Day 10: Social Media & the Sabbath

Yesterday was Sunday. I woke up, got out of bed, made my little cappuccino with my new little coffee machine and sat down to check Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, my RSS feeds, and my blog. Then it dawned on me.  It’s Sunday.  Although I am getting my social media life in order so it doesn’t take so much time in the morning, it still resembles work. And, I must embarrassingly say, it often cuts into time that used to be reserved for my quiet time with God. So what do I do with Sunday? My Sabbath? Is it good to take a regular beak from social media? Is that what honors God?  Or maybe honoring God is more about doing some focused connecting to people who are important in my life, using social media.

Clearly, taking a technology break is a good idea.  We can’t have balance unless we understand how imbalanced our lives are.  That usually requires taking a step back and prayerfully observing and considering the little choices we make every day that either draw us closer or push us further from “loving God with our whole hearts”.  Fasts can highlight what those choices are. Fasts can reacquaint and remind us of the goals we say we have for the technology in our lives.

But there is another way of thinking about this.  In the discussion we had at #chsom about Lent and Social Media, the overwhelming consensus seemed to be that giving up social media for Lent was exactly opposite of what we should do.  Instead, we should be using social media to inspire and remind people of everything Lent stands for.  According to one participant “Tweeting is a discipline” and if we use it wisely, we can reach people’s hearts in an intimate and purposeful way.  This perspective seems so opposite what most people think of as Twitter and, to be honest, it feels a little naïve.  That being said, however, first thing Sunday morning, when I hopped on Twitter, there was 5 messages to “all those pastors out there”, each one encouraging and uplifting.; things like “have a great sermon today” or “enjoy this Sunday God made just for you” or “praying for the connections you will make today”. I can’t tell you how inspiring the sweet tweets were and how much I felt like I was part of the body of Christ.

So, the question still remains—what do we do with social media and Sabbath? The answer is…I’m still not sure.  What I do know is that it is a lot more complicated than simply turning the Tweet off for the day.

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