When people talk about “the problem with the world today,” social media is usually near the top of the list.
The fact that you’re reading this probably means you’ve been thinking about how social media seems to have few, if any, redeeming qualities.
I don’t blame you for thinking that.
But social media, by itself, is actually neutral. It’s a created technology that can be used for bad, but more importantly, something that can be used for good.
So, here are three vital steps to using social media for good.
1. Evaluate the What
Evaluate? Really? I’m searching for answers about how to use social media for good and you’re essentially telling me to think about it?
Well, yes, I am.
If you want to be intentional about using social media for good, you need to evaluate what you are already doing with it.
Look at your timeline. What types of content do you find? Pictures, videos, or text?
Are you primarily creating this content or are you sharing stuff from other people?
How often are you posting? Every day? Every week? Or once every three months?
Who do you follow or friend? Are they people you know or complete strangers? How many organizations or businesses do you follow?
How often do you comment on other people’s posts? How often do you spend time in conversations through direct messages?
How much time are you spending on social media?
After this evaluation, you should be able see some trends, and be able to answer the most important question, which leads us to the next step.
2. Evaluate the Why
Okay, wait a second. Now you’re telling me to think about why I even have social media?! I just wanted advice on some stuff to post!
Trust me, answering this question will free you up to do the things that have the most kingdom impact online.
If you can answer “why do I have a social account?” then you can start strategizing how to individually use it for good.
Do you have Facebook to keep up with your extended family and old friends? Do you have it to exercise those creative muscles by creating videos or capturing engaging photos?
Do you use it as a source of news? Or do you use social media as a means of communication with your friends?
You could use social media to escape your everyday life. You could use it to converse with (read “argue with”) people you don’t agree with. Some people even use social media simply to “hate follow” others because they like watching someone else fail or do something they think is ridiculous.
There are a lot of reasons people have social media, but you need to figure out why it is that you have it.
Because more than just having a personal social media strategy, we should think about a personal life strategy that can help us live out our Christian faith in everything we do, including how we interact with our online community.
To start, I would use Colossians 3:17 as a filter “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Notice Paul doesn’t tell us what to do but instead he tells us why we should do it.
It should be in the name of Jesus.
3. Be Intentional With the How
Finally, what I’m here for!
Well, if you’re hoping I’ll give you a quick “ABC’s to using social media for good” strategy, I think you’re going to be left wanting more than I can provide.
Because in the end, your strategy will look different than mine.
We are different people with different hobbies, gifts, interests, and lives.
The point here is to be intentional about everything you do on social media. Let the why inform the how.
Here’s an example of being intentional with the how.
Take a look through your friends list on Facebook or Instagram. I believe everything happens for a reason — even down to the friends you’ve connected with over the years.
You will find people that you haven’t talked to in a long time. Pray for a few of them. Think about why God has placed them in your life. Ask him to give you courage and opportunities to share the Gospel with those who haven’t heard it.
This is one very small thing, but it’s intentional.
When companies like Nike, Southwest Airlines, and Toyota are trying to sell you a product, they are very intentional about the things they post and the ways they interact with others on social media. It’s no different for us, except that we aren’t trying to sell a product.
We’re trying to help people know Jesus better than they did yesterday.
Social media is simply another tool at our disposal.
As you work through all of this, I’d love to know what you come up with! Hit me up on social media: @jon_crump
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
– Colossians 3:17