Do you like social media? I do.
I love to post pictures of my children, share insight into my passions, and like my friend’s status. I feel inclined to retweet a great blog post or article. I dutifully share quotes and statistics that call others attention to the needs of humanity and the brokenness in our world.
I like to look at my friends pictures, utilize the networking platforms within social media, and randomly creep on people’s profile pages (true confession).
I enjoy watching videos, checking my newsfeed, following the retweeted ‘tweet’ back to the original source, taking the latest challenge and sharing with others ways they can be involved.
But, what if I like social media so much, that all I ever do is like, share, and retweet? Will anything be different? Will I have done my part to create change?
The geniuses behind the social media movement would presumably say, yes. On some levels, I would agree. Social media has given me a platform to educate and encourage others about foster care and adoption. It has given the non-profit organization I work for a way through which we can tell our story, call people to action and solicit donations. I see the value in social media.
And yet, I am afraid. I’m afraid my generation, my peers, my friends, and even I may be using social media as the easy way out, even unintentionally.
We sit at home, in our office, along the pews at church, or at a coffee shop, click a button, type a post, write a blog, and believe we have changed the world.
Boom. World change. Easy.
Or is it??
It is not as easy to physically go into our communities and find those who need our “hands and feet” to bring them good news and help. It is not as convenient to step out of our lives, disconnect from the created reality of social media and step into the messiness of those around us. Maybe they don’t need another like or share. Maybe instead they need a friend, a voice, resources, a listening ear, a ride, a jacket, a meal, our talents or even our homes.
If we are not careful, we will just become a generation of social media activists. The poor will still be poor, the sick will still be sick, the hungry will still be hungry, the lonely will still be lonely, but our laptops will be warm while our coffee cups are full. Generation fail.
What if our newsfeeds currently full of bathroom selfies, beach selfies, gym selfies, church selfies, bed selfies, dog selfies, and food selfies suddenly became saturated with selfies of widows, orphans, the elderly, the homeless, our neighbors and the downtrodden. Or, what if, selfies really weren’t needed anymore because our desire to be liked had been passed over by a desire to serve, love, comfort, and bring hope to others, all the while fulfilling needs within ourselves that we subconsciously had buried beneath one more post, picture, like, share and retweet.
I like social media, I really do. But, if I’m honest, social media can become a crutch through which I cover up my obligation to help others by just giving them a quick click.
So here you go, take this challenge, disconnect to connect. You can like it, share it, retweet it, hashtag it or hide it, but in the end, please disconnect for a bit, go out into your community and use your life for real change, real purpose, and real connection.
Boom. World change. It’s just that easy. The world is waiting for you.
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson