RLT Cinema will return next Friday. Today, I wrap up my blog series on social media.
The sentence above makes me feel weird. Like I’m about to violate some of the things I’m suggesting below. Such is the nature of the beast.
This week, I’ve looked at the benefits and dangers of social media. Today I’ll wrap up the series with a few suggestions for how those of us who are followers of Jesus can keep social media from becoming a life-sucking idol.
- Keep a check on the ego. Why do we blog? Why do we Twitter? Why do we use Facebook the way we do? If we’re deriving a sense of self-worth or boosting our ego from it, then we need to cut back or unplug completely.
- Tweeters, use Twitter as an opportunity to improve your use of language. Please don’t butcher the language. It’s difficult enough as it is. Wrestle with words; struggle with word choice. Break rules only when needed. No more “tyme” for “time.”
- Use Twitter to micro-blog. Several people I follow on Twitter use the 140 characters to post quotes or reflections instead of telling the world what they’re eating. Twitter just screams “Keep it short; keep it simple.”
- Bloggers, stop obsessing on the size of your audience. If you help one person think about something differently, it is enough.
- Facebookers, discern between your “friends” and your friends. My buddy Ned has Facebook nailed. He doesn’t waste time on Facebook “games.” He says what he has to say and leaves. And his friend lists is incredibly short. He once left Facebook for several weeks for that reason–because his definition of “friend” is limited (and correctly so) to those who are truly his friends, not those who want to inflate their Facebook friend count. Does that mean we should go through our Facebook friends and unfriend a bunch of people? Maybe, maybe not. I think that’s a personal choice. But there’s no law stating we have to say yes to every friend request.
- Stop wasting time. How many times do we really need to change our status? How many times do we really need to scroll through the Facebook news feed? Do we really need to clog up other’s inboxes with requests for crap from Farmtown Mafia? Do we really need to play Farmtown Mafia?
- Connect with someone in real life. Are we robbing our real friends and family of time that we could spend with them, but instead we’ve devoted to a psuedo-community?
- Business owners, take advantage of the benefits of social media. Right now, there’s no better way to drive traffic to your product and website than through social media. Use Twitter and Facebook to push your product.
- Churches, use social networking to promote real community. Whether it’s advertising an event or an outreach project, use social media to get your people together in real time.
- Use it to reconnect, to collaborate, and to cooperate. These are the real benefits of social media. Not friend counts, followers, or comments.
- Unplug. Take time away from social media from time-to-time, especially times when you’re supposed to be with others, like vacations, etc. It was said that those who read vigorously miss out on real life because they’re reading about real life. The same can be said for social media. We can be so connected to social media that we miss out on real-life connections.
What other ways can we use social media responsibly?