The Internet is a lot like the wild west. As we move forward, deeper into the digital revolution, opinions are often, trolling is rampant, mud-slinging is evident and comment sections sometimes look like a virtual bar fight. My fellow friends on the internets, this must not be so. Here are ten things people on the Internet should start doing:
1. Disagree Agreeably. One of my seminary professors always used to say: Chew the meat and spit out the bones. A perfect principle to use while online. Consume what is helpful and continue scrolling if you don’t like what you see. Simple.
2. Treat People As People. Behind every blog post, there is a person. Behind every social media update, there is a live human being. Who has a history, who has a family and who is loved by God so much that He sent His Son Jesus to earth to rescue them, so that He can delight in them forever. Let’s start to keep that top of mind, always.
3. Become Friends With People. I don’t have to agree with you, to be friends with you. If my friends were only people who agreed with me, I would be very lonely. I don’t look at you based on your opinion. I look at you based on you as a person.
4. Leave Character Out Of The Conversation. There is no need to resort to ad-hominem character accusations, just because you don’t agree with another person. Not adding value to the conversation is the same as taking value away. Discuss the substance or content, not the character of a person.
5. Assume The Best. If a written nuance does not meet your stringent specifications, don’t immediately assume the person has no regard for (fill in the blank). Do realize the context in which the content is written. Do look over the other content located on a blog. Instead of being a drive-by commenter, do join a community and do interact with the content and the people in that community.
6. Realize Others Won’t Always Agree With You. This is what makes the church a beautiful mess. It is about unity, not uniformity. The Bible teaches us to be of the same mind. This means not thinking the same but rather having thoughts united for the same thing and moving in the same direction.
7. Read Another Blog. If you don’t like the way an author is presenting content or a viewpoint, there is other material you can read. According to some statistics, there are forty-two million blogs on the Internet. You are for sure bound to find a blog that is programmed for your reading palette.
8. Share The Content. If you found something useful on the Internet, share that content with your social network. They are called social for a reason. I love getting messages from people who said they were referred to a post on my blog via one of their friends.
9. Be Nice. If you don’t have something nice to say, maybe the best thing to do is to say nothing at all. What would make someone comment on a post without listing their name? Again, let’s make the wild wild west we call the internet, a little less wild. Because of this post here, I implemented a Commenting Policy on my blog. Check it out here and please be so kind as to abide by it – the entire community would really appreciate it.
10. Image Jesus Well Virtually. My blog is written from a God-centered perspective.
Yes, I do subscribe to a world view that submits to Jesus as God.
Yes, I do believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God.
Yes, I do believe that Jesus is the only way to God.
Yes, I do believe that the church is the hope of the world.
Yes, I do believe that the gospel of Jesus is something everyone is desperately in need of. Both to get saved and to continue being sustained as we live, sojourning on this earth.
Yes, I agree that I don’t have all the answers, but I won’t compromise my convictions for convenience.
Will you join me in this internet revolution by beginning to do these ten things? Let’s go forward, together.
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Question: What Else Would You Add To This List?