One of the things that I think everyone has learned at one time or another is that the immediacy of the digital age has both benefits and consequences. For example, a benefit of social media is that you can quickly share good news. People you haven’t seen in years can instantly know if you are engaged, married or expecting a baby. However, just as instantly, those very same people can view an unflattering picture of you that can take years to eradicate from their memory. Not only is distribution immediate and indiscriminate, but social media has the unnatural ability to cause people to lose their discretion. Things that we would never share in real life, are posted on Facebook for all to see. Things that we would never say to a person, we tweet. The perception of anonymity masks the truth of notoriety, and wisdom is cast into the sea.
As Christians, we should be doubly cautious about this, because we should want all our words, whether spoken or written, to reflect Christ. Not only does this mean we should use discretion with what we say about others, but it also means that we should be careful about what we write about ourselves. For example, it’s not uncommon for people to give full vent to their complaints on Twitter or Facebook. However, Scripture tells us that we should do “all things without grumbling” (See Phil. 2:14-16). Later, Paul shares that we should focus on “whatever is pure, whatever is lovely” (See Phil. 4:8) and yet, in the social media world we often instead focus on “whatever is crass, whatever is disturbing.” We are told throughout Scripture to be people of joy (for example, see Romans 12:12) and yet, sometimes, if one were to read our Facebook feed, there would be seemingly little cause for elation. Look, I know life is tough, but as Christians, this should not come as a surprise. What should catch people off guard, however, is that in the midst of these tough times, our confidence is found in Christ.
I was once taught in the corporate world that I should never put anything in an e-mail that I wouldn’t want projected behind me if I ever had to be on the witness stand. As Christians, let us strive to never tweet or write a post that we wouldn’t want have read back to us when we stand in the throne room of Christ.