Can I get you some Chamomile Tea?
I’m not a tea drinker, but I’m ‘woke’ enough to know that Chamomile tea is known to calm people down and help them relax. (I know there are other herbal options that provide the same results, but I’m sticking with tea!)
I generally enjoy social media, but this past week has felt a bit like that time when you discover the tiny piece of tin foil attached to something you’re chewing. It’s shocking, jarring and leaves you feeling a bit raw. My friend put it this way ‘It feels like everyone is yelling at everyone about everything.’ It’s an accurate observation.
My ‘friend’ list is populated mostly by people who identify as Christians. I’m not exclusive and have many friends who aren’t followers of Jesus, but Christians are the vast majority. I’m mostly disturbed by the yelling that my Christian friends are doing. I’ve admittedly done my share of ‘yelling’ on social media but a wise friend gently told me that I needed to tone things down and today I’m pretty much down to posting pictures of sunsets and puppies with the occasional good natured banter about small town rivalries in Saskatchewan. (Go Millionaires!)
I realize that we have ‘disconnect’ moments in our lives where we aren’t thinking about how what we say represents ourselves or in this case, our Lord. I’ve read shared posts this week and concluded that the person who shared it, didn’t read it before they shared it. I know this, because I know them. I know who they are and what they are about and that their values are contrary to what the post communicates. They were caught up in the moment, hit share without giving any consideration to how the content represented them or the Person that they follow.
Here are a few thoughts on how to manage social media ‘outrage’ as a Christian (or even as a good person).
- Words matter. Choose yours and your ‘shares’ carefully. What you say online or in a conversation lives on long after the sound has left the room and the post disappears from your newsfeed.
- Stop yelling! The loudest voice in the room is rarely the most respected. Speak softly so people have to listen to hear you. Less is always more.
- Building bridges is always a better option than burning them. Joining the mob might feel good at the time, but it rarely produces long term results.
Drink chamomile tea as required!