As someone firmly entrenched in this world of social media, I constantly battle over the need or desire to share. Sharing of my life, my news, my opinion. (Trust me, the irony of writing a blog post sharing my opinion about opinion sharing is not lost on me)
Often times I do feel an urge (I hope this comes from God at least most of the time) to share something about my life or even my opinion on something. Other times though, I keep my life and my opinion to myself to avoid over-sharing and making my opinion more about me than creating a helpful and edifying dialogue.
I have friends who disagree with this. They would say, especially as someone desiring to become a pastor, my opinion should always be shared. People have complained to me that too often I don’t share my opinion on this blog, to instead focus on something much more lame, a “conversation.”
One of my favorites blogs is written by John Dyer. He writes about once a week. He uses Twitter very sporadically. He goes largely unnoticed (because to get noticed, you typically have to talk and be controversial a lot), even though his depth of understanding on technology and faith is as deep as anyone. John recently had this to say surrounding the whole Love Wins drama (read the whole article in CT here):
What few of us realize is that when we press those “Publish,” “Post,” “Comment,” and “Send” buttons, we are making the shift away from merely “believing” truth and stepping into the arena of publishing that belief. In doing so we are effectively assuming a position of leadership and teaching that prior to 2004 was not available to us.
Yet Facebook and Twitter do not encourage this kind of self-restraint. In fact, they encourage an opposing value system. Social media relentlessly asks us to publish our personal opinions on anything and everything that happens. There is no time for reflection in prayer, no place for discussion with other flesh and blood image bearers, and no incentive to remain silent.
In times of controversy, one of the worst things to do is share a personal opinion in a public forum that allows for little relational connection. This is effectively what has happened with Love Wins, and it happens around us all the time. Sometimes I blog to be able to form an opinion, sometimes I don’t blog my opinion so I can have a conversation about it with people outside of the social media world.
1st Thessalonians 4:11-12
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.
It seems the need to share our lives and our opinions on these social networks has made living out these verses a little more difficult.