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Posts tagged ‘Social media’

Twitter Blocks Users From Tweeting IStandWithPhil.com.


 

IStandWithPhil.com
Twitter has blocked users from tweeting ‘IStandWithPhil.com’ as the high-profile petition drive in support of ‘Duck Dynasty‘ star Phil Robertson rapidly approaches 200,000 members.

Twitter has blocked users from tweeting IStandWithPhil.com as the high-profile petition drive in support of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson rapidly approaches 200,000 members in just under four days. This marks at least the third major shutdown of a pro-Phil Robertson social media account since the story broke days ago.

“Despite Twitter’s shutdown of IStandWithPhil.com, we are surging through 200,000 supporters. In recent days, IStandWithPhil.com is among the top trending hashtags on Twitter,” says Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Consumer. “We’re encouraging supporters to be heard, tweet the @support or @twitteraccount, and use their other means of communication to get IStandWithPhil.com back online.”

A Google page diagnostic of IStandWithPhil.com indicates “this site is not currently listed as suspicious” and that “this has not hosted malicious software over the past 90 days.” IStandWithPhil.com is alerting its supporters and asking them to Tweet @support or @twitter to unblock postings that contain IStandWithPhil.com.

IStandWithPhil.com, a project of Faith Driven Consumer—an organization connecting Christian consumers with faith-compatible companies—is an online petition drive calling for tolerance, fairness and respect for differing viewpoints in America’s rainbow of diversity.

The project, which is just four days old, has been widely profiled by hundreds of media organizations across all mediums, including local and national digital, print and broadcast outlets.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

How Social Media Can Steal Your Joy.


Social media
Does reviewing friends’ posts on social media make you envious? (Stock Free Images)

‘Tis the season to wrap gifts, build snowmen (snow people?) and Food Network-worthy gingerbread houses, sip egg nog, and, if you’re really in a Christmas mood, roast chestnuts by an open fire. For some, it’s even the season to daily locate that enchanting Elf on the Shelf who seems to get a little creepier by the year.

But no matter what your family’s holiday traditions are, ‘tis the season to view a plethora of festive photos and read many a Yuletide update as we plug into the various social media we use to record, journal, and share the merriment of our Christmas season.

And ‘tis almost the season to make a 2014 resolution or two. For me personally, I’m resolving to show a little more self-control when it comes to the beeping and buzzing notifications that constantly beckon from my stupid Smartphone. (That’s an oxymoron, I know, but you know what I mean.) I’m resolving to spend more time looking up at the sky, around at God’s beautiful creation, or into the eyes of complete strangers instead of peering down at my mobile device whenever a precious kernel of unfilled time slides through the hourglass of my day.

Beyond my desire to engage more with the real world and less with the virtual ones, I want to protect and improve my emotional and physical health. In this article, I’m going to share two of the primary dangers social media pose and let you decide whether your involvement on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. could be dialed back a bit.

1. It Can Cause You to Feel Bad About Yourself. Those photos of your friends ice skating at Rockefeller Center or celebrating a Secret Santa party can make you feel like the Grinch. Researchers from two German universities studied 600 people who logged time on Facebook and discovered that one in three felt worse after visiting the site, especially if they viewed vacation photos. Facebook frequenters who spent time on the site without posting their own content were also more likely to feel dissatisfied.

“We were surprised by how many people have a negative experience from Facebook with envy leaving them feeling lonely, frustrated or angry,” said study author Hanna Krasnova from the Institute of Information Systems at Berlin’s Humboldt University. “From our observations, some of these people will then leave Facebook, or at least reduce their use of the site.”

Why, in a social network that is supposed to provide warm, fuzzy feelings of connectedness and interaction, are we sometimes stricken with sensations of jealousy, loneliness, and even depression? In the German studies, the most common cause of Facebook frustration stemmed from users comparing themselves socially to their peers, while the second most common source of dissatisfaction was “lack of attention” from having fewer comments, likes, and general feedback compared to friends. A UK study found that 50 percent of social media users evaluated their participation in social networking as having an overall negative effect on their lives. Specifically, they cited the blow to their self-esteem that comes as a byproduct of comparing themselves to peers as the biggest downfall.

