Building Up With Social Media
It isn’t hard to imagine how you can use social media in a negative way. We all see examples of that every day! But sometimes, we need a little push to remember that we can use social media in a positive way, to build up and encourage those that we care about.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” Solomon wrote, and I think we could extend that to say in the written word as well. Words have a powerful impact in our life – for good or for bad. Words, once spoken, cannot be brought back, and in a similar way, the words you put on social media cannot be erased. You may go back and delete the status or the comment, but there is always someone who has already seen it, and that can never be undone. We ought to be conscientious about the things that we post in social media. We little realize how something we type in haste might be misread by someone we care about, and cause wounds that we didn’t mean to create.
Here are some practical suggestions for how you can use social media to be a building tool, rather than a thoughtless one:
- Speak God’s Words
I love scrolling through my news feed and seeing verses of Scripture, both illustrated on pictures and just posted as a status. It is always good to remind ourselves of God’s Word, and I appreciate that I have friends who love God’s Word as much as I do. Even better is when they say something about what a verse means to them– not in a suspenseful way, just trying to get people’s attention, but in a genuine way of sharing what the Lord is teaching them. It is a blessing to me to watch other people grow in their love for the Lord.
2. Speak in Encouragement
This can be done publicly or privately through a message, but don’t forget that you can actually interact with people! It’s easy to fall into the rut of just scrolling through your news feed and posting generic statuses that aren’t directed at anyone. It’s good to remember that you can thank someone, praise someone, or just wish someone a good day and put a smile on their face. When this is done publicly, it can be an encouragement to other people who read it too.
3. Speak in Doubt
Always, always, always give someone the benefit of the doubt on social media. It is so easy for conversations to escalate quickly, in a way that would never happen in real life. There is so much lost when you can’t read someone’s body language or hear the tone of their voice, and you might be interpreting what they are saying in a way they never intended. Don’t be quick to jump to conclusions and then express your opinion about those conclusions. Be gentle and understanding – it will go a long way!
4. Speak in Friendliness
We are coming up on our Missions Conference here at Bible Baptist Church, and while we do a lot of things to help our ladies be in touch with our missionary wives, there is much more that we can each be doing in our personal lives to stay in contact with them! Facebook is a great way to stay in touch with missionary wives, by keeping up with what they are going through (whether they post about travel, cultural differences, or potty training!). Take advantage of this easy method of communication and interact with your missionary wives! They might wonder if anyone even notices the things that they post, and just like anyone, would probably love a kind comment. One word of advice: if you do friend a missionary wife, take a moment to greet her and introduce yourself. If you just met her once, she might not remember exactly who you are, so don’t assume! Being friends with your missionary wives on social media is a great way to get to know them personally (beyond what their husbands put in the prayer letter!), and then next time they come home for furlough, it will be like meeting up with an old friend.
Yes, there certainly are some negative things that come out of social media, but the fact still remains that it can also be used to strengthen the relationships that you already have. Let’s use this tool, like others that God gives to us, to bless and encourage one another!