Social media plays a huge part in my life. I’m an avid Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram user. This is true throughout my entire generation, and society as a whole today. Society has shifted in a huge way in the last few years: We’ve gone from letters to e-mail to instant messages. Through social media, I have made connections throughout the country that I would have otherwise never been able to make. I thank God for blessing me with yet another platform to display His love and grace upon my life.
All of this is great, and I firmly believe that the Church, worldwide, should embrace social media as a means to share the gospel. We are called to become all things to all people, and one of the ways to do that is to have a presence among the social media sites. The gospel can be shared in any forum, including tweets, posts, and pictures.
We must be careful of one thing, though, as evangelical Christians seeking to be relevant in an ever-changing society: We can never forget the importance of conversation. So many times, a conversation can be missed while we are buried in our laptops, phones, or tablets. Each conversation can be a opportunity to share the gospel or impart biblical truths; we just have to take advantage of it. I have missed so many opportunities to simply talk to people because I was checking my phone for the billionth time that day. My life has been an immersion of tweets, texts, posts, and messages, and that has taken up a ton of my time, unfortunately. The joys of conversation are innumerable. Both parties can walk away with more knowledge than before, and the topic can cover anything. Sure these things can be discussed on social media, but, at least to me, it doesn’t have the same feel as a genuine conversation. (I realize that I am writing this post on a social media site, but I would much rather vocally tell you about it.)
I guess what I am attempting to say is that Christians should be quick to embrace social media because it is a HUGE platform to evangelize, but we should not be so immersed in it that we lose sight and overlook other, and in some cases, more effective, means of evangelism. The thing that is separating people from an evangelistic conversation is usually not a lacking attitude, it’s the fact that we don’t feel comfortable talking to people anymore. As someone who has grown up in the midst of the social media/smart phone era, I know this firsthand. I feel more comfortable tweeting something rather than talking, especially in public. We are far too quick to count run-ins with kind strangers in public places as awkward, when we should be embracing the opportunity to have a good conversation.
How do I get over this?
It’s really not too hard. Just look up. When you’re sitting in a waiting room, standing in line, or in any public place, look up. For a short amount of time, tear yourself away from the riveting Twitter feed, and have a conversation. You could quickly make a friend that you value throughout life, or it could go awfully, but either way, you’ve done it. You’ve just overcome today’s social norms that say conversation in public with strangers is awkward.
Each person that you encounter can have an impact on your life, whether it be negative or positive. You can learn something simply by having a conversation with a new person. Imagine how much more you can learn by simply looking up and having a conversation.