Therein is the question, but the answer deserves careful consideration. Every Facebook user should answer some basic questions before posting on Facebook - or even opening an account! Here's a few that, when answered, will help to sift through the temptations to use Facebook in ways that are inappropriate for that user.
- What is my purpose in using Facebook?
- Does my post fit that purpose?
- Does my post reflect well on me and my family?
- Does my post reflect well on others?
- Does my post clearly articulate what I want to say?
- Does my post further my cause?
- Does my post divulge personal information that could be used to harm myself or others?
These seven questions will help. There are a few guidelines that I also use to help keep my posts (remember, I'm a pastor, and I represent the Lord) appropriate. Often a post is not what I write, but what I "Like" or "Share." These guidelines apply to "Like" and "Share" options.
- Interact if it's Biblically true
- Interact if it's Biblically moral
- Ignore if it's anti-Christian - unless you really think you can clear things up in a Christian manner - with love and integrity.
- Make sure its right and true, not an internet hoax (do your homework).
- Don't be racy, raunchy, or even off-color
- Will it honor marriage (my spouse will appreciate this one, and so will yours)
- Does it encourage others to think more highly of God and more rightly of themselves?
- Is it something people may need to know about (i.e., community events, prayer needs, etc.)
- Does it promote good citizenship?
- Stay away from violence or the advocacy of violence.
- Defend freedoms given in the Bill of Rights
- Promote Life first, then liberty, and never license. (If you don't know what license means, now's your chance to start doing your homework - look it up! Wink! Wink!)
Finally, here's some pointers that should help us govern the amount of time we spend on Facebook - because that gets in the way of good relationships, and they matter far more than a computer screen!
- Is my time on Facebook preventing a healthy relationship with my wife, kids, or parents?
- Is my time on Facebook preventing me from getting my work done?
- Is my time on Facebook preventing me from doing something helpful for someone?
- Is my urge to check in on Facebook the result of "needing to feel connected"?
- Is my urge to check in on Facebook the result of trying to "get away" from the current situation in my life?
- Am I using Facebook to throw a pity-party or a temper tantrum?
- Are my posts positive or negative? I might want to slow down on Facebook if I'm getting too negative! Instead, I should spend time in the Word of God and prayer!
I hope these guidelines help you to make Facebook a positive, useful, tool to communicate. For Christians, there's nothing better than using today's technology to further the Gospel and Glorify Christ!