I like Facebook and Twitter as much as the next guy, maybe even more. But, I’ve notice the need for some etiquette comments regarding the use of Facebook and Twitter. Here are a couple of thoughts that might help to avoid confusion and controversy from users and viewers alike. These are just some thoughts and wisdom for Christians utilizing Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets.
First, remember that social media is nothing more than a huge billboard placed in your front yard. You might as well go ahead and light up a 14’ x 48’ sign in front of your house. Anything you post, write, or comment about is there for the world to see. Be careful in how you choose your words and phrases. Practice caution in the pictures, articles, and applications you post. Those viewing your posts and pictures see your life from their one-sided perspective and not from yours. They don’t know the circumstances or situation surrounding your activity. This can lead to the misinterpretation and misrepresentation of facts. It can lead to fewer friends.
Second, there are some things that people just don’t need to know about you. There are aspects of your personal life that don’t necessarily need a spotlight. Practice tact and common sense when you’re online. There are certain activities, functions, and behaviors that don’t need the emphasis of social media. Perhaps they’re unbecoming or easily misinterpreted. Or perhaps, they’re activities that aren’t the best examples of the Christian life. In an effort to have fun, you could deter someone’s intentional effort to share or investigate faith.
Third, if you’re having a disagreement with another social media friend or follower, refrain from utilizing these tools to swing virtual punches at each other – especially out in the open where everyone else can get an eyeful of your frustration. Random or intention jabs only serve to make the writer look bad. If you’ve been personally offended by someone, go to that person directly. You can message them personally and have a discussion or you can call and speak privately. This advise is biblical.
Fourth, remember there are such persons as stalkers and voyeurs signed on social media. These are people who are following and watching your every move and the vast details of your life. It does not matter to what degree you’ve clicked your security settings, you’re information is online and is accessible to anyone – regardless of the precautions you take. Personal information such as buying habits, travel itineraries, and intimate details only serve to give people permission to cross boundaries you never intended to be breached.
Fifth, use social media for a better cause. Use it to share information and behavior that’s becoming of believers. Use it to spur one another in the faith. Use it to provide transparency and authenticity in one’s walk. People need to be engaged more by the spiritual than the physical. Enjoy the use of the social media. These venues have the potential for positive influence. It’s a great way to interact and communicate with friends old and new. Stay connected and use it for good.