It’s All About (Social) Me(dia)
Whenever I think of social media, one question always comes straight to the top of my thoughts and stays there, eating at me: if Twitter and Facebook give us the power to say anything we please at any time to anyone in the world who cares to listen, then why in the world do we choose to say the things that we say? Why are we wasting such an incredible tool by taking it for granted?
I think that for most of us, the problem lies with our perspective on the purpose of social media. Through Twitter, I’ve held conversations with people on the East and West coasts of the United States simultaneously. I’ve interacted with all kinds of people, from Moody Bible Institute professors to devout atheists, fellow students to celebrities. The sheer range and scope of the people with whom social media allows us to communicate is practically unlimited, which is the purpose of social media in its simplest form – to make the world an open forum where everyone can speak out and everyone else can hear what they have to say.
Now that we live in that open world, however, it’s up to each of us to decide for what purpose we’re going to harness our newfound voices. Will you shout about yourself in the hopes that the world will pay attention, that hundreds of followers and “friends” will gather around and shower you with their likes and favorites and retweets so that you can feel important, or will you strive to lift up and encourage the people around you? Will you vent all of your problems, emotions, and drama to the Internet at large instead of facing them in the real world, or will you seek out those who are lost, hurting, wrestling with problems of their own and take their burdens on yourself? Are you here to be seen and heard, or are you here to love furiously, unflinchingly, unceasingly?
In the end, we can either use social media to represent ourselves, or we can use it to fulfill our purpose in a greater way than ever before: showing the radical love of God in every post, share, tweet, like, and comment that we leave. Jars of Clay says it better than I ever could in “Small Rebellions” (my favorite song of all time) when they implore us to consider what life would be like “if our days could be filled with small rebellions – senseless, brutal acts of kindness from us all”. What if we chose to fill our home pages and news feeds with the same? What kind of a difference could we make if we stopped wasting social media and started a rebellion of our own?