Last week I shared my super exciting news and the leap of faith God’s led me to take this year (yay!), and in the process of all this change I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the kinds of things I’ve done for a living over the last ten years. For most of that time I’ve spent my days doing some form of marketing, publicity, social media, or editorial. And generally speaking, I love this stuff like crazy. It took me a while to realize it, but social media can be both fun and good and there have been times in past positions when pieces of my job felt more like play than work (double yay!).
But there’s a piece of using social media that’s always driven me a little crazy. It’s this idea that we must speak more quickly, more often, and as loudly as possible. Like the tutorials that read “How to do Better on Twitter: Easy! Tweet more often! All the time! What if one of your followers didn’t see that awesome link you Tweeted 3 hours ago? Tweet it again!”
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with Tweeting all day long if that’s your thing, just like there’s nothing wrong with doing what you love and letting work occasionally feel like play (and that’s something it took me a loooong time to understand). But sometimes I wonder if we’re not all just competing to speak over each other and be heard in this crazy cacophony that social media can be. I want genuine conversation and connection and relationship building and even fun, and when I see social media becoming just another medium to promote our motives and messages it makes me want to run the other way.
I wonder what it would look like instead we chose our words more carefully, even the words we share online. Social media is called that just for a reason – because it’s totally social and it’s totally meant to connect us in new and exciting ways. Or at least to keep us connected as we go about our days. It opens up a lot of beautiful opportunities to share and be vulnerable and reveal parts of ourselves we don’t always get to reveal in other mediums.
If we stopped shouting to be heard, would we have more room to hear the Spirit instead?
What if before hitting the “post” button on Facebook we stopped and asked, “Father, is this something you’d have me share with the world?”
I get it. If we go down that road too far we’ll be the proverbial Christian asking Jesus where we should park our car in the lot, while He’s probably sitting there like “I love you to death, but just find a spot already!” We’re given free will and discernment and the ability to act on our own for a reason. If we start second guessing ourselves all the time we’re falling right back into the spirit of fear and timidity (2 Tim 1:7) that Jesus died to free us from and ain’t nobody suggesting that.
So I’m not saying we should get all crazy and pray over every single image we post on Instagram. But maybe in general we can ask ourselves what we’re using social media for and how we can use it to love on others. And then instead of racing to keep up and be heard we can slow down and make those genuine connections and engage in a way that builds true and lasting community. The kind Jesus leads us into and the kind that feels like friendship and fun and play.
p.s. I love what Jess Lively has to say about social media in her post, Pinterest Perfect.
Original photo of Lady Working With Laptop by akeeris from freedigitalphotos.net. Adapted for this blog post by Stephanie Oh.
linking up with Woman 2 Woman Ministry’s Word Filled Wednesdays!