Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Facebook Rules!

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Facebook. A phenomenon that cannot be ignored. According to Statista (a statistics portal), there were almost 1.7 billion active (logged-in) users worldwide last month. There are 222 million active Facebook users in the USA alone. Those numbers are hard to ignore.
I have a Facebook profile. Yes, I look at Facebook daily (but not the first thing I do in the morning). I also post a few status updates each week, and interact with others's posts.

Sometimes people ask me about my Facebook page, and how I use and manage it. Here are some of my tips and personal guidelines:
  • Facebook is one of the tools that I use for influence. I am a leader (as all of us are, because we all have influence), and I use the Facebook as one of my vehicles for influence.
  • I do not use Facebook as a personal soapbox. The people whom I am Facebook friends with are too important to waste personal, trivial words on.
  • I will only become friends with someone I personally know. Traveling internationally puts me in contact with many people, and I get regular (daily) friend requests. Again, for me Facebook is a tool for influence, and I am very careful with who I seek to influence. Relationships override number of friends.
  • I am slow to copy or re-post other's status or links. I seek to share original thoughts, not just pass on someone else's.  When I do share or re-post, I always seek to verify facts. Just today I saw that Miley Cyrus said she was moving to Dalton, GA (very near to where I live) to escape the "LA Lifestyle". I was not planning on re-posting, but I was curious. I did a bit of research and found that over the last few months she had "said" the same thing about moving to Longview, TX, Monroe, LA, and Plantation, FL. No credibility: Bogus information.
  • I do not use Facebook for public criticism. I know I will get some criticism for this, but public criticism is gossip. Period. If I go to a restaurant and the food is not up to par, should I post it? If I went to a friend's house and the food is not up to par, I wouldn't post that. What if the service is bad? Do I post about the terrible service? Maybe I should seek to find out if the server is experiencing personal issues that are affecting their work, and pray for them. Don't like a politician? Pray for them, or post my dissatisfaction? Again, I seek to be careful to not use Facebook as a forum for gossip.
  • I do not use Facebook as a gripe platform. When I am stuck in traffic, I assume God wants me use the time to seek Him. When I can't sleep (even on nights before a "big" day), I assume God wants to speak to me. Storm making noise? Pray for the people who weather storms with no roof. Having to wait in line? Begin a conversation with the person next to you and share Christ (rather than gripe to them). The bottom line for me: Griping makes what I have to say revolve around me. I hope I don't believe that the world revolves around me.
I use Facebook to encourage, challenge, and motivate others. I believe that we ought to demonstrate godly principles and share our Christian beliefs all of the time, including what we post on Facebook.  I am not talking about copying and pasting an "I am a Christian..." status, but to ask the Lord to give us creativity to use the tool of Facebook to help others to be better.

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