Reducing your time spent on social media will provide more time for you to focus on making your own memories, pursuing your own passions, and spending time with your own family. You’ll be too busy being who the God of the universe made you to be—a unique and magnificent one in billions of people created throughout time—to worry about how you compare to your friends and role models you follow in silly cyberspace.

2. It can distract you from real life.Almost a quarter of Americans say they’ve missed out on important life moments as they’ve sought to share them with their eagerly awaiting friends and followers. (Slight sarcasm there. But if you think about it, your Facebook friends and fans can surely wait untilafter your birthday party or son’s football game is over to hear and see all about it.)

In a society that constantly bombards us with technology, and the message that more of it is better, we start believing that the digital world is where we must be in order to keep up with everything from news, weather, and politics to what kind of cookies our neighbor is baking for next Friday’s neighborhood Christmas pot luck. And, what time does it start again?

I like this quote from the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off:

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Eighteen years before Facebook and 21 years before the iPhone was released, folks like Ferris thought life was fast even without an information superhighway. Today, with dozens of social media platforms vying for our attention, it’s never been more important for us to fight to remain devoted to those who need our attention most.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Diana Anderson-Tyler is the author of Creation House’s Fit for Faith: A Christian Woman’s Guide to Total Fitness. Her popular website can be found at dianafit.com, and she is the owner and a coach at CrossFit 925. Diana can be reached on Twitter

For the original article, visit dianafit.com.

5 Ways to Resolve the Blame Game in Your Marriage.


Spouse argument
Do you often play the blame game with your spouse? (Stock Free Images)

It’s easy to blame your spouse for your marriage issues when you think you’re doing everything possible to make it great. The real question is, “Are you?”

Chances are you are both responsible for your marriage issues. Now, stay with me here.

My wife and I struggled for years when it came to our marriage issues. Especially when it came to God.

Sunday morning is a great example. We would wake up Sunday and ask if church was on the schedule or not. I’d deflect and ask what time it started. She’d deflect and ask what else was going on that day.

In short, we would “excuse” ourselves out of going to church. There we would lie in bed, not helping our marriage and slowly destroying it. And what was it for?

As a changed husband looking back, I had to ask myself some hard questions. There may be some hard questions you need to be asking in your marriage too. How could I have approached situations differently? Was I really being the spiritual leader? Was I really loving my wife by giving in to laziness and fear?

What questions require honest answers in your marriage?

Let’s look at a few more scenarios.

You want to lead in your marriage, but instead of getting or asking for help, you hope the regular Sunday morning message at church will hold the answers you seek. Maybe.

So, things are really rough in your marriage and the only thing you do is pray. I am a firm believer in prayer, but I also believe that God has given certain people specific tools to use and help marriages grow. Don’t stop praying, but get off your butt and get some help from a counselor, mentor or pastor.

Say you’re dating this wonderful girl and you’re thinking about marriage. That’s great, but the problem is you live together and continue to have sex. Whose fault is it? I’ll say it’s both partners’ fault. My advice to the men is to step up and stop. Don’t wait for her to stop. Be honest with her and let her know your heart. Wait for marriage. Trust me, it’s possible and it’s worth it.

So, how can you lead? How can you stop blaming your spouse for all the issues and start taking responsibility in an effective and safe way?

Here are five questions you need to ask yourself:

1. Am I honestly doing everything I can to lead?

2. Have I communicated my feelings honestly to my spouse?

3. Have I honestly been praying about the situation on a daily basis and seeking God’s direction (not my own)?

4. Have I honestly and maturely discussed the situation with a church elder, pastor, friend, mentor or marriage counselor?

5. How long have I been passing the blame on to my spouse, when the issue is really mine to take care of?

Carefully consider the questions above, and start making big changes in your marriage or relationship today. That’s right; don’t wait any longer!

Have you experienced this in your marriage or relationship? What are some ways you and your spouse effectively communicate with each other and throw water down on the blame game fire?

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ NEW MAN.

Manturity is a blog built on establishing spiritual maturity in today’s man. The goal is to assist men in building better marriages and help them in grow in maturity and explore different aspects of manhood.Manturity.com features new weekly blog posts, daily social media updates and a powerful resources page. Stay up to date with the Manturity blog communities on Facebook and Twitter.

For the original article, visit manturity.com.

