When talking about stewardship and how we care for the gifts we have been given, it is not often we stop to think about how we are using the gift of social media to positively spread Gospel values. However, this is an appropriate topic to consider when talking about the many young people, as well as adults, who gather online. Therefore, it is important to consider how we are using the amazing gifts of technology.
If you are frequently online — especially on Pinterest — there is a popular acronym that you may have already come across. While it is used in many different contexts, it seems very appropriate to follow as we find ourselves posting statuses and pictures on various social media sites. The acronym is THINK, and it invites us to consider what we are saying and sharing, and whether or not it should be said!
Is what we are posting:
True? Are we sharing factual information or a rumor that we heard, and if we think our information is factual, what is our source? Is it trustworthy?
Helpful? Is the information we are sharing something that can be useful to another person? We don’t need to over-examine all of our content to consider its “educational factor,” but is the content we are posting going to help someone learn about us, learn about a place or an activity, think about the world, reflect on life, engage us in laughter, and so forth?
Inspirational? There is certainly no requirement to be a poet or an artist, but social media has become a wonderful outlet for positive self-expression. “Positive” is the key word — are we posting to inspire others about the good in our world, or are we posting to cut someone down or to simply rant?
Nice? Have we considered the feelings of others when we include them in a status or post a picture of them? Will they be embarrassed? Are we using social media to humiliate and intimidate others, or are we using it to try to better the world and the lives of others?
Kind? What a great tool to compliment, show gratitude, and build the self-esteem of those you care about!
People often speak of social media in a negative way because of the content they see posted. THINK is a great way for us to remind ourselves that we can be good stewards of our own social media use. A major part of living out the Gospel has to do with the positive way we approach this life and bring God’s light and love to others — and we can do just that by sharing an uplifting status on Facebook, a tweet of gratitude to a friend, or a beautiful image of God’s inspiring creation on Instagram. What a great way to build the Kingdom of God!