I have been somewhat discouraged lately by the outpouring of cynicism and malice on Twitter. It is amazing to me how “courageous” one can become by simply blasting someone’s character while hiding behind a screen. It has become the mantra of the modern world to indulge the darkest secrets of the heart, even if it’s just for a “LIKE” or “COMMMENT.”
Please be careful of what you post. I see too many people getting caught up with the latest debate or trash talking online—and yes, even among preachers. We are to be the light to a dark world and if we keep selling ammunition to the enemy, we can expect high casualties of our allies. This is why I do my best to run from the temptation of name-calling on social platforms. It appears to me that the wars that are waged on social real estate, do more harm than good.
I am not anti-social media. I have several accounts. But I am certainly against evil communications that corrupt good manners.
Here are four main reasons why I don’t get involved in Twitter Wars (And why you shouldn’t either):
It wastes too much time.
This one is a no brainer but probably the greatest downside to social media. It can be a time-waster! I can understand if your job requires you to be active on social media but if you find yourself checking your phone every five minutes, you probably need to reevaluate your stewardship of time. What can start out as just checking your Twitter account for Retweets, can turn into thirty minutes of endless scrolling. Trust me—we’ve all been there.
I’ve never seen an argument settled on social media.
This is probably one of the greatest reasons why I don’t get into fights in the comment section. I have never actually seen or heard of a person radically changing their point of view because of a Twitter debate. In fact, most of the time you see the opposite effect. People often become irritable and more stubborn in their ways when met with opposition.
Does this mean you should never post truth on Twitter? Of course not. The truth of God’s Word will do the work. I think we often get ourselves into trouble when we try to do God’s job for Him.
It leaves little room for context.
Context is king. To interpret the meaning of what is being said, context will guide you to the truth. But let’s be honest. How much context can we possibly give a tweet that is restricted to 300 characters? The answer—not much!
And so, our response to that is to come up with intellectually formed cliches that pack a punch in a short amount of time. But the problem with that is in our efforts to create a retweetable quote, we can leave the door wide open to misunderstanding.
Be diligent in your calling to uphold the standard of truth.
It creates a false sense of courage.
Its amazing what people are willing to say online when not faced with actual confrontation. My rule of thumb before I hit “Tweet” is,
Would I actually say this to their face?
We can often deceive ourselves into thinking that we are the person that our followers see. When that is our sole focus, it can lead to nothing more then self-righteous and piety. We will become “puffed up” in our ability to “win” the battle with our words instead of letting God get the victory through His Word.
These are just a few reasons why I don’t duke it out on Twitter. I am not perfect by any stretch, but it is for that very that I have guidelines for my social media platforms (and you should too).