3 Tips to Preserving Your Kid’s Online Life.


Every Man Ministries

While the internet brings a wealth of information instantly to our finger tips, it also throws our children into an ocean of risk. Too often, our kids navigate those waters without a life preserver and become bait for the enemy’s piranha-like feeding frenzy to attack the weak.

Parents today have more than their neighborhoods, schools and kids’ friends to worry about. The enemy is cleverly casting nets online fishing for their souls and God’s men must be aware of where their kids are swimming. For example, social media has brought the world together, while giving predators tools to connect while disguised in sheep’s clothing. Online video gaming, once a harmless recreation (remember Atari?), now provides realms of obscene and violent behaviors. And with every online search, marketers of all kinds of dangerous material get closer to home.

The lesson from 1 Peter 5:8-9 is as true as it ever was, saying “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

As our kids tune into social media from morning to night on any device, posting, tweeting, instagramming, snapchatting etc., and online gamers disappear from the “real world” to indulge in fantasy worlds, God’s man must be alert, sober minded and resist the enemy.

Here are 3 tips to managing your kids’ online lives:

1.  Engage

Your kids need you to “be alert” as “Big Brother” online. Get engaged in their online worlds, whether it’s social media or video games.

Find out what social media they are involved in. Friend them on Facebook, follow their Tweets, become Instagram friends so you can see who they are following and who are following them. And, you can monitor their posts. For the online gamers, spend 30 minutes or so a week to do your own “scouting” of your kid’s “progress” in the game world.

2.  Enlist Support

We need help. We need other people, including our kids, to watch out for us and who courageously confront us. It’s mission-critical to have additional eyes and ears online, and who will bring issues to the table, help find Biblical answers and share Godly wisdom to sensitive parenting challenges.

Additional practical tips include monitoring their email, download parenting control software to prevent unwanted illicit material from showing up on screen, use privacy settings on your child’s profiles, create safe screen names, keep the computer in open sight, limit data usage on mobile devices, and make sure your kids know what information to keep private i.e. Social security numbers, address, phone numbers and bank, credit card information.

Being of “sober mind” is not just talking about intoxication. It also means to have a  “serious attitude or quality.” Managing your kid’s online life is serious business, not to be taken lightly.

3.  Encourage Communication

God’s man must nurture an environment where openness and honesty are welcomed, for good and bad behavior. It’s best if ease of communication is established in your kid’s early years, but it’s never too late. Talk with your kids about what’s going on online — good or bad. Make your values and beliefs a common topic, and compare them with behavior online.

At my house, our values are 1-love God, and 2-we help people. My kids know this. So it’s easy to ask, “is what you’re doing online accomplishing either of these values?” If so, great. Kudos. If not, then dive deeper into the values and why they are important, and imagine the risks created should those values be removed.

That’s being alert, sober minded and resisting the enemy. If that doesn’t help, try throwing a life-preserver over the keyboard.

*Every Man Ministries was founded by Kenny Luck, men’s pastor at Saddleback Church. Kenny created the Sleeping Giant program as a way to give men the tools and resources to make the most of their own men’s ministries and make the most of their walks with God. Watch Kenny’s teachings at EveryManMinistries.com.

5 Changes That Increase Productivity.


Artie Davis

Artie Davis (Facebook)

I was reading about productivity recently in the CEO.com newsletter. I loved the infographic they used and was intrigued by the biggest changes leaders need to make to become more productive.

The top five really resonated with me and I’ve listed them in my own words:

1. Have a task management system. You have to capture all that you have to do. If you don’t, you’ll be constantly bombarded with the thoughts of getting stuff done. Put it in a task management system and get it off of your mind!

2. Only have a meeting as a last resort. Meetings kill time and productivity. If you can have a quick conversation with a couple of people in a casual way, do that instead. If you can take care of it in a walk-by conversation, do that. If you can communicate with a phone call, do it. Only meet as a last resort!

3. Schedule time to answer email and social media. If you don’t, they’ll constantly be distractions throughout the day. The problem with push notifications on email is that they disrupt you too often. The same with social media. Schedule them. They do have value, but not enough to be a constant and consistent distraction.

4. Have a plan for tomorrow. Seriously, make a plan for what you’ll get accomplished tomorrow. This could be a quick arrangement of tasks or a look at your calendar. Have a plan and goals for your day. If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it.

