Social Media is a blur of tweets, shares, and post. Once only used by the young, it has now become a staple in our culture for all age groups. Every company has a social media presence, along with churches, politicians and anyone wanting to win others to their cause. Social media is not going away. It will continue to gain strength and, most likely, continue to evolve over time. Here are a few stats you may not be aware of:
- 72% of all internet users are now active on social media
- 18-29-year-olds have an 89% usage
- The 30-49 age bracket sits at 72%
- 60 percent of 50 to 60 year olds are active on social media
- In the 65 plus bracket, 43% are using social media
- American’s spend 16 minutes per hour on Facebook, compared to Aussies who spend 14 minutes per hour and Brits at 13 minutes per hour.
- 71% of users access social media from a mobile device.
The paradigm of social media being used only by the younger generation should be put to rest now (jeffbullas.com).
With such a large percentage of our church members engaging on social media, I wanted to share a few “guidelines” for Christians when using social media and how you can keep your marriage, testimony, and your emotions in tact.
1.Be Careful what you “Like.”
- When you and I “Like” a page, post, or content, it will show up on our feed that everyone else sees. It will also include the original poster information which can contain profanity or obscene photos.
- When we “Like” something, we are telling the world we agree with the content. We often read a post by a friend and, without thinking, we hit the “Like” button to later find out there is much more to the story, and if you had all in the information beforehand we would not have gotten involved.
2. Be careful what you post.
- I can’t begin to count how many times I have read a post and thought, “I can’t believe they actually just put that on Facebook.” People seem to have more freedom and courage to post online, more than they ever would if they had to say it out loud in front of actual people. If you wouldn’t say it with a room full of people, don’t post it.
- Never post a comment when you’re mad! Don’t use Facebook as a sounding board for all your life’s troubles. I have my own troubles, please don’t make me have to deal with yours as well.
- Never post anything negative about your spouse, no matter how dumb he/she can be. By doing this, you show a lack of respect for your partner and open up the door for someone else to come to the rescue. Yes, and this is a quick way to destroy trust in your marriage. It’s a good idea to reread your post before hitting the “post” button.
3. Be Careful who you “private message” with.
- Sometimes we use private messages on Facebook simply because we don’t want a conversation to be completely public. Many times, I wish people would use this function instead of having the conversation using the comment field below the photo I posted of my kids ballgame. Since everyone has a Facebook page, it’s much easier to get or give information to people we are connected with in various ways. Like ball teams, Church, school, family etc. However, if you’re married keep your spouse in the loop when messaging anyone of the opposite sex for any reason. Your spouse should have a freedom to look through your messages at anytime. If that makes you uncomfortable, then you might have an issue.
4. Be Careful what you share.
- It seems nowadays people do more sharing than they actually post themselves. We are sharing everyone else’s pictures, blogs, website, post and so on. Similar to “like,” when we “share” something, we are telling all of our friends that we agree with the content, curse words and all. Think for a moment before employing the “Share” button; ask the question, “Do I want this to represent me?”
5. Be careful spending too much time on Social Media.
- How much time is too much? That is a question only you can answer. Does it interfere with your work? Do you sit through traffic lights checking your Facebook or Twitter account? Does your spouse say things like “Get off Facebook and listen to me please?” Do your kids think you have an iPhone attached to your face? If you answered yes to any of these, then you may be spending too much time on Social Media. Put down the phone and connect to the real world.
Hopefully these tips will help you avoid some tragic situations and make your online experience a pleasant one. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone who you think would benefit from this information.
God BlessBilly Redd Family Pastor
Mars Hill Baptist Church