I had a conversation on Facebook yesterday with a friend of mine about an article that a wife of a pastor wrote. The article wasn't becoming of a woman who was the wife of a pastor. It was a bad reflection on her church, on Southern Baptists, and on Christians. It really made me wonder what social media is doing to us as a society, but really as Christians.
During the abortion bill vote in Texas, my Facebook feed was flooded constantly with some interesting status updates. Some of the posts were incredibly inappropriate, even from friends I knew that are Christians. I look at comments left in online forums such as Yahoo, just judgmental, hateful comments. I believe in my heart that the more and more we are not face to face with each other, the more trouble we have controlling the things we say.
My question is this: would you feel comfortable saying the things you say on Facebook, in the same tone and verbage, to a person standing right in front of you? For example, the hatred some people had for women who had abortions - if someone was in front of you, making that choice or going through the process of making that choice, would you say those things to their face like you said it online? Or, during the Chick-fil-a debacle, would you say those things to someone's face who was homosexual?
I hate to say it, but social media is making more and more of the world opinionated, passive-aggressive people, requiring less and less accountability for the things that come out of our mouths. It is also making people remember things for much longer. We are writing these things down, for all the world to see, and they are staying there, forever. It's not like 100 years ago, where if you said something dumb, people would forget about it. People can look at your Facebook feed from the beginning of when you joined and see the things you've said and posted. What would a non-believer see if they read your posts, one after the other? Sometimes, I feel really badly about things I've written, either on my updates or in my comments, because I wonder what people must think of me. I wonder what type of impression I am making on them. It makes me think about stuff I say much more carefully now. Not to say I am perfect, but just more careful now.
I would really love to do a study about how social media is affecting our minds over a long period of time. It would be an interesting read.