As we look at church social media policy, I’d like to share a pertinent personal experience. I’ve been on staff at my church since 2006, and in that time, I’ve been fairly engaged in social media. No big deal, right? Then, 2016 happened, and everything changed. I don’t like President Trump. I think he’s crass, narcissistic, and erratic. Feel free to disagree with me—that’s the benefit to living in a free, democratic society—I can have opinions you don’t like, and it won’t affect you at all. But there have been times when I expressed my opinions about the president poorly, and I offended some of my friends.
Social media has become such a normal part of life that it is almost weird when you’re not on it. This applies to both churches and organizations as individuals. There’s an expectation that, even in limited terms, it is a way to contact and connect with you. The novelty has worn off, and more people and organizations are reconsidering use of social media. Reasons vary. From mental health to giving energy to more core activities. For these and other activities, people and organizations quit social media and delete their accounts. Before doing that there are things to consider before deleting social media accounts.
When someone disagrees with something you said online, what do you do?
This week on the podcast we talk about a specific instance when a pastor asked that his members cease their theological arguments online and wait to discuss it Sunday morning.
Should Christians argue with one another online? Where do you draw the line between discussion and argument? Should you argue on Facebook?
There’s a lot of political news out there, and while ChurchMag strives to stay about politics, sometimes we have to address it. Even so, I will endeavor to do so without partisan passions. For now, let’s forget our political persuasions and talk about Elizabeth Warren, US Senator and Democratic candidate for the presidency, and her relationship with Facebook.
I’ll be the first to say that my trust in Facebook is small. It’s not so little that I don’t use it, so that’s saying something. But the stories coming out over and over of how Facebook’s “move fast and break things” philosophy is hurting communities and individuals without any big course correction is very, very disconcerning. At the same time, I put on my therapist hat as well as my writing online about church and mental health doing more to help people, I worry when I see reports of Facebook deciding how to manipulate people’s emotions to get people to stay on longer and sell more advertising.
So you can guess my shock when I began to discover Facebook being proactive with mental health for individual users. Confused? Let me explain how I happened upon this.
In a general sense, there is great intentionality in the design of social media platforms. I’d like to assume there are clear reasons for that in the minds of the architects. Now bloated with features, Facebook started to enrich connections between people. Instagram started as a simple app for sharing a photo. Though the jury is still out on what microblogging is, Twitter is a platform for that. Creators have one way of thinking and then users get into the picture. It doesn’t seem it’s long until users start using social media platforms the wrong way.