Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On Temptations to Sin Via Social Media

Found a great post by Julian Freeman - Social Media and Temptations to Sin   - the kind of post that makes me say Ouch! He begins with:
Blogging, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, the list is endless and growing. The options and opportunities for engaging in online social media are legion. To be sure, as Tim Challies points out in The Next Story, technology is not in and of itself either good or bad. Christians must engage deliberately and discerningly in an effort to redeem the opportunities afforded by living in the age we do.
It must be stressed again, however, that this engagement must be thoughtful. If we say, 'I just like it' and then go full-steam, headlong into the world of facebook, twitter, or whatever, we will be setting ourselves up for disaster.
Here are just a few of the immediate temptations we need to be aware of that come hand-in-hand with participation in social media...

Much good stuff in the post about confusing words with action and the problem of empty speech (read it at the link) - but then he closes with this:
..Much of what happens in the social media world is measured by some kind of 'analytics.' Friends in Facebook, followers in Twitter, subscribers in the blog-world, etc. It is tempting to measure our success by how many people 'like' what we write or 'retweet' what we post. We can find value in having people follow us, becoming our 'online disciples' of sorts.
But consider Jesus's description of the Pharisees who set themselves up as teachers:
They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matt 23:5-12)
 Ouch! If he had also quoted James 3:1, I'd really have to say ouch!