Rules for Facebook
From Adam Hamilton's book, Revival:
We have forgotten how to listen, as individuals, as churches, and as a nation. Liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, progressives and fundamentalists find it easy to demonize others. The mark of those early Methodists, and a key elements of personal and corporate revival in the twenty-first century, is a willingness to see the good in others, hold our positions with humility, and treat others with respect.I enjoy Facebook. I like catching up on what is going on in friends' lives, I like to see their pictures of their families, I enjoy articles people post, and I like the funny shared stories. For the most part, it is a nice addition to my day. What I don't like are the political posts - or perhaps I should generalize it more to say I don't like the judgmental or arrogant posts. I don't like the unsubstantiated posts. For me it seems to be a more widely spread form of gossip at the least, and slander at the most. I don't like the comments people make when they don't have all the information - and don't really want to know the whole story. I don't like the manipulative political posts, and for the most part, I don't read them.
Many years ago, an author (Stephanie) of one of the blogs I read asked her readers to consider her blog to be her living room. She asked her readers to ask themselves if they would say what they post in comments to her while sitting in her living room. Would they say it if their mothers were sitting there, too? The problem with online conversation is that we perceive a distance between us and the reader, but it's a distance that really isn't there. (Please don't think I'm directing any of this to people who comment on my blog - you are all very nice, and very wonderful). I think we should extend Stephanie's test to a much wider venue (ie, all of social media, and beyond).
I posted the above quote on Facebook a few days ago, and wrote that it should be the personal rules we use when posting and commenting. Our Christianity - how we love people - doesn't stop when our fingers meet the keyboard.