Church & Culture
Every Idle Word: 8 Cautions for Ministers on Social Media
Social media is a powerful tool for good, for evil, and for mischief. These eight ideas can help keep conversations civil and reputations intact.

7. Write it Offline First

This is the simplest, best practice to keep out of trouble online.

Whenever I have anything lengthy, angry or important to say, I write it offline, then sit on it for a while. Sometimes for a day or two. Sometimes just for an hour or so.

That pause allows me to think a little deeper and/or calm down a little more.

Even if I copy-and-paste it right away, keeping it one step away from the too-easily-pushed 'publish' button has saved me many moments of embarrassment.

You’ll never regret the angry message, comment or blog post that you don’t publish.

You'll never regret the angry message, comment or blog post that you don’t publish.

8. Know that the Internet Is Forever and Has No Context

Before you post something online, especially in anger, pause for a moment and ask, “would I be okay having this carved into my headstone?” That’s how permanent the internet is.

Even if you delete it, it can always be found.

Plus, everything we post can be picked up by someone who knows nothing about us but that one thing. It becomes a permanent, exclusive epitaph about us to them.

The next time you get angry and want to vent online, take a moment to consider whether-or-not you want that comment to be the only thing some people will ever know about you. Because it will be the only thing you write that some people will ever see.

They're judging us for every idle word. And they're not the only ones.

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The views of the blogger do not necessarily reflect those of Christianity Today.

December 03, 2015 at 12:18 AM

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