Your social media presence matters a whole lot more than you are acting like it does!
It’s morning again—BLEH—and you roll out of bed to start the routine. For most this will include a cup of caffeine (coffee if you love Jesus), a disgruntled look at yourself in the mirror, breakfast food of some sort (I’d recommend pizza), a little morning devo time and the obligatory social media check-in.
After 2 or 3 minutes of perusing pictures, watching a funny video of a bulldog riding a skateboard and hitting the “share,” or “like” button, you contemplate your own digital representation for the day.
“Hmmm… perhaps I should Pinterest the muffin I’m eating; my Facebook friends need to know my feelings about the weather; oh-oh-oh, that video of the guy falling needs to be seen by the world of Tumblr; time for my daily Instagram selfie, but not before grooming—not with this lighting anyway! Duck face?” [side note: if you are unfamiliar with the phenomenon known as “duck face” you are #blessed]
THE SOCIAL MEDIA MONSTER
Like it or not [insert thumbs up icon here], social media is taking over a significant portion of our lives.
Allow me to back that up with some stats that solely cover the US (links that validate these statistics are provided):
- 179.7 million Facebook users are in the US and a whopping 70% of them use it daily.
- The average US consumer spends 40 minutes on Facebook per day.
- In the US alone 77.6 million people use Instagram, an increase of 60% from 2014.
- 41.3 million Americans stumbled onto Tumblr in 2015 and stayed an average of 14 minutes (which is longer than any other social media site).
- 47.1 million people in the US use Pinterest, the fastest growing social network in the world.
- Over 122 million people in the US are registered LinkedIn users, 28% of which use it daily.
- 10 years ago only 7% of the US population used one or more social networking sites. Now that figure has increased almost tenfold, to 65%.
If your head isn’t spinning yet, allow me to share just one more fun, little statistic:
- Of those who use the internet a massive majority of 76% of Americans use social media.
I’m sure, by this point, you can see the value of social media from a business and marketing perspective. So what’s the take-away for the average Christ-claiming Joe or Jolene?
I think that’s pretty simple: your presence and presentation on social media matters because it’s a massive part of your testimony, and it absolutely matters more than most social media users are acting like it does.
If you think about it (and I mean really think about it), what you post online largely defines who you are and what you’re all about. Sure, the people you hang out with know you better than your Facebook friends but they only represent a small percentage of the people you’re actually interacting with daily.
While you may be a fascinating, intelligent, spiritually deep and caring individual, your posts that demolish the reputation of a local business, that make light of a slightly offensive joke, that voice a vehement political or social opinion… they don’t provide that impression.
And while you might be a devoted and passionate follower of Jesus, the sheer volume of cat videos, patriotic blurbs (don’t get me wrong… I love my country) and cliché motivational memes in comparison to what you have to say about your God is communicating something altogether different.
WHAT IF IT MATTERS?
Listen, I’m not trying to create an army of social media ministers—that would be terrifying. I don’t want you to blitz Facebook with out-of-context Bible quotes—preachers do enough of that from behind a pulpit anyway.
What I’m asking you to consider is: What if it matters?
What if your presence and personal presentation on social media are important? What if it’s significant to eternal things?
After a few long, frustrating years on multiple social media platforms, I believe that I’m informed enough to say: We all need some help. That’s what this series of blog posts is going to be about. Simple tips for Christians about how to use their social media.
And, just to get us started, here’s a generic one about which I feel very strongly:
STOP sharing or posting things that take the Lord’s name in vain, including the acronym “OMG” (abbreviations still count folks and even if you mean “Oh My Goodness,” no one reads it that way!).