So often people talk about all the vitriol slung on social media—when it’d be better not to make a peep, much less send a tweet. Sometimes FaceBook is a battle ground where un-friendship is the guiding principle. So far, I have stayed out of these kinds of sticky situations. Mostly.
In my early days on FaceBook, someone posted something cringeworthy on my wall in the form of one of those quizzes: “Do You Think Britta is ——–?” (fill in what would absolutely mortify you here and you get the picture). This was technological ignorance, rather than malice, but it left me feeling like someone had spray-painted an obscenity on my garage door, for the whole neighborhood to see.
I was no social media maven before “the incident.” But after this, I quietly shut myself down on FaceBook except for occasional birthday wishes and a random share or post here and there. Often I lurked on FB walls, without interacting. I posted updates to my blog’s page. That’s about it.
I have felt drained, not energized, by social media. I guess you could say I am a social media introvert.
Plus, I feel guilty about wasting time online. Do you ever feel like that? It’s such a time-suck to aimlessly check my notifications and follow links to funny videos and blog posts. Time slips away, like sand through my hands, while dishes and dust accumulate.
I’ve been told to grow my blog’s platform (get more likes and followers). There are great checklists for the ideal number of times to post on FB, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. These rules help writers share the words God has given them with others, and this is good stewardship of opportunities. Yet, I break all the “best way” rules because they fit me like a pinchy shoe…so painfully.
I’ve always just been more of a social media wall flower than anyone worth following. Still, I do enjoy genuine connections made with readers and other bloggers. What’s a girl like me supposed to do?
Here’s where Crystal Stine, a speaker at the Declare Conference comes into my story, explaining how we can use our social media interactions for Kingdom purposes: we can, and should, use our social media interactions intentionally, as an encouragement ministry. Encourage others? Of course, I thought, I am all over that!
I don’t have to imitate the experts who have different talents and interests than mine. It is just fine to make your own rules sometimes, like:
- Be intentional!
- Be encouraging!
- Be yourself!
I’ve thrown out the “best practices” and the guilt, and I’ve made my own checklist for electronic hospitality. I’ll shoot for these weekly goals:
- Touching base with a few old friends via FB (different ones each week)
- Interacting with people I enjoy through Instagram
- Sending email letters to our Compassion International sponsored kiddos
- Making weekly calls to my mom
- Reaching out to charities or organizations I admire
- Making sure I leave comments on the websites of my blogger friends (plus connecting with them via social media)
Do you stay connected with friends on Twitter? Are you on LinkedIn to network? Do you use a FaceBook group to organize a group you lead? I’d love to hear what you are doing on social media these days!
Image Copyright: mitay20 / 123RF Stock Photo
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