Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Social Networks

I know that I have previously talked about social networking.  At the time I focused on how churches should utilize social networking.  This post will focus mainly on how these mediums are misused. 

In my years of youth ministry, I probably gave “The Facebook Message” (as my students affectionately called it) at least 10 times and probably could have given it at least another 30 times.  Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter started out as mediums to connect people together, but now have turned into personal soapboxes for people to stand on.  

Currently, there are close to a billion active Facebook users.  Imagine if you had the undivided attention of a billion people.  What would you say?  Would you tell everyone what’s on your heart?  Would you tell everyone what your passion in life is?  Would you tell them how your faith, family or friends have impacted your life?  Would you use that platform to be a positive influence?

I have seen teenagers ridicule and berate their parents and teachers.  I have seen adults complain about their work environments.  I have seen both young and old use social networking to spread rumors and gossip about anything and everything.  These social networking sites were designed to bring people together, but so often, they tear relationships apart.

Did you know that all of your social networking posts are saved?  Even if you erase them, they are saved on a hard drive.  Did you also know that most employers are now asking to see your Facebook page before they hire you?  I know mine did and I have heard of a few people that were not given a job solely because their Facebook account wasn’t good.

Some people think that they are just displaying a post to their 100 friends, but you’re always a few clicks away from telling the world how you really feel.  By just one friend “liking” or commenting on a status, all of their friends see that.  Now your post is out there for the world to see.

What do your pictures say about you?  Do they tell a story of how you act on weekends?  Do they show you volunteering?  Do they show you partying?

What do your posts say about you?  Do they depict you as a positive person or a negative one?  Do they depict you as a Christian or someone far from it?  Do they paint you as a gossip or an encourager? 

Think about this when you make your next post: if you had the undivided attention of a billion people, what would you say?

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