Reading through some of your responses, dear FB and InstaFriends, reminds me that I am connected to a group of people with vastly different views on a single event that sweeps the news cycle.
A long time ago, I wrote an article about how social media has made broadcasters out of all of us. At the time, I took the angle of stewardship. Specifically, I suggested that we carefully curate our online presence to represent Jesus well in a broken world. Followers of Jesus can participate in the world while simultaneously being different from the world (John 15:19).
Ask the question: would Jesus slap Chris Rock? Probably not. But that’s not what I want to talk about here. What I want to say is that, no matter the issue, your friends and family will probably disagree with it. And I don’t think it should be this way.
We weren’t meant to know what each other thinks about everything. We weren’t meant to interpret silence on certain issues. We’ve all become broadcasters, and we can’t handle it.
I worked in radio for a while. Broadcasting takes a lot of energy. You have to think about every piece of news. Will we cover it? If we do, what do we say? If we don’t, what are we implying? Listeners would get mad at me about different things, like the time I said that Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is an entity created by Montgomery Ward. While that’s true, this particular listener was really mad that I ruined her kid’s Christmas.
There have been a few times where I spoke up about a political issue. People left the church. There have been times where I didn’t say anything about a hot topic. My silence caused people to leave the church. I’m a broadcaster with a label: Pastor. That’s dangerous.
So, I’m not here to speak to the issue. I’m just saying that this is a strange time where everyone has a voice and nobody quite agrees. We used to get along because we had shared interests. Now we look for people of our nearly exact ilk and forsake all other relationships upon discovering they don’t line up. How did we find out they thought differently about something? Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. Twitch.
These are the best and worst inventions in recent history. Every positive aspect of the internet is confounded by an unintended negative. Sure, we’re connected, but we’ve lost the bliss of ignorance.
You ever miss those days?