5. Leverage empowerment by delegating. One of the biggest lessons we can learn as a leader is delegation. If they can do it as well or better than you, let them.

Written by Artie Davis

Artie Davis is the pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Orangeburg, S.C. He heads the Comb Network and the Sticks Conference. He speaks and writes about leadership, ministry, church planting and cultural diversity in the church. You can find his blog at ArtieDavis.com or catch him on Twitter @artiedavis.

For the original article, visit pastors.com.

A lazy Idler APC Senator Sefiu Kaka claims anti-Biafra social media bill, says he ‘ll withdraw the bill.


Kaka

Sen. Sefiu Kaka (APC, Ogun East) who reportedly sponsored a bill to gag social media and online journalista from been critical of public officials has apologized for sponsoring the bill.
Senator Kaka had inserted a clause in a bill called Computer Hacking, Anti-419 bill, where social media journalists and critics will be jailed for 7 years should they become hyper active about the government, but a public outcry and an investigation exposing the senator as the sponsor of the bill has forced him to apologise.
Although the bill did not scale the second reading because the lead sponsor did not include the financial implication in accordance with Order 77, Rule 3 of the Senate Standing Orders 2011 (as amended), it nevertheless generated heated outcry.
READ: REVEALED: APC Senator Behind Anti-Social Media Bill
The Senator taken to facebook to apologize about his “oversight”.
See his apology below:
“Be rest I assured of my taking responsibility for the oversight in expunging or moderating the S.13(3) at the draft stages. This will be done soonest. Thanks for your concern again. Gbenga Kaka.”
The senator also took time yesterday to explain the entire scenario to people, read his press release below:
Yesterday, Tuesday, 3rd December, 2013 at the National Assembly; the Joint Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and legal matters, Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes had the honour and privilege of successfully organizing the Public Hearing on my sponsored bill titled:
“The Bill for an Act to Provide for Prohibition and Punishment for Electronic Fraud and Electronic Transfer of Funds in Nigeria And Other Related Matters 2013?, in co-sponsorship with other 31 Senators; awaiting Third Reading.
“The provisions in the bill are proposals to ensure the cyber space is positively utilised for the economic and social development and growth of the nation. The public sitting by the Senate Joint committee is to elicit comments, contributions, criticism, and discussions such as on-going; to moderate and further enrich the bill before further processing.
“More memoranda for deletion, addition and/or modification to clauses from all stakeholders are still welcome. It is an individual bill with clear intent to ‘provide for the prohibition and punishment for all electronic transactions fraud and electronic funds transfer crimes in Nigeria and other related matters’.
“Therefore any unacceptable clause(s) in the proposed bill shall be expunged, re-worded, or replaced to make the bill acceptable to the generality of Nigerians. More comments and suggestions from all stakeholders please and thanking the media for bringing to the front burner clauses likely to offend the sensibilities of the people the law, if eventually passed, will be serving.”
AbuSidiqu – See more at: http://www.biafragalaxy.com/2013/12/the-nigerian-mozzie-senator-who-started.html#.UqFVheL86zE

 Source: Radio Biafra.

The Third Reich Effect Of The Proposed 7 Years Jail Time For Social Media Critics By Obi Enweze.


By Obi Enweze

According to Daily Trust of Dec. 4, 2013, the Nigerian Senate has reached an advanced stage to pass a bill that seeks seven years jail term for social media critics found guilty of inciting the public against the government.

After reading the stifling provisions of the proposed bill, I threw-up my hand in total exasperation; we are headed to the Nigerian version of the Third Reich.

Third Reich refers to the state of Germany when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by Adolf Hitler. When Hitler became the German Chancellor, he initially headed a coalition government, but quickly eliminated his non-Nazi partners and ruled as the sole dictator.  In the Third Reich, information that should be ordinarily public was censored and the voices of the citizens of Germany were muzzled.  Peopled lived in total fear, even totally innocuous words were said in whispers for fear.

