I've been thinking and writing recently about social media. Two posts ago, I mentioned that when I go places to speak, I am asked – and it is assumed – that we have social media guidelines in place at Southside Abbey. Well, we don't. What we do have – when we are at our best, which is not always – are how to treat one another guidelines. We all have access to these guidelines in the life and ministry of Jesus and his followers and the prayers that shape our corporate lives.
A lot of social media conflict that I have seen fits into a question that I consider a lot: Would you rather be right or would you rather be in relationship? Much of the conflict on social media occurs between folks who want to be right, often at the cost of relationship.
Social media is still young. We might even think about it as having some maturation ahead. We are coming from an Internet of anonymity, to posts with real-life repercussions. Maybe we've all got some growing up to do in this arena.
At Southside Abbey, we are about growing spiritual maturity (which requires social maturity). This is a good time to consider our social media posts with another question: Whom are we promoting? Are we promoting ourselves, our parishes, or Jesus? These things are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but the pictures and posts that point to our Savior are the ones that disarm in the best of ways.