Lisa Henley Jones offers 3 strategies for finding hope amidst the negativity and division on social media.
Everywhere you look there seems to be negativity and division, especially in the news and on social media. I find it so depressing. A few months back when this “new normal” began, I felt that we were working to support and uplift each other with prayers, funny memes, and animal videos. Everyone seemed unified in their own unique way to getting us through the difficult times ahead.
Now that were three plus months into this societal change due to COVID, we’re all tired and a bit short-tempered. We want to go out to dinner, enjoy normal summer activities, and receive Jesus at Mass without all the restrictions and safety guidelines.
I believe that, most of all, we want reassurance that our world is not falling apart.
The exhaustion and negativity is most evident if you spend any time on social media. Facebook, Twitter, and even the once idealistic Instagram are a bit dark and gloomy these days. Friends, family, and Catholics are fighting amongst themselves and disrespecting each other about so many things – from big, serious issues to even the small and trivial. It hurts my heart to see so many of those I love and care for being divided into opposing camps online.
How do we get through this darkness without irreparable damage?
I was reminded today of a post I wrote last year about how we, as Christians, combat the negative online. In “3 Steps to Shining Your Light Online: How Christians Create a Tidal Wave of God’s Love on Social Media” I wrote that we can’t give over our online platforms to the darkness permeating our society. Christians are called to be the light in the world, and we can create a tidal wave of God’s love online if we work together to bring light to social media.
How do we do it? We can start with three things:
- Tithe our social media posts to God
- Engage with others online as we do in real life
- Show mercy to others on social media
These three are actually very simple to do on social media if we put our minds to it. (You can go back to my original post to read more about all three.) We’ve lost the idea that social media can add content and real value to people’s lives. We need to go back to the beginning. Social media was created to bind people together in community, and it still has the potential to connect individuals in a positive way if we choose to use it that way.
If all of us work together to be a light, we can bring back hope and we can support one another in the midst of the doom and gloom permeating social media.
I’m the first one to admit it and say I need to take my own advice! What am I waiting for? I need to get back to the basics of building real connections online. Will you join me?
Copyright 2020 Lisa Henley Jones
About the Author
Lisa Henley Jones is a wife, mom, native Texan, and parish communications director. She enjoys reading, walking, going on date nights, and cheering on her kids in their activities. As a social media consultant, Lisa teaches Catholic parishes to engage, inspire, and evangelize on social media. Find her blog at Of Sound Mind & Spirit and her social media course at Parish Social Media.