Last week on Faith Hub: Where God and Technology Connect, we began a mini-series within the series, “The Christian’s Guide to Social Media Etiquette.”
After a little shopping cart incident, in which I was the victim of a texting while driving shopping cart user, I had to ask myself a few questions. One of those questions is:
What if we used a few simple guidelines to show respect to those around us when we are using technology and social media?
The four points we unpacked last week included:
1. Be present in the moments of real life happening.
2. Be courteous to others.
3. Be engaged in the community where appropriate.
4. Be considerate of what you post.
This week we are adding four more guidelines to think about in order to show respect to those around us when we are using technology and social media. Are you ready? Here we go:
5. Be realistic in your expectations of others.
Important events in our lives may not be best-announced FIRST on social media. In the real world, not everyone checks Facebook every day. Not everyone even has a Facebook account. Believe it or not, there are plenty of people who never read a Facebook feed and wouldn’t recognize one if they saw it. Or Twitter…or Pinterest. My husband tells me occasionally: Why don’t you just pick up the phone and call them? Truly we are thinking unrealistically to expect others to find out important information in our lives when we feel, “Oh, they should just read Facebook.” Love others enough to reach out and don’t expect them to “read in.”
6. Be graceful in your interpretation of others.
Personal communication is articulated not only verbally, but with tone, voice inflection, and body language. When we are engaged one on one with someone, our communication scope is broad and full. However, we are engaged in various online communities and forums, we lose the benefits of tone, voice inflection, and body language. The artform of multi-sensory language is limited to a two-dimensional, black and white screen of words. In other words, be full of grace in how you read others’ words online. You may or may not be placing the emphasis on the intended syllable. (or syl la ble.)
As Lysa TerKeurst says, “I give grace because I so desperately need it.”
7. Be forgiving to others for their mistakes, as you will surely need forgiving of your own.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Eph. 4:32
Last week I wrote an article about forgiveness in regards to Job and his friends. Forgiving is so much better than the alternative. God forgave us and we have the ability to forgive one another in Christ. Whether or not we choose to use that ability is our decision, but an easy way to keep this thought in mind as we make decisions is to remember that we too needed forgiveness from our past and will need forgiveness in the future.
8. Be true to who God has made you to be.
This point is not intended to give you the license to issue a TMI line whenever you so desire. 🙂 Instead, authenticity is encouraged to the fullest. No one can build a facade for long- sooner or later, the truth is revealed. Be You! Be the best version of You that you can possibly be, whether online or offline. Be who God made you to be.
Bloggers, please find your link-up below! So thrilled to have you each week. Remember you can use the Faith Hub image above for your linkup or snag the code for the blog button in my sidebar.
Do you feel that authenticity is a problem online? Or is revealing too much information the bigger problem? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below.