding place for bullies who spew nothing but hate. This certainly hasn’t happened overnight, and there is plenty of blame to be spread around when we see how far we had slithered into the gutter. But instead of pointing fingers and shaming the “other side”, perhaps it’s time to look in the mirror.

After taking a social media hiatus during Lent, I discovered I didn’t miss it as much as I expected I would. Still, it was tempting to jump back into the fray after Easter. Nothing had changed — except for me, and my willingness to join in the chatter.

Even though I have friends and family members who have decided to leave social media, I have decided to stay. Our world needs people who are not afraid to shine light in a darkening world, and share goodness in the face of evil. We need people who will speak words of kindness and compassion, and share images that uplift rather than degrade our fellow man.

“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” ~ ‭James‬ ‭3:9-10‬

It’s really not that hard.

It begins with a simple decision to not share gossip or something you suspect is untrue. Keep conversations civil. Scroll past posts that tempt you to vent. There are so many wonderful pages and groups to follow — full of inspiring stories, photos, memes and even songs. Seek them out and begin sharing only things that will bless others!

Give it a try this week and discover how you can begin to change the conversation, one post or Tweet at a time. 😊

 

Time Thief

Yesterday morning I did something I haven’t done in a long time. I actually sat down with a cup of coffee and read our local newspaper. Reading about school sports, commercial building plans, and a food truck location debate provided a bit of grounding for me. I tend to forget about “small town” news which is often drowned out by so many headline-grabbing world events. I also found time to relax and read a favorite magazine and sift through a few catalogs. How had I forgotten the pure enjoyment of a lazy afternoon perusing Birds and Blooms?

I am entering week five of my Lenten social media fast. Each week gets a little easier, and the temptation to open my Facebook and Twitter apps has lessened greatly. (Disclaimer: If you are reading this on either site, this is an auto-generated post from my WordPress account 😊.) My fast was clearly long overdue.

Social media will steal an enormous amount of our time if we allow it, distracting us to the point where we shut out important parts of our lives. We lose personal face-to-face contact, sacrificing opportunities to deepen our relationships with friends and family. We pass through daily life without looking up, ignoring the amazing world around us. If anything, we are actually becoming anti-social!

Today I took some extra time to ponder how God is speaking to me through my Lenten devotional and weekly Bible study. I realized that I have been putting limits on what I am willing to sacrifice in my daily life. I have placed importance on truly trivial things that should not occupy my time or attention.

I know that I am not alone. Social media is a tempting trap, enticing us to over-share and compare ourselves with others we hardly know. For some, sadly it has become a global platform to hate and to hurt. But each one of us can make a deliberate choice about what we share and how much time and space we allow social media to steal from our lives. When my Lenten fast ends and I cautiously re-engage with my Facebook and Twitter pages, I will continue to seek ways that I might be a light in a dark world.

Will you join me?