Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Losing friends on social media

I just unfriended another individual on Facebook. Typically, there are only two reasons I do that. They either use vulgar language or have a number of friends who do, or they continually post political articles that go over the top. I don't need the vulgarity on my social media, and if people cannot communicate without being vulgar I really have no interest in talking with them. The political articles have just gotten out of hand since this election cycle. Most of them are inflammatory and add nothing to any worthwhile discussion. Others are articles from fake news sites that people want to promote. This last individual posted numerous such articles, and I just got tired of seeing them on my page.

I am an equal opportunity unfriender in that I've unfriended persons on both sides of the political spectrum. The election is over, and if all a person wants to do is whine and pout about it they don't need to post their articles on my FB page. I also have no use for persons who keep fanning the flames with fake news stories intended only to make people mad.

What makes this frustrating is that most of my social media friends are probably Christians. I say probably because I do not personally know all of them. I accepted them as a friend because they were friends of some of my friends who I trust or they are involved in ministry in some capacity.

Christians need to be especially wary of what they post on social media. We've all heard that we might be the only Gospel some people ever see, and what we post on social media is helping some people form opinions about God and Christianity that are not good. Even if someone posts articles that end up on your page that are filled with vulgarity, rude comments, and lies, that will reflect on you and ultimately on your faith. That may not be fair, but it is the reality in today's world.

It's fine to express your opinions. Otherwise, all we'll have on social media is pictures of cats. But express your opinion well, and remember that you don't have to respond to everything you disagree with on social media. Contrary to what some people believe, it is permissible on social media to read something with which you disagree and walk away without saying anything. Believe it or not, not everyone deserves your opinion.

Social media is a great communication tool and a good way to stay connected with people you may not often see. It can also be a positive tool for Christian outreach. But, social media can also create major problems if not used wisely. I hate losing friends, but if that is what I have to do to keep my social media positive and relevant then I will continue to weed out the negative people. So should you.

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