Social Media has become Soap-Box Media

I remember when social media used to focus on the question, “what are you doing?” Social media was a way to connect with long lost friends, share experiences and take photos of our food. Social media is still an environment for all of these things.

However

Social media has increasingly become a Soap-box medium.

The question now is, “what side are you on?”

We have unprecedented access to information, stories and images from all across the globe. These stories and causes light up our news-feeds and become hashtags. So, “what side are you on?”  Now, our long lost elementary school friends become opponents or allies.

How did we get here?  Perhaps it is because social media provides us with a bigger voice than we’ve had before. I don’t know if that is true, but it certainly makes it easier to blast a message to a wider audience.

When the issues of the day erupt on my computer or phone screen, I resist the urge to go toe to toe…soap box to soap box. Why? Shouldn’t people know what I think about every issue of the day? Isn’t it our duty and responsibility to proclaim our views?

The trouble is… most issues of the day are more complex than a simple status update.

The truth is… people connected on all sides of the issues of the day are made in God’s image.

The opportunity is… to personally engage with people in conversation. This includes listening.

Now, I recognize that I do my share of soap-boxing. I’m a follower of Jesus and that colors my status updates and tweets. I’m a Detroit Tigers fan and this also impacts my comments (usually negatively).  So, I’m not thinking we shouldn’t share our thoughts and stop promoting our events. But, I’m wrestling with how to lovingly, graciously and truthfully respond in a world filled with injustice, a plurality of beliefs and non-stop escalating news.

So, what is the best policy?

I’m not sure, but I know I don’t like the way things are heading with social-media. Perhaps it’s time that we look each other in the eye and talk to each other and share our perspectives…

and then

still love one another.