Facebook has become more than just a site for social networking–it has evolved into a personal platform for diatribing, pushing for one’s favorite cause, or attacking one’s least favorite political candidate, religious denomination, or famous person. Much of this happens through status’ that range from pithy and insightful to poorly stated and ignorant.
More often, however, people choose to let someone else speak for them. The problem with these memes is that they’re often extremely biased, only presenting half-truths and thus doing more harm than good. They don’t typically result in any meaningful conversation. All too often they are divisive and lead people to become more entrenched in their positions. Finally, many of them are just downright uncharitable, mean, or ad hominem arguments. As Christians, we should be carefully considering 1) how we are evangelizing the most effective way, 2) if the position we want to publicly defend is actually upholding the integrity of our Christian faith, and 2) if any particular meme is the serving a positive purpose rather than just mis-informing or attacking people.
Here are some things we should consider before posting a meme. This will not only help those viewing our newsfeeds, but will also help us to not embarrass ourselves.
1) Is this meme actually informed or will it end up making me look stupid?
2) Is this meme actually going to serve a productive purpose?
3) Is this meme hurtful, uncharitable, or promoting unreasonable stereotypes.
Memes are funny, and CAN prove a point and lead to decent discussion–so we shouldn’t get rid of them altogether. But we should ask ourselves before posting anything if this meme will embarrass yourself, your church, or any group of people that we claim we love. What are some examples of what I would consider appropriate memes?
Happy (and responsible) Memeing!