I recently read an article about a woman who died, and in it, they made all these conclusions about her from what she posted on her social media accounts. This got me thinking if I were to suddenly pass away, what would people’s opinion be based on what I post? Is what someone posts on their social media truly a representation of who that person is?
Of course, what an individual chooses to share, like, or tweet isn’t necessarily definitive of that person rather only provides a small insight. But that small glimpse is enough to discern what an individual values, what informs their opinions, preferences, etc. For example, suppose an individual often shares articles from a particular news source or retweets a specific political figure. In that case, it is a pretty good chance you can deduce that they support a particular political platform or ideology.
Yet it goes deeper than the content of what is posted on a Facebook wall or Twitter feed, but what is the intention behind it or the spirit in which it is shared. In confession, I am no stranger to social media flame wars or posting strong opinions about a whole host of various issues. However, in the 140 characters or so allotted on any given social media post, am I reflecting Christ-like character, or is it something else?
Social media, like any medium, can be used for good and for evil. It can be used to spread information, engage the marketplace of ideas, and express creativity to the glory of God. But, on the other hand, social media can be a vehicle for the flesh, inciting anger and division and ensnaring people in the deadly sin of pride to the glee of Satan himself.
If Christ were walking in this world today, teaching and preaching as he did in the 1st century, he would have invariably said, “Out the overflow the heart, the speaks and the fingers type…”
My point, Christian, is what you post matters. On any given day, hundreds, if not thousands, scroll past your feed and see the overflow of your heart. What do they see? Do they see anger and malice directed at fellow image-bearers? Or crude joking and foul language right beside Bible verses? Which by the way, sends a conflicting message and contradicts the Biblical teaching, which says, “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving” (Eph. 5:4). Now, I am not against social media, nor am I trying to police what you do in the privacy of your own home on your own personal account. However, social media is the antithesis of privacy, and what you say and do on the internet is done before a watching world and, more importantly, a watching God.
Before you post, share, like, retweet, etc., take a pause to consider what this is communicating about my belief concerning Christ, the gospel, and my neighbor. Furthermore, consider whether or not it is of any value to the discussion, edifying people, giving a helpful and differing perspective, or is it just an excuse to act in the flesh.
It may happen that when you die, a person will stumble across your Facebook page to see who you in life were. May they find a person who was consistent in their walk with Christ online as well as offline and one who used their social media platform to bless, encourage, and share the truth along with a few funny cat memes and Dad jokes sprinkled here and there.