Social Media: Saintly or Sinful

Over the last decade, social media (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, and Twitter) has penetrated every aspect of our lives. Whether we are active on the platforms or remain ardently opposed to joining, the discussions and debates taking place with or without us are directing social discourse, influencing the news cycle, and, in many cases, driving decision making.

Social media offers Christians an opportunity to live out our calling to share the good news of Jesus Christ. It helps us stay connected, share our joys and challenges, and learn more about the world around us. Indeed, one of its many joys is that it is immediate, interactive, conversational, and open-ended. And yet, there is also a dark side. Seemingly benign posts can result in painful reactions and vicious behavior is not uncommon (and, indeed, the seeming anonymity of the internet can encourage such behavior). Common sense, kindness, and sound judgement often used in face-to-face encounters can vanish when we are at the keyboard.

Join us for a panel of social media users and those studying behaviors on the platform. This conversation will range from how we can engage in behaviors reflecting our values and how we might consider interacting with those online who don’t share our same values. Our panel will share their real-world experiences of navigating this new media ecosystem and how we might create personal approaches and church strategies and policies for utilizing them. We hope attendees will leave this session with some new practical and theological ideas to consider and with strategies to love our neighbors and practice civil discourse on social media.

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