Have you ever thought about how many of our social media posts are self-focused? Does anyone really care if I redecorated my table for winter? And yes that was a Facebook post I just made. Is it edifying others or building me up? Well, no one has commented that my decorating stinks so I’m pretty happy with myself (pride). In Reforming Social Media, the author Mandy J. Hoffman, speaks from her own struggles with social media.
She begins by giving a name to the different types of Facebook users such as “The Spy”, “The Busybody” or “The Politician” and more. I can assure you we all know someone from each of the categories she illustrates. After the illustration she gives a bible verse that refutes the reasoning behind the type. The commands of the Bible still apply with every post we make. That is what I loved about this book.
Mandy takes the reader through 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and applies the “love is” passage to social media. I found a few to be very convicting. She discusses being sober and what that looks like:
Being sober means you let the truth of God’s word control your thoughts and actions, not your emotional responses to what you see and read via social media.
She gives some great questions to ask ourselves when commenting on a Facebook post or blog:
*What is the purpose of the comment?
*Will it calm the situation or inflame it?
*In light of eternity does this really matter?
*Who will be glorified by what I want to say?
She lists questions to ask ourselves if we think we may be addicted to social media. She also addresses the difference in responding to an unbeliever or believer.
Mandy manages to present the whole gospel in this book. By doing this she reminds us of God’s grace to us and that we should extend it to others:
Grace also impacts how we handle someone who does post something that goes against God’s word-giving them what they do not deserve, which is love and kindness, not disrespect and criticism.
I think the world of Facebook would become more edifying if we put into practice her principals and began to reform social media for the glory of God.
Mandy recently wrote a blog post on Holiday Tips for Using Social Media which is also helpful.