Could at least some Christians be known for their love on the internet? And could they take part in the rebuilding of new spaces of public discourse in which we can present our faith confidently and listen to our critics carefully and humbly–at the same time?
Yes, we could. But will we?
Tim Keller’s article on Social Media, Identity, and the Church was an interesting read for me. For one, I spend a fair amount of time on social media. I post here, I post on Facebook, I post on twitter, and fortunately I’m small enough where I can (kinda) handle all of the communication that happens on each platform. One thing I noticed early on is that people don’t really share things that they find interesting; they share things that make a statement about themselves. That piece of art you made could be amazing, that short story or song could be well-crafted, but if a person doesn’t see themselves in it – it’s not going to be shared.
The problem is we tend to lose nuance and humility and share some of the more striking posts we find here. If anything, social media can take a topic and turn the volume all the way up. Sometimes that’s good and needed. Other times it just becomes a shouting match where people divide into two groups and hurl grenades at each other.
I don’t know how to fix it, but I’d love for this to be a safe space for the moderates. People who have nuance and don’t mind asking questions. I know I’m guilty of this, I post things about racism and politics from time to time and it tends to fire people up. But I’d love to be one of the careful and humble listeners that Keller talks about; looking to rebuild the public discourse.
Here’s a link to the article: https://quarterly.gospelinlife.com/social-media-identity-and-the-church/