The Best and Worst Uses of Twitter

twitter
by Cary Schmidt

This article was originally posted in Caryschmidt.com

I have written a couple of posts about twitter—why I decided to use it and things I’ve learned from the experience. Overall, twitter has been a positive experience, but not entirely. Here is a short list of the best and worst ways to use twitter:

The Best Uses of Twitter:

Encouraging Connections—Twitter is a great means of encouraging others and staying connected with helpful and strengthening relationships—friends, family, and ministry acquaintances—and what’s going on in the lives of others. I love following Pastor Chappell’s posts—they encourage me in a multitude of ways.  Hundreds of times others have strengthened and encouraged my spirit through their posts.

Edifying Words—Twitter is great for sharing quotes, scriptures, and principles that edify. I love following people whose hearts are obviously focused on spiritual matters and challenging subjects. Positive thinkers and spiritually minded people have a joyful heart and challenge me to be a better Christian.

Equipping Resources—Twitter is a great way to share ideas, helpful information (eg: blog posts, stories, useful media). I have often been informed of a good article, a new book, or a resource that proved to be beneficial in some aspect of life.

The Worst Uses of Twitter:

Arguing Foolish Questions—On or off twitter this is just wrong. But it is especially undiscerning to bring an argument into the public arena of 140 character posts. What an impossible and pointless way to carry on, and a fantastic way to ruin your testimony, hurt the name of Christ, and nullify the little influence that twitter might afford. Twitter isn’t the place for airing grievances, issuing reprimands, or broadcasting contention. (Only by pride cometh contention.)

Arrogance or Narcissism—Twitter doesn’t make someone arrogant, but it does reveal it. Pride and narcissism show up easily when you’re only allowed 140 characters. Twitter is a really bad way to tell the world how great you are and how much you love yourself.

Amplifying the Wrong Voices—Twitter is a tool of communication. It publishes, influences, and amplifies—and not every voice should be amplified. Before you quote, link, or otherwise amplify a voice, think it through. Don’t inadvertently give greater exposure to voices or philosophies that are unbiblical.

Aimless and Pointless Posting—For some, twitter is nothing more than a place to post mental rubbish. Strange. In truth, Twitter is an invitation to influence. It is permission to publish. If even one person follows you, they have asked you to share your life, your heart, your thoughts. That influence is a stewardship. Before you post, ask: Does this in any way honor the Lord and encourage others?

The bottom line—twitter is influence by invitation. If you misuse it, your invitation will be revoked. If you use it wisely, others will appreciate and benefit. As Christians, our communication should be biblical, pleasing to Christ, and helpful to others.

To those who have positively influenced me through twitter—I say, “Thank you!” Keep exemplifying these best uses!

One person recently said it this way, “Twitter is simply magnifies what you already are.” May every part of our lives—including twitter—magnify Christ and that which He loves!

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