I read the vague and ambiguous provisions of the proposed Bill and shuddered at the grave threat it possess to protected speech. The chilling effect of this bill if passed into law will be unprecedented. Nobody will be spared, if one speaks out against a perceived government indiscretion, they may be deemed to have incited the Nigerian public. One man once threatened another in a chat group exchange, that his “handcuff is waiting for him anytime he shows up in Nigeria.”  This time around, the handcuff is waiting for any keyboard happy Nigerian who gets frustrated by the massive corruption going on and utters a word in frustration.

Here is what the Nigerian Senate is proposing to pass into law:
Section 13 subsection 3 of the bill proposes that: “Anyone who intentionally propagates false information that could threaten the security of the country or that is capable of inciting the general public against the government through electronic message shall be guilty of an offense and upon conviction shall be sentenced to seven years imprisonment or N5 million (fine).”

The only redeeming provision of the above Bill is “intentionally” otherwise it is couched in a language calculated to threaten, intimidate, muzzle and horrify the average Nigerian who engaged in critical analysis of the shameful missteps of government functionaries.

There are numerous problems with the proposed bill which makes it a bitter poisonous-pill for commentators, and I will quickly highlight some of them.

1. Vagueness:
The Bill is littered with vague languages that will result in a man of reasonable intelligence guessing at the meaning.

What is being regulated?
What is prohibited?
What is allowed?
What is not allowed?
What are the punishments?
Any fair-warning?

For example, the Senators need to tell us who they consider “critics.”  Does “social media” targeted by this provision include friend texting on Blackberry Board, just too many generalization.

2. Over breadth

The Bill as structured will definitely impact the ability of the citizen to critics the government for fear that, it “could threaten” the national security.  The protected speech of Nigerians is in grave danger if this Bill becomes Law. Today, we have the activities of the Boko Haram as one of the biggest threat to Nigerian’s fragile unity. Will one run afoul of this proposed law if they publishes a paper reviewing the inability of government to checkmate the excess of the sect.

3. Singling Out Social Media a Form of Discrimination

Social Media is the sole target of this Bill, what about the print media, broadcast media and public speakers?  Oh, those media outlet can be bought with dirty money; otherwise what is the rational for leaving them out.  This Bill definitely discriminates against the social media.

There are simply too many reasons for the Senate to stop and reconsider their action, the Senate will entrench a dictatorship which will also affect them and the children on the long run. We all noticed what Obasanjo did to opponents of his Third Term Agenda (TTA), think of what could have happened if Obasanjo had the language of this Bill as a law. All his opponents will be in jail for making statements “that could threaten” or “incite the public.”  During the Obasanjo era, journalists were forcefully seized and jailed for sedition an outdated law. If Obasanjo had anything distantly related to the Bill that the Senate is now proposing as Law, the two journalists and scores of other opponents of his TTA will still be in jail as we speak.

The justification for the regulation broadly outlined a need to protect national security and something rational to do. Yes, it rational to preserve national security, and not incite the public,  but we must all know that rationality and infallibility or omniscience are totally different things.   It will be totally irrational to completely muzzle voices of dissent, contrary opinion, fair and even unfair criticism. A former US President once said, “critics are really our best friends because they tell us the difference.” He proceeded to acknowledge that he learned a lot from critics.

One is doomed to fail if all he does, is look for praise-singers who will never tell him where he/she is wrong.

This bill, as crafted, is nothing but willful suppression of critical thinking, constructive criticism, participation of the citizens in the decisions that affect their lives and an attempt to create a Nigeria peopled by Mumus.  It therefore, must be thrown to the dustbin as an anti-people bill.

Finally, the Bill if it becomes law risks driving Nigerian bloggers underground. It is better for us to discuss openly than have a system of bloggers attacking the government anonymously.  It will then become impossible to track anonymous bloggers; after all, as the US Supreme Court said it, “anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority.” The Court went further to say,. Indeed, “under our Constitution, anonymous pamphleteering is not a pernicious, fraudulent practice, but an honorable tradition of advocacy and of dissent.” McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm’n, 514 U.S. 334, 356 (1995). Sounds like they had the Nigerian Senators and this bill in mind when they spoke.

With this type of Bill, I predict a future,  where Nigerians are littered all over the place, speaking anonymously, and that will pose a greater danger.

Obi Enweze was the Secretary General of NADECO-USA/Canada

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

The Biggest Social Media Mistakes Churches Make.


Church crowd

Do you think your church’s online presence could be driving people away?

