Our country is experiencing the deepest divide both culturally and politically, that it’s seen in decades and much of the hate, anger, and violence — both verbal and physical — is the result of flared tempers fueled by social media.
Social media enables every single person to have a voice and to express their opinions, thoughts, and ideas on every subject known to man anonymously, which seems to encourage folks to be harsh, mean, and just plain nasty.
Social media is difficult terrain to navigate, especially for Christians who are commanded by God to love their neighbor. How can this be done in the digital social networking era?
This Duck Dynasty star has a helpful rule that just might give you the guidance you need to navigate the mine field of Facebook and Twitter.
“Duck Dynasty” star Missy Robertson, who joined Strong on a panel discussion, added that she has seen some of her positive social media posts quickly take negative turns.
“[I’m] trying to put something out good on social media and then people will find anything they can to criticize,” she said, before going on to share a rule her husband Jase Robertson lives by.
“Jase has a rule … he said, ‘If you write something out on social media, do not push send for 30 seconds,’” Robertson explained. “It’s the 30-second rule. Read over it, read over it again, read over it again.”
Taking time to review and assess material before tweeting or Facebooking it — especially messages composed out of anger or frustration — often helps people make more informed, rational decisions.
Strong shared that she also has her own rule: Facebook-free Fridays. She essentially stays off all social media and out of the news cycle every Friday. While it’s difficult for the journalist to “unplug,” she said her avoidance of social media for one day a week has helped refresh her heart and mind, while giving her more time to spend with her family.
This idea seems to flow directly from the book of James in the Bible. James, the half brother of Jesus, states that we should be slow to speak, quick to hear, in order to avoid angry outbursts that lead to the destruction of our soul and the souls of others, thus violating the sixth commandment.
This means we need to take time out before we speak, not reacting right away to something someone else does or says, giving ourselves time to biblically reflect on the proper response. If folks abided by this nugget of wisdom, there would be less anger, vitriol, and hurtful words spoken on social media.
Let’s hope this principle seeps into the pores of folks online everywhere.
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