If you have been living the offline life for the past two weeks, you missed a lot of fun online. Justin Beiber, singer and (former?) teen heartthrob was caught eating a burrito completely wrong.
Haven’t seen it? Here’s what I’m talking about.
Seriously, who goes for the sideways bite?
Big websites like Huffington Post, ABC News, and other entertainment websites posted the picture, but so did a lot of news stations.
The interesting thing is, it wasn’t real. It was all a fake. The people at Yes Theory, a YouTube channel behind “Live in discomfort” in order to grow yourself, put the prank together. Here’s the video of how they pulled it off.
[Video via YouTube]
Did You Bite?
A conversation has been growing about how we need to not always believe what we see. We need to evaluate, question, and be cognitive about how we consume content. Even this article is written to show this off. Everything “above the fold,” what you can read before the “Read More” link shows this as a “you can’t believe this” kind of article. Everything after that to the YouTube video is a “how funny was this prank?”
I expect two kinds of comments below. “He’s a monster!” or “I didn’t fall for that.”
And we could certainly have the conversation about “be better about what you read” or “don’t just read the headlines because of clickbait.” But I’m don’t want to put the reader on blast. In fact, who that reads Huffington Post, watches ABC News, or other easy to digest media, has time to investigate EVERY piece of news. If you are a half-way decent politically savvy person, your day is gone.
That’s assuming you don’t have a family and life to live. Bloggers, news reporters, and other content creators actually need to stop being lazy and blaming their readers. We should be conscious of this. But you know who has even more responsibility of this and actually gets paid to do so? Content people.
Churches and Christian Bloggers Need To Do More
If you and your ministry post something online, you are responsible for what you post. We are called by God to be truth-tellers.
May the words of my mouth
and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14 (NLT)
I’ve seen this passage talk about how our words should be about love, compassion, etc. But if you analyze the whole chapter of Psalm 19, you will note the passage is talking about God with his decrees of truth, is reverence for pure truth, and the commands of the Lord are right. I believe compassion is part of this, that we should move forward without sin, but that what we say be a representation of God in His absolute truth.
And when we are wrong, because we are fallen, rushed, broken, and sinful people, that we may say so unashamedly, loudly, and see any repentance that may need to be sought.
Integrity Is Hard
This means that we should not be mindlessly posting what everyone else posts without thinking. We cannot just throw up a Bible passage on social media that we saw for two seconds on Biblegateway.com. We must investigate, research, and know what we are posting. Even if it means not posting it when everyone else is getting a couple of extra pageviews. Even if it is not cool and hip to do so.
Truthfulness with dedication is what leads to integrity. There is no SEO course, social media hack, or quick fix to gain integrity. And it will always be that way. Even when you get good at it. So knuckle down, get comfy, and do the hard work.
I’ll be honest, I even had to do this for this blog article. In my writing for this, I looked for and found a couple of code of ethics that I might share for people to consider using for their ministry. I found a couple and in reading through them, I personally prefer this one: Mor10’s Code of Ethics for Bloggers, Social Media and Content Creators. I’d actually encourage you guys as I will be encouraging Eric with ChurchMag, to incorporate this into your blogging style.
Who do you feel the burden falls to with encouraging the truth of content? The reader or the writer?