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.
So I love me some John Crist, especially his webisodes that are really well thought out yet low-budget. The guy has talent with thought-provoking comedy, for sure. His jokes always seem to have several layers to them.
So I’m going to add an extra layer to a YouTube video he posted about Instagram Customer Support. I’m going to ask you to watch it and if you have any involvement with church communication, see the parallels of how this plays out. (I have my thoughts after the video)
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.