I can’t say that I’ve ever been on a dating website, but the stereotypes are common enough that I don’t need to see it with my own eyes to imagine the “worst” kind of profile.

A list of exaggerated accomplishments. A photoshopped picture from a decade ago. A dozen euphemisms for anything that might be considered a “fault.”

All it takes is a one date to discover the person across the table from you is nothing like the person they said they were online.

Could churches and dating websites have something in common? In all my work with social media and churches, I’ve found that churches make many mistakes when it comes to their online presence. Some churches simply don’t have an online presence (which is a huge mistake since studies are showing more and more young people are finding their churches online).

Others have an online presence but are tweeting too much, or too little, or simply making their online life all about them. But, of all the mistakes churches make, one tops the charts. Most little mistakes churches make fall under this one BIG mistake:

They try to act like someone they’re not.

Like a bad profile on a dating website, so many churches want to pretend like they’re bigger, or cooler, or “prettier” than they really are. And the scary part of this desire is that, with Instagram filters and web designers, they can do a pretty good job of putting on that show, of framing their image—for a while.

Here’s the catch. All it takes is one encounter, one first “date,” for a churchgoer to discover that the church they met online is not the church they’re meeting in person. And this is one mistake you it’s virtually impossible to recover from.

Chances are, they’ll never step foot in your building again.

Here’s the beautiful part of this whole thing. You don’t have to pretend. This is what I would tell the owner of a bad-dating profile, and it’s what I say to churches all the time. You don’t have to pretend like you’re someone you’re not. In fact, if you waste your time pretending, people miss out on the real you.

And the real you is really unique—important and useful to the Kingdom of God.

You were fearfully and wonderfully made.

Just like there is “someone for everyone” in dating, there is “some church” for everyone as well. Not every churchgoer is looking for the hippest, coolest most mega-church in town. In fact, they might be looking for you, the real you. And when you are authentic on social media, those who are looking for a community like yours can find you.

So, no more “bad dating profiles,” so to speak. Be yourself on social media, whatever that means. The church people encounter online should be the same church they encounter when the step foot inside your building.

What does that mean for your church?.

Written by Justin Lathrop

With more than a dozen years of local church ministry, Justin Lathrop has spent the last several years starting businesses and ministries that partner with pastors and churches to advance the kingdom. He is the founder of Helpstaff.me (now Vanderbloemen Search), Oaks School of Leadership, and MinistryCoach.tv, all while staying involved in the local church. Justin serves as a consultant in the area of strategic relations predominantly working with the Assemblies of God, helping to build bridges with people and ministries to more effectively reach more people.

For the original article, visit justinlathrop.com.

God-Glorifying Social Media.


God-Glorifying Social Media

The natural response to seeing God’s glory is to audibly praise Him.

Psalm 35:27-28 says, “Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, ‘Great is the Lord, who delights in the welfare of his servant!’ Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long.”

Since the digital revolution, the platform of our audible voice has extended into the digital realm. We now have a digital voice. The all-daylong praise of God’s glory in Psalm 35 extends into this realm, especially through social media.

It is far easier to praise God’s glory through the medium of social media than many realize. Here are three common-sense techniques to share God-glorifying social media content.

1.     Share a God-glorifying Word

Lots of people produce God-glorifying social media content already. If you’re on social media, you have friends, connections, those you follow, or a circle. Be sure to monitor your social network feed and the content already being shared. When you see something that proclaims the weightiness of God, don’t hesitate to praise Him by sharing. + One it. Like it. Retweet it. Make it known. Be part of an initiative that trends God-glorifying content.

Don’t hesitate to provide an original contribution to your social media network. Give your network a good, God-glorifying Word. You have prayers and praises to share. Occasionally, you’ll have a deep thought. I typically get one or two a month. You’ll likely have more. You’ll also read something in the Bible or in a book that strikes you. If you’ve got your social network handy, and I bet you do – be immediate in sharing.

A lot of bible aps have a copy and paste function. Kindle and iBooks have a sharing mechanism. If you’re reading a print copy, take a moment and type the quote out and share. This selfless effort will benefit another by bringing his or her attention to God’s glory.

2.     Share a God-glorifying Link

Whatever social media you’re using has a mechanism for shortening links. As you browse the web, look for opportunities to share. Youtube, Vimeo, and any news article or blog post will have a share button.

