Matt Dabbs writes an excellent blog called Kingdom Living. You can find it at www.mattdabbs.com. He also is the editor of Wineskins, an online magazine. It’s at www.wineskins.org.
Facebook has labeled both of the sites as promoters of spam. You cannot post a link from these sites on Facebook. I won’t speculate as to how this happened, though I will say the lack of communication with Matt on Facebook’s part is more than troubling.
We need to remember that Facebook is not ours. We don’t have an inherent right to be able to use Facebook. And we need to avoid over-reliance on a site that is completely beyond our control.
Younger generations are leaving Facebook in droves. We not-so-young ones are beginning to follow. From manipulated news to arbitrary censorship, the social media giant continues to fail us.
I find Facebook useful and will continue to use it. But I’m definitely not putting too many eggs in that basket.
I recently read what was presented as an African proverb:
When elephants fight, the grass gets trampled.
(I’ve also seen it as “it is the grass that suffers”; the idea is the same)
Like most proverbs, this can be applied a number of different ways. Where I’ve tried to take it to heart is to remember that so often when I go to battle, somebody (or something) suffers. There is collateral damage.
So I’m trying to do better at choosing my battles. Is this Facebook argument worth the cost? Am I willing to damage friendships, reduce ministry effectiveness, expend valuable time over that political argument or that doctrinal discussion? Is that change at church important enough to cause others to leave our congregation?
Sometimes, of course, the answer is yes. Many times, however, I have to admit that even if I “win” the argument, I won’t accomplish much of anything that is positive. And the grass gets trampled.
I may have to print that one out and keep it above my computer.
I posted on Facebook the other day, discouraging my friends from sharing their political posts. Someone asked me what the difference was between me sharing religious thoughts and others sharing political posts. In the discussion, I and others pointed out that Facebook discussions almost never sway people to leave their previously held views. I don’t try to convert people to Jesus via Facebook posts. I don’t expect people to switch from one party’s candidate to the other because of political posts on Facebook.
Fact is, people mainly read what they already agree with. Facebook’s algorithm’s encourage this; when you hit LIKE, they show you more posts that are similar to what you have endorsed.
But I’m willing to be corrected. There has to be some value in public discussion of issues, be they religious or political. What do you think? How can Facebook (and other social media) be used to persuade and change? Is it possible? Or are social networks only good for reinforcing previously held views?