I spent a lot less time on social media than I used to. I check my Twitter and Facebook feeds every day, but I don’t spend more than a few minutes on either. More times than not, I get in on the tail end of some controversy which has erupted on Twitter. Such was the case when I began seeing tweets in my timeline from folks coming absolutely UNGLUED in the aftermath of this tweet sent out by Mark Driscoll on Inauguration Day:
It’s not like Driscoll is known for his tact. This is hardly the first time he’s offended thousands of people. I have to believe he fully expected a huge backlash because of this tweet, and that’s exactly what he got.
There’s more. Much more. If you’re interested, you can read his entire timeline. Shaun King (who has over 31,500 followers and lists “Jesus Follower” on his timeline) later apologized for his language, but stood by his outrage as a result of Driscoll’s tweet. I don’t question for a moment that Mr. King’s outrage was genuine, and I’m sure many others, regardless of their political affiliations, were offended by Mark Driscoll’s tweet.
But seriously, people…
When you go off on someone on such a public forum, you end up looking like a self-righteous attention whore. I’m not trying to single out Shaun King. I’m sure there were plenty of others going off on Driscoll. I just happened to see his tirade because @Learell is in my “Friends” column on Tweetdeck, and when I saw this exchange, it made me curious about what I had missed:
Shaun King doesn’t know Learell from Adam. As far as I know, this is the first interaction either has had with one another. Yet King assumes Learell agreed with what Driscoll said.
Twitter is not the platform for meaningful dialogue about complex issues or passionate debates about politics, religion, or…well…anything.
It’s Twitter, people!
It’s pithy comments of 140 characters or less. The odds of your words being misunderstood and/or taken out of context are pretty high. Those odds go up exponentially when you’re pissed off.
If you’re outraged about something, rather than express your anger in 140 character spurts, get a pen and a notepad, or talk to a real, non-virtual human being about it. Maybe even go so far as to send a private email to the offending party.
If none of this advice sounds reasonable; if you still think your best bet is expressing your righteous anger on social media, might I suggest you examine why that is? Why you feel it so important to share your worst moments intimately with what amounts to a bunch of complete and total strangers who have no right to judge you, but most certainly will?
And while we’re on the subject of social media, can someone please explain to me why you would follow someone you don’t like? Doesn’t living in a fallen world give us plenty to be upset about without going out and looking for reasons to be pissed off?
In the memorable words of Sergeant Hulka…
Lighten up, Francis.