We consume and consume. Often, we don’t take a moment to share with others the goodness of God-glorifying content that we ingest. When you stumble across a link in the digital world that proclaims the excellencies of God, press that share button. Minister to someone else with what has ministered to you.

3.     Share a God-glorifying Image

So many of us walk around with the power to share the image and likeness of God at a touch of a button. We have the astonishing capability to capture God’s creative masterpiece, the world, and all it’s creation with high resolution. This power is in your phone and thanks to aps like Instagram we can glorify-God with this content.

Share photos of heavenly bodies, the picturesque horizon, wildlife, family and friends. When you write your caption, give God credit for those snapshots. Indicate that God’s image is clearly seen in all creation. (Romans 1:20)

The End for Which The World Was Made

Jonathan Edwards wrote a short piece expressing that the end for which God made the world is for His glory. If that is the case, then this end extends into the digital world.

So don’t waste your digital life! Share God-glorifying social media through these three techniques.

Joey Cochran, Pastor

Joey Cochran served as an Associate Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma for four years before transitioning to be the Church Planting Intern at Redeemer Fellowship in St. Charles, Illinois under the leadership of Pastor Joe Thorn. Joey is a graduate of Dallas Seminary. Joey blogs at jtcochran.com. Follow @joeycochran on Twitter.

Pictures of Your Kids: to Post or to Pass?.


Sarah Hamaker

On Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and other social media, babies gurgle, toddlers squirm, preschoolers smile, tweens pose and teens rave—all courtesy of beaming parents wanting to share the latest and greatest doings of their offspring. “I see a wide variety ranging from nothing to everything online,” says Kim Luckabaugh, a Fairfax, Va., mother of three children between the ages of 11 and 14. “Some parents post cute stories on Facebook but only use their child’s first initial. Others posts pictures with limited captioning. Still others post pictures and accounts using their child’s name.”

“I’d say many parents think anything is fair game,” adds Jen Wilkin, who blogs about parenting. “They seem to view their child’s story as their property. I think these parents are well-meaning, but that they perhaps haven’t thought through the implications of their posting choices.”

A recent study by Posterista, a print site in the United Kingdom, found that whopping 94 percent of U.K. parents post their children’s images online. Of those surveyed, 64 percent uploaded images of their kids to social media sites three times or more a week and 21 percent did it at least three times per month. Only a mere 6 percent of respondents never posted photographs of their children on their social media pages. The study also found that pictures of newborns are uploaded to Facebook 57.9 minutes on average after their arrival into this world.

Luckabaugh is one of those parents. “I will take pictures of my kids and post to my Facebook page. I keep the GPS tagging ability turned off on my smartphone so when I do upload those pictures, precise locations are not available. However, I do call my child by his or her full name.” Luckabaugh refrains from referencing her kids on Twitter or Instagram because she has less control over distribution on those social media outlets.

“I used to put pictures on Facebook but I don’t even do that anymore, choosing instead to send photos directly to family members and friends,” says Rebecca Cusey, a managing editor atPatheos.com and the mother of two teens and a grade schooler. “I also don’t tell stories about them to large groups (like Facebook), use their names, ages, schools, schedules, or anything that might identify them online.”

Wilkin, a mother of four teenagers, consults with her children before posting any information about them online. “I rarely post photos, and I make use of privacy settings. I don’t post anything on my blog (anecdotes) without their permission. And even then, I make sure my motives for wanting to post the story are pure, and that my kids understand the implications of posting the story (someone might mention it to them or want to tease them),” she says. “I don’t post anything that singles them out for ridicule, i.e. something like ‘High school girls are full of drama.’”

Our Children, Their Future

Part of the concern with children’s images and stories being posted online is the potential for harm. Most parents seem to agree that the perceived risk in online postings of their children is less physical and more emotional.

“Honestly, I’m less concerned with the physical risks and more concerned with the emotional risk. I think if parents put themselves in their children’s shoes and considered how those stories or photos might be perceived by their children as they get older, parents would post differently,” says Wilkin. “And I suspect the way parents would post if they viewed themselves as protectors rather than purveyors of their children’s stories would go far toward limiting the physical risk, as they would be far more cautious in posting.”

