I’ve said it plenty of times…social media has a lot of power and a lot of positives. I referred to some of the positives in this post a few months ago.
With all the power for positives in social media, there is an equal and maybe greater power for negative influence. I saw a couple things happen in the past weeks that have reminded me of this in a huge way.
You never know when something you say over Facebook, Twitter, or a blog will come back to bite you. Just ask Larry Johnson, the now former running back for the Kansas City Chiefs. He bashed his coach over Twitter and called a fan some extremely insensitive words regarding sexuality several times on Twitter as well (no I’m not making this up). Yesterday he was released from the team after having been previously suspended by the team. It is likely he’ll be playing for another team by next Sunday, but he has tarnished his image. Read that story here.
Over the weekend John Piper had this to say on Twitter:
And then yesterday he had this “insight” on elders and porn:
Let me say this. I have no reason not to respect John Piper. He has served Jesus faithfully and never, ever compromised preaching the gospel during his service as a pastor and author. He is a man I look up to and learn from quite often.
I would summarize my thoughts on Piper’s two tweets with this one word: curious. If it isn’t curious, then maybe confusing. I don’t really understand what he is saying, but if you take them at face value he has done a horrible job of referencing Scripture with context (Ez. 8:12) and he has completely offended those who do feel addicted to porn.
The bad part of all this with Piper is that he has absolutely no idea people have been offended or confused by his tweets on porn. He obviously doesn’t check his @ replies because he has never replied to anyone on Twitter, nor has he responded with any sort of follow up after those 2 note worthy statements. So not only has he turned many on Twitter against him, he is not engaging with them in any way. 2 strikes.
I know a lot of people who are truly offended by Piper’s remarks and my only hope is that they continue to be rooted in grace as they reference him (here is a response to Piper that goes too far for me).
I’ve even been guilty of stupid statements on social media myself plenty of times. I said this on Twitter last week:
I meant nothing racial about it. Just about every winner of every major marathon has been from Kenya or Ethiopia in the past 20 years. BUT several people wrote me a message on Twitter warning me that I was dangerously close to offending many with my statement, because it was a stupid thing to say. I apologized to all of those people and kept the lesson learned in my memory bank.
This is just one example when I’ve done something completely stupid on Twitter or this blog. I could name plenty of other examples.
Too often we flippantly say whatever random thought passes through our brains without thinking of the repercussions.