Your community is your truth

Every kind of social media has a reputation. Here’s my take, but I might have it wrong. (Let me know).

TikTok = cool kids

Facebook = was popular, now political

Twitter = the chattering class

Instagram = beautiful people and moments

Snapchat = Insta for the rest of life

LinkedIn = professional connections

The more you know, right?

Here’s what we often miss:

Our community becomes our truth

If Twitter is your jam, over time, you’ll feel the pressure to always have something smart to say.

Maybe that’s why you started but is that the identity you want?

Likewise, if you’re hustling on LinkedIn, it will shape you.

It’s inevitable that you’ll conform to the conventions of your industry to make connections and land that next job.

I get it. It’s part of life.

So here’s my audacious take: when we join a community that values the spiritual discipline of writing, we’ll experience spiritual growth.

Writing creates clarity of thought. It builds relationships. Research even shows that writing can make you happier.

Your objection: “It’s tough to make the switch. I like TikTok videos.”

My answer: If I said you could have spiritual growth without effort, would you believe me?

But I get it. This is an uphill climb for most of us - including me.

Here are my questions:

  1. Did I get it right for the reputation of each social media site? (It’s okay, I’m willing to be wrong).

  2. How has participation in those social contexts “discipled” or formed you? Try to be specific. Writing it out will give you clarity.

  3. What helps prompt you to pursue writing as a spiritual discipline in this community? (Do you set aside certain times on your calendar? Get email notifications? Log on at lunch?)

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So true on so many levels! Insta is pretty much the only social media I consume regularly. Interestingly enough, as I wrote that previous sentence, I realized just how appropriate the word ‘consume’ was. It was an unconscious word choice! But Insta feeds my desire to see the beauty that others see…to get a chance to see what they see. Besides friends and family (the social part of things), I follow an array of artists, gardeners, photographers, historians and humorists. I scroll. I consume. Though I sometimes comment, I am passive in may ways. Is a double-tap really engagement?

What can be difficult is to come out of the consumption hole once I’m in it. Case in point, I got sidetracked looking at Insta whilst writing this post. I was trying to remember who all I follow, so I got on and promptly got distracted for probably 15 mins. :upside_down_face:

How does this form me? Difficult to say. I think it’s more a hinderance to true engagement, which keeps me more in a dreaming state rather than a state of active pursuit. There are things I know and there are things I see because of it, but I have not engaged beyond that. I have merely consumed an image or laughed at a joke…in a room, usually by myself. Isolation can compound, can’t it?

That’s why communities like this are precious. One can passively consume, sure, but the invitation is there to engage…to write. Thoughtfully and with the intention to engage with others in more than just surface matters. :slight_smile: