Internet 101: Knee Jerk Reactions

“Quick! Grab your pitch forks! Someone posted an article on social media that I don’t like!” 

You can’t scroll through the newsfeed anymore without seeing knee jerk reaction posts…

“I am outraged that this is happening! We must all protest IMMEDIATELY!” 

So I click on the article and it turns out to be a dud. In fact, the article is twisting words to make it read a certain way.

Don’t buy into every piece of click bait on the internet. Take 5 minutes to do a quick search and see if there’s any validity. 

And please, please, please don’t make leaping assumptions about the message behind something or “how it’s poisoning us all” without doing some research.

It’s time to disband social media mobs. 

What is it accomplishing?

Most of the stuff you see smacks of fear and 95% of that fear is unfounded.

Be careful in our world of hyperbole. 

I know it’s not hard to believe that the machine–media and politicians–want us to be in a frenzy. When the people are in a frenzy, they will make rash decisions and allow things to happen that they might not otherwise agree to under normal circumstances.

And, no, this post is not about the Orlando massacre, but the same logic applies. 

What I’m referencing is a social media mob forming over a movie that’s coming out.

Seriously? Take a chill pill. It’s a movie.

If you don’t want to go, then don’t go. There’s no reason to stir up trouble about it.

Don’t blow up the internet with your rage about something that you read in an article. I mean, everything’s true if someone posts it on a website, right? 

Yeah. About that…

The Knowledge Gap

I’m amazed at how much information there is in our world in relationship to how little I know. 

Does anyone remember the website Stumble Upon?

In thinking about this topic, I did a quick Google search and it turns out they’re still around! 

Back in my college days, one of my many procrastination tools was to check out cool new websites via Stumble Upon. It was possible to be on that website for at least an hour…

There are websites that I still enjoy today that I found using Stumble Upon. There’s no way that I could’ve found them on my own, either. Think about the amount of new content that we have access to everyday:  

  • Websites
  • YouTube videos.
  • Pictures
  • Music
  • Apps
  • Movies
  • TV shows
  • Games
  • Books

I’m reminded of the words of King Solomon: 

 But regarding anything beyond this, dear friend, go easy. There’s no end to the publishing of books, and constant study wears you out so you’re no good for anything else. The last and final word is this: Fear God. Do what he tells you.

I think it’s safe to say that there’s no end to the releasing of new content.As one of my English professors put it:

The only thing that makes your writing original is that you wrote it. The various devices of storytelling and poetry have been around way before you were around and will continue way after you’re gone.

This is a topic that keeps me humble and also shows me just how big God is. Imagine what He thinks! He created everything and knows everything and sees everything.

My brain started smoking just by thinking about all of this….

While my goal is to learn as much as I can, it’s safe to say that there will always be a large gap between what I know and how much more there is to know. 

 

 

The problem with being spiritual

I’m more spiritual than you.

  • I read my Bible more.
  • I listen to cool worship music.
  • I never miss an opportunity to be at church.
  • I have 12,000 pictures on social media dedicated to Christian activities.

Because that’s what Christianity is all about.

Being spiritual.

Except that it’s not.

And, besides, how can anyone be more spiritual than someone else?

We’re all spirit beings. Every human on this planet is a spirit, has a soul, and lives in a body.

So please drop the “everything I do and say must be perceived as spiritual” act.No one is buying it.

I have this recurring thought that will not go away:

What if all church buildings were closed down?

What if every trace of Christianity was wiped off the internet?

Would Christianity survive such a fate?

Your faith has to be planted deeply in the soils of a rich, intimate communion with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Most Christians do not have a deep understanding of their beliefs.

Maybe that’s because we spend more time posting “spiritual” things online than we do reading our Bible or even living out our faith.

I’m including a link to a study conducted by the American Bible Society titled “The State of the Bible: 2014” for those who want to read more on the subject.

I want us to think about the heart behind it all.

It bothers me that our precious faith is so marginalized–both inside and outside the church–when it’s potential to change hearts and lives is beyond compare.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

What are some of the problems you see with the quest to be more “spiritual”?

Internet 101: Is this my pride talking?

Is social media fueling our pride?

I can’t get this question out of my head. Awareness is one thing, but shameless plugs about our good deeds is another.

What is our motive when sharing things online?

Proverbs 27:2 says:

“Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.”

Jesus said:

But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly” (Matthew 6:3-4).

These are the verses that are influencing my thoughts on this subject.

It’s a toughie….

nothingerasedI grew up as a people pleaser who lived in the shadows, always pushing others into the light. I used to think that’s what it meant to be humble.

And then I came to understand true humility–and it had nothing to do with my misconstrued beliefs about self-worth.

My discomfort now has nothing to do with my self-image. It has everything to do with the question of necessity.

Does everyone need to know that I did this? (Whatever “this” may be)

I have given money, support, and time to plenty of things. Normally, though, I ask to not be included in any online shout outs. There are exceptions, of course, but I will opt out whenever possible.

This post is not my legalistic attempt at being perceived as holy either. (That voice is screaming in my ear right now.)

I want us to have a conversation about this topic. I want to navigate these murky waters with you.

And I can’t ask you to engage in a conversation with me if I can’t be honest first.

Drop me a comment with your thoughts.

Confessions of a leadership stalker

I have a few problems. They’re serious too.

  • Book ADD
  • YouTube ADD
  • Blog ADD
  • Podcast ADD

If I hear about a speaker, author, pastor, etc. on a podcast or blog, I will immediately go to the library’s website and see how many of their books are available to check out.

Then I go to YouTube and find all of the videos of them speaking.

Then I go to the podcasts site and find all the podcasts.

Then I go to their website and blog.

I'm holding you hostage for your knowledge!

I’m holding you hostage for your knowledge!

This is called leadership stalking. (No, it’s not in any official medical journals, but it should be.)

My illness is in overdrive this week because of the Influence and Impact Summit (link below).

Nothing will stop me from this craziness. I just want to learn from this person–right now!

If your list of acceptable teachers can fit on a Post It note, you need to upgrade to a larger piece of paper.

There’s nothing wrong with having a big pool of teachers. I am a big believer in learning from those around me.

And, a note to my Christian friends who are afraid to broaden their horizons, if you apply common sense and your Jesus Filter (aka The Bible) you can learn from anyone.

In today’s world, there’s no reason for us to not be learning.

You will never arrive at a place where you know it all. No one likes a know it all anyway!

We have so much information at our fingertips that a 13th century monk would be crying if he ever came back for a visit.

Take advantage of all available resources, especially when they’re free!

Don’t be afraid to become an ADD learning junkie.

There are gifts inside of you that the world needs.

Now, get busy learning how to use them.


Influence and Impact Summit:

http://www.influenceandimpactsummit.com/

Internet 101: Learn what’s appropriate

I don’t have any kids of my own, but I strongly disagree with shame based parenting.

If your kid does something wrong, I agree there needs to be consequences.

You can discipline your kid, though, without humiliating them.

I read a story about a young girl who allegedly committed suicide after a video was posted online of her father cutting off her long hair. She was being punished for “getting messed up” which I think refers to drinking or doing drugs…not really sure.

Either way, I don’t know how cutting off her hair would help anything.

To be fair to the stories I read, the police are not connecting the suicide with the punishment. It does, however, bring up the conversation of shame based parenting.

Here’s some of the videos floating around YouTube this year:

  • A parent encouraging a child to beat up a sibling
  • Children standing at intersections holding up embarrassing signs
  • Parents berating their children

I know we’ve talked about this before, but not everything has to be posted online!

Videoing someone on his or her death bed is inappropriate.

Live tweeting a funeral is inappropriate.

Videoing discipline is inappropriate.

Once again, not everything has to be posted online!

The fact that someone has to say “This, this, and this should be kept offline” is absurd.

Being vulnerable in today’s world is hard enough without the threat of your most intimate, sometimes heartbreaking moments being posted online for all the world to see.

And how would you feel knowing that the people who are supposed to love you the most–your parents–are trying to humiliate you?

ALWAYS think before you post.

  1. Will this content cause another to suffer?
  2. Why do I want to share this with others?
  3. What if it was me?

More reading:

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/shame-parenting-expert-article-1.2347317

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3111907/Girl-13-commits-suicide-jumping-bridge-video-dad-cutting-hair-punishment-posted-online.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sherrie-campbell-phd/inspire-healthy-self-este_b_6437472.html

Internet 101: Don’t write opinion (I mean, open) letters

I’ve noticed a lot of open letters floating around the internet.

Did you know there’s even a definition for them?

An open letter is:

“A letter, often critical, addressed to a particular person or group of people but intended for publication.”

Here’s Audra’s definition:

“An letter is your opinion–masked in self-righteousness–and broadcasted to the world because you don’t actually have a voice in that person or group’s life.

Own up to your opinion, okay?

Don’t hide behind an open letter and say, “Just sayin’…you (and the rest of the world) needed to know.”

Letters–real letters–are very personal. Someone took the time to sit down and express their thoughts. It went out to a special person and led to a deeper relationship.

Blasting out hate mail in the form of an open letter is wrong. Plain and simple.

I’m not saying there haven’t been good open letters too.

But everyone knows the truth.

A letter to “the poor, lonely soul in the corner” is about the writer expressing their opinion as another “poor, lonely soul in the corner”. (To all poor, lonely souls: Please don’t stay that way because I stopped an open letter from being written to you.)

I hope open letters are not how our generation chooses to communicate.

I don’t see the need to write open letters.

If I want to share my opinion, I’ll just blog about it.

Wait a minute!!!!!

You mean my blog is entirely based on my perception of the world?

Like an open letter?

Mind blown.

There are so many ways to express yourself online–without hiding behind anything.