“Guardrails for Social Media” from Pastor Jonathan

“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” Hebrews 13:7 

Pastor Jonathan is a well-respected Pastor/leader at our home church (Grace CMA). He recently had a post about ways for protection when using social media. We are so thankful for such a wise and loving pastor, who summaries the boundaries in dealing with social media much better. His sharing gives us encouragement in building our blog for the Glory of God (why this site), and peace for choosing to mute the “comment” function for now (why no comments).

He says, “Want to use discretion?  Try incorporating these guardrails when using social media:

  • I will only post that which is encouraging and edifying.
  • I refuse to vent or speak negatively about anyone or anything.
  • I will take personal responsibility by removing any posts that lead to negative comments. If it incites criticism towards friends, spouse, parents, or co-workers, I will delete it.
  • I will avoid passive-aggressive posting. For example, I won’t post Bible verses pointing to the actions or words of another.
  • I won’t post seductive pictures and “selfies” to “put myself out there.”
  • If our marriage is in crisis, as we pray and work towards reconciliation, we will suspend all use of social media for the sake of our children, family, and friends.
  • If I question a post, I will ask a mature friend to review it before I post.
  • I won’t stalk the behavior of another via social media.
  • I won’t create false accounts to manipulate or deceive someone else.
  • I will share all passwords with my spouse or another family member.
  • Above all else, I will strive to use social media in a way that honors God, others, and my family, regardless of my feelings.
  • If I can’t use social media in an honoring way, I commit to deleting my account.”

Read Pastor Jonathan’s full blog post here.

Why “no comments”?

All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. -1 Corinthians 6:12

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” – Eph 5:4

Rob and I decided to turn off the “comment” function for our blog pages. Anything pulling me away from worshiping my Lord should be removed. This can mean different things to different people at different seasons in life. For this season of my life, I simply don’t see myself having the time or energy to manage people’s comments in a second language. As a people-pleaser, I also see the potential distractions and temptations the “comments” can bring to my life. Positive or negative comments can feed my mind with people’s thoughts or fluctuate my emotions due to dwelling on what others are thinking. Instead of turning off this feature when we have to in the future, we decide to choose to set the boundaries from the get-go. The older I get, the more I appreciate various boundaries in life as a protection and wisdom. We started this blog not for high hits (read “Why this site“).

However, this does not at all mean that we are shutting down communications. We would still love to hear from the readers through the “Contact Us” page, other forms of social media, or even better in person. The “comment” feature is like allowing strangers into my house. We will either have no control over what people might say, or need to spend time managing messages that would be more meaningfully invested elsewhere. We know most comments would be delightful and encouraging. However, it’s the minority that is hard to predict and even positive comments can bring distraction. Another blogger can always link to us as a way to bring more thought-provoking discussions on topics of interest.

In conclusion, we see “no comments” as a way to encourage more meaningful communications rather than monologue.