Using Social Media Well

I’m always a little amused when people take to social media to condemn the pervasiveness of social media in our world.  I’ll admit I find it really hard not to chuckle when I read tweets about the uselessness of Twitter!

By the way, I know I just gave away the fact that I check Twitter.  For the record, I also check my Facebook NewsFeed at least once a day.  I follow a couple of blogs and I love Instagram.  Yes, I set boundaries on how often I check social media but I’m not a hater at all.  Truth be told, I like it.

If I use it well, it increases my love for Jesus, His church and the gospel.  It’s a source of inspiration, learning and encouragement.  I get new ideas, see things from a different perspective and am reminded of the diversity within the body of Christ.

But if I use it poorly, it only increases jealousy, bitterness and dissatisfaction with my life.  It becomes a source for comparison, gossip, despair and pride.  All of the fuel I need for greed, materialism or lust is only a few clicks away at any given moment.

What if Philippians 4:8 became a guide for our online lives?  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  Follow the people on Twitter that deliver this kind of content.  Pay attention to the things in your NewsFeed that meet the Philippians 4:8 standard.

And get rid of everything else.  Every once in a while, I realize there are voices in my social media world that need to be muted.  Maybe what I love most about social media is just how easy it is to mute those voices – a simple unfollow on Twitter solves the problem.  A simple unfollow on Facebook does the same thing (and you get to avoid all of the drama associated with unfriending someone!).

What about you?  Are there voices in your online life that need to be muted?  Or maybe you need to add more Philippians 4:8 content into your life?  Either way, you won’t regret the decision to use your social media more profitably…plus, there are only so many photos of drunk friends on the verge of a mindless hookup you can take before it gets old!

Time For A Diet

Last weekend, I realized I need a diet.

Although I’m sure my typical menu could use a tune up as well, that’s not the kind of diet I’m thinking about today.  I’m thinking about a mental diet.  I realize I’ve been ingesting way too much mental junk food and need to switch to a more beneficial mental intake.

The deceptive part about all the mental junk I’ve been taking in is that none of it is overtly sinful.  I’m not looking at anything online I shouldn’t be or reading total trash.  But I’ve been watching a lot of meaningless tv.  I’ve been killing more time on the internet.  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have seen a lot more of me.

And I’ve been neglecting these things called books.  Bottom line:  I need to read more.  More things that stir my affection for Christ.  More things that grow me as a leader and pastor.  More things that inform my thinking about the church and ministry.  Biographies.  Good novels.  Basically, things that make me a better and more interesting person.

So, this summer I’m cutting out the mental junk and am reading more.  I’m trying to walk in the wisdom of what the Apostle Paul shares in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”

Maybe you’ll join me in a little mental diet over the summer.