At our staff meeting this week, we were discussing how to use social media in a Christ-exalting way. As is often the case, we remembered that John Piper had gone before us on this issue.
In June 2009, he posted a blog in which he described his take on social media and his decision to tweet. His original post can be found here: http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/taste-see-articles/why-and-how-i-am-tweeting
Below are extensive excerpts from his post:
I see two kinds of response to social Internet media like blogging, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and others.Pastor John is correct. It is exactly this ability to see the God-glorifying potential in so many things that encourages me about his minstry. Our church will do well to emulate Pastor John as we employ the venues available to us!
One says: These media tend to shorten attention spans, weaken discursive reasoning, lure people away from Scripture and prayer, disembody relationships, feed the fires of narcissism, cater to the craving for attention, fill the world with drivel, shrink the soul’s capacity for greatness, and make us second-handers who comment on life when we ought to be living it. So boycott them and write books (not blogs) about the problem.
The other response says: Yes, there is truth in all of that, but instead of boycotting, try to fill these media with as much provocative, reasonable, Bible-saturated, prayerful, relational, Christ-exalting, truth-driven, serious, creative pointers to true greatness as you can....
Now what about Twitter? I find Twitter to be a kind of taunt: “Okay, truth-lover, see what you can do with 140 characters! You say your mission is to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things! Well, this is one of those ‘all things.’ Can you magnify Christ with this thimble-full of letters?”
To which I respond:
The sovereign Lord of the earth and sky
Puts camels through a needle’s eye.
And if his wisdom see it mete,
He will put worlds inside a tweet.
So I am not inclined to tweet that at 10AM the cat pulled the curtains down. But it might remind me that the Lion of Judah will roll up the heavens like a garment, and blow out the sun like a candle, because he just turned the light on. That tweet might distract someone from pornography and make them look up.
I’ve been tweeting anonymously for a month mainly to test its spiritual and family effects on me. In spite of all the dangers, it seems like a risk worth taking. “All things were created through Christ and for Christ” (Colossians 1:16). The world does not know it, but that is why Twitter exists and that’s why I Tweet.