How NOT to Be A Jerk On Social Media (Trevor Lund)

'social media, social networking, social computing tag cloud (#3)' photo (c) 2011, Daniel Iversen - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Every year I host a negativity fast so you’d think I’d be one to have it beat.  I’ve written a book called “How to Judge and Not Be a Jerk” so you may think I’m an expert.  If I am it’s in the sarcastic definition that “x” is an unknown element and a “spurt” is a drip under pressure.

Why is it that Christians are the ones who block me on Twitter and it’s Christian who periodically try to get me kicked off it? Maybe it’s because we’re the ones who shoot our  wounded where they lay and our leaders in the back.

I was in a bit of an argument on Twitter one day. Someone asked me a question about a scripture I tweeted and when I corrected him he started to blame me for all the wrongs Christianity has done throughout history. I thought I was dealing with a Christian because the attack was quite intense. I don’t usually see a non-christian be so aggressive. I checked out his bio and it said, “My religion is Karma.” and I laughed out loud. If he understood Karma he’d believe what goes around comes around. I guess the worse part of that story is I just assumed he was a Christian. My guess is he was raised to be one.

But he may not have been the biggest jerk in that exchange.

It’s so easy to find people (usually “Christians”) on Twitter who are ready to fight. They want to argue. They want to shout you down. They’re bully’s.

My problem is I learned early on in life the best way to stop a bully is to bully them. I know I can be the biggest bully on the block. I’m trying hard to stop that.

Here’s how I’ve learned I need to deal with the jerks without becoming one.

It’s so easy for us to be defensive and lash out. Hurt people hurt people. But you don’t have to. You can break the cycle.  Here’s how: Ignore or Confront… but Forgive and Bless.

Let’s draw this out a bit…

Ignore

Nehemiah didn’t stop his work on the wall to confront those who unfairly spread lies about him. Maybe this is the tactic the Father has for you. Ask Him and obey what He says. But be careful if its in your personality to avoid conflict because you may just be assuming the Father is telling you to ignore it.

Confront

Jesus confronted the religious leaders of the day when they said it was by satan that He was casting out demons. Perhaps it serves the Father’s purpose for you to confront.  Don’t do this because you enjoy it. You’re in the wrong place if you enjoy putting someone in his or her place. Still, don’t back away if the Father tells you to stand.

Forgive

We’re taught to forgive others for our sake, not for theirs. When we forgive others, Christ can forgive us. Forgiveness is not an option. You must forgive.

Bless them

Let’s let the words of Paul to the church in Rome expand this concept:

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone. Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

“I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.  Romans 12:18-21 (New Living Translation)

Let the jerks get the best of you. It’s a good thing. It’s a God thing. You can do it. Trust me. If I can learn this, so can you.

Have fun out there.

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Trevor Lund is a Book Marketing Director by day and a blogger and online pastor by night. He helps Christians expand the Kingdom through Twitter with his free download “Twitter Tips from @revtrev” <http://revtrev.com/twitter-tips/>. You can check out his negativity fast at http://LifeAbovetheNegativity.com

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  • http://twitter.com/hokirob Rob Schneider

    Good thoughts.  Sending a clear point around something complicated (or doctrinal) through Twitter sure can be a challenge.  Tone and non-verbals are lost on electronic media as well, and some people just assume the worst from the start and begin the conversation that way.  I think the ignore strategy is great for a lot of them.

    People should read and consider this once a week before they Tweet, Facebook or join into a social media discussion.  Cool sharing it, thanks.

  • Bobfreeman

    Enjoyed reading the blog. I agree wholeheartedly. I might also add this “Remember, there’s no such thing as a one way argument.”

  • Darrin

    Bullies is spelled B-U-L-L-I-E-S, not bully’s.  Plurals never have apostrophes, only contractions and possessives.  Nobody gets that anymore.


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