Yesterday I talked about “trolls” on the internet. According to Toni Birdsong and Tami Heim they are “people who repeatedly post negative comments on blogs and social networks.” (If you missed it, you can read it here.)
They also talk about “haters” (outspoken, anti-everything people), and “de-frienders” (people who, if you hit a nerve, try to teach you some sort of lesson by clicking the de-friend button on Facebook).
But why aren’t there any positive categories?
Social media is a complicated enterprise. It’s where people post pictures, make comments, share information, and connect to others. But it can also be a very negative place.
One study showed that excessive Facebook use made users feel sadder. Perhaps it’s because we can compare ourselves to others. Or maybe we’re just easily drawn into all the junk and complaints.
So in addition to “trolls,” “haters” and “de-frienders,” I’d like to add this category:
A glorifier is someone who honours and glorifies God with their online presence. This doesn’t mean you have to post graphics of John 3:16 all day. But it means your words and activity honour God; it means you encourage and comfort; and it means you’re thoughtful about how you click, tweet, or comment.
In Ephesians 4:29 (NLT) Paul writes, “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” What if we slightly modified it for the internet? “Let everything you [type and post] be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who [see] them.”
Don’t be a troll, hater or de-friender. Be a glorifier.
Because on the other end of a post, picture, blog or comment…
Is a person.
By Matthew Ruttan
- This Sunday I’m starting a new series: “Does God Even Exist? The 1 Question That Changes Everything.” Watch a 45-second video about what to expect here.