Another 140 Characters:
Posted by matreames
A while back I wrote an article called “My Life in 140 Characters or less” It was a short story about how some people will only know us through our social media. Well today I felt inclined to continue that thought and go a little further. Lets talk twitter.
Twitter is a brilliant and terrible social media tool. The trick with twitter is that it limits what you can say. You are only allowed 140 characters. In those 140 characters you can say anything you want, and people do. If you just look at a bunch of twitter accounts you will see everything from posts about daily living, food, adult interaction, music, celebrities, bacon, funny pictures, more celebrities, and occasionally someone shares something that is real, that is insightful, and helps us understand the nature of humanity better.
However, the world is watching us. I have found some of my tweets being retweeted by people I do not know. They don’t follow me, we have never met, but somehow they have found my tweets and liked what I was saying enough to retweet me. Now imagine this with me. If all I tweeted about was the Bacon Cheeseburger I just ate, and the weather outside, and the celebrity who did that thing that was so crazy I was like LOLWUT… (please note these are examples and not things I am likely to actually say) Is any of that going to make an impact on someones life? Probably not. Perhaps I tweeted a funny joke, which happens from time to time. Still, no funny joke has ever changed someones life.
We must be so careful with our words, especially in the age of social media when we have less words to spare. Let’s look at what Jesus said on this topic. (words, not social media)
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37 (emphasis added)
Jesus warns us about idle words. Yet so often we find ourselves making the smallest of small talk. What does our conversation say about us? As Christians, and especially those of us who call ourselves ministers of the Gospel. Do we know more about pop culture, and celebrities than we know about The Bible and Jesus.
The thing is that in truth many of us do know more about the Bible and Jesus than other things, but does out communication reflect that? Do people read your twitter account and see Christ? Or do they see someone else. Do they read your words and think of Heaven or Earth, or worse, Hell?
In the age of social media we have a unique way to interact with the world. There are people who may never see us face to face but they will see our facebook, our twitter, our youtube, and the things we say there might be just the thing that they need to hear to spark a change in their life that draws them closer to Jesus.
We need to be careful with our words. We need to be real, and authentic, and all those other buzzwords that people like to spout off, but most of all we need to be CAREFUL. Careful because we are supposed to be reflections of Christ and our words are supposed to let the world hear Him.
I should put a disclaimer, its not a bad thing to discuss movies, music, food, etc. But as I said we need to be careful that the image we project through social media is Christ. Further more disclaimer #2, if your regular life does not reflect Christ. Perhaps you should get in the prayer closet and fix that. Becuase it is not enough for our social media to reflect Christ. We need to reflect Christ in the real world. Our social media should be an accurate representation of our real life.
God bless you and I hope that you are well. As always, comments and questions are welcomed.