“I don’t know that posting photos online is a huge risk for safety,” agrees Cusey. “I’m more concerned that the kids have privacy and don’t feel like they’re living their life on stage, even in the modern social media kind of way. I’d like them to trust that I’m not going to embarrass them or expose them, even in small ways. I want them to learn to build real relationships over social media ones, or at least make real relationships a priority. Most of all, I want them to tell their own story, not have me tell an idealized version of their story on social media.”

Another concern centers around the information gathering aspects of social media sites. A recent Slate.com article sparked a firestorm when Amy Webb wrote, “When we share even innocent images and information about our kids, we endanger their future anonymity and expose them to data monitoring by governments and private corporations we can’t control.”

“I hate that they are already being tracked and analyzed more than we could even imagine,” says Cusey. “I’d like them to be as anonymous as possible while still being free to partake of the modern world, but it’s not an easy line.”

Think Before Posting

Posting photographs and info about your children has its advantages. It’s definitely a fun, easy way to share your life with family and friends, especially those who live far away. But these parents urge others to exercise caution before clicking on the upload button. Here are some things to think about before you put your children online.

Examine your motives. Why are you putting that picture of your child online? Is it to put an idealized version of yourself out there to be judged? “If 50 people don’t like the cute Instagram of your toddler, does that mean she’s not cute? If people don’t like your son’s adorable lemonade stand on Facebook, does that mean he’s not adorable?” asks Cusey. “And that’s just the public version. What would people think if they saw the tantrums and battiness and bad behavior? I think we need to realize that everything about our lives is not necessarily someone else’s business.”

Watch your usage. Those of us who use social media to connect with clients, fans or customers need to be especially careful of posting things about our children. “In the blogging world, it would be easy to put them out there to build a brand. We’re all building brands now, but when your career is writing, your brand is directly linked to your income,” says Cusey, who writes for several blogs and online websites. “It would actually be a version of pimping them out. I don’t want my children to be part of my brand—I want them to be my kids.”

Take safety precautions. At the very least, turn off the GPS tagging features on your smartphones. Don’t mention the location of the photograph. “Do not post the picture as the event is occurring, especially if you are revealing the location, such as a troop camp out at a specific campground,” says Luckabaugh.

Keep private things private. The intimate details of your children’s lives should not become fodder for social media to gobble up. “Do not share extremely private details about a bad behavioral issue with your son, pictures of your daughter in a bikini or medications your child may be taking,” says Luckabaugh. “I am often struck by some parents’ lack of judgment in this regard. Some things need to remain private and parents should always err on the side of caution.”

“I think people need to educate themselves about privacy in general,” adds Wilkin. “My focus is more on protecting the integrity of the parent-child relationship, viewing our children as people, rather than as fodder for our status updates.”

Follow your own rules. Each family needs to think about how they want to view and use social media. “I made rules for myself that have become habits. No matter how beautiful or funny the photo is, if it shows their face or identifies them in another way, I won’t use it. I also don’t post when it’s their birthday,” says Cusey.

Adjust your view. As parents, we too often think of our kids as, well, our children, but we also need to remember they are individuals. “We should ask ourselves if there is potential for harm to come to them, now or in the future, based upon what we share. Running things through that filter is something every parent should do,” says Luckabaugh.

Protect your kids. Above all, parents should not forget that one of our primary goals as parents is to guard our children online as well as in person. “We should have their backs,” says Cusey. “We should protect them even from things that might not be that big a deal, but are slightly detrimental. We should consider the effect of putting everything out there to be judged.”

Social media and the Internet can be a wonderful tool for parents to share their children with family and friends, but there should be a note of caution when it comes to uploading images and information. “It’s not to say that we shouldn’t do social media, just that we should be skeptical of it and question it,” reminds Cusey. “Just because this revolution has happened and happened so quickly doesn’t mean we have to play by its rules.”

Sarah Hamaker is a certified Leadership Parenting Coach™ through the Rosemond Leadership Parenting Coach Institute. She’s also a freelance writer and editor, and is currently working on a book about sibling rivalry, scheduled for release from Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City in the fall of 2014. Sarah lives in Fairfax, Va., with her husband and four children. Visit her at www.parentcoachnova.com.

Publication date: October 18, 2013

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