I’ve used Facebook and Twitter for a few years to help communicate my message on living for Christ as a leader and as a person. It’s been a valuable tool to share my thoughts and I’ve learned a great deal from others. However, I’m finding that more and more people are using it as a club against those who may disagree with their views. I’ve especially seen vitriolic rants come from those who who oppose Biblical perspectives on life issues. If you’ve every received an angry email, you know it’s not a pleasant experience. I’m now seeing many people misuse social media in the same way. Here’s what I’ve decided to do in response.
First, social media has benefited me in many ways.
- I’ve learned insights from others, even from those with whom I disagree. Such insight motivates me to be a better Christ follower and a better leader.
- I’ve kept up with friends and family and re-connected with friends from the past.
- I’ve gotten a good laugh from funny videos on social media. Sometimes I simply need some levity and many of these videos have provided that.
- I’ve become more informed about current Biblical and world issues I care about.
- I’ve been inspired by stories of men and women of great faith and by those who have overcome incredible odds.
- I’ve been touched by the amazing stories and videos of dog rescues. I admit. I am a sucker for those.
Since the recent increase in vitriol even from some of my so called Facebook friends, I’ve decided that to maintain the value social media brings to me (the above reasons) and to minimize my frustration from those who rant, set up straw men to then tear them down, or throw out ‘in your face’ unfounded criticism about issues I hold dear, I’m taking these steps.
- I’m not going to automatically ‘friend’ someone who simply requests it, as I have until now.
- I have and will ‘unfriend’ those who rant, spew invectives, are dismissive of those who hold Biblical values, or otherwise misuse social media.
- I’m considering turning off the comment section on my blog as many well-known bloggers have now done. Fortunately, I’ve not had any commenters misuse this blog feature but I’m not confident that will continue given the current social media climate.
- I won’t be guilty of that which I find offensive. I won’t rant back to those who rant. I will simply use the power of the Facebook pull down menu and ‘click’ the ranter off my friend list.
- I will check my heart attitude to make sure that my thoughts about the ranters are pleasing to God.
Have you seen an uptick in social media vitriol? If so, how do you plan to deal with it?