A quick word following up on the Twitter discussion began last week:
I’ve seen the word “legalism” attached to my blogs. While I don’t think I’m immune to legalism by any stretch, I would note very quickly that I avoided attaching the word “sin” to my post. I also strove to avoid an automatic equation of Twitter and narcissism (or a foolish waste of time, or other sins and problems). It is my personal opinion that one can easily fall into these traps with Twitter use given its concise, self-driven nature. But at no point did I say that one automatically falls into these patterns by using Twitter.
Furthermore, sometimes we can confuse a discussion of what is edifying and helpful with what is sinful. Now, behavior that does not edify can easily become sinful. But it need not be. It may simply stay in the realm of unwise or unedifying. It seems to me that Twitter can easily fall into this category. Those who read my posts carefully will note that I spent the lion’s share of them discussing the vacuous nature of much Twitter usage. It is not necessarily, inherently sinful to tell me you just watched Cinderella Man. But neither is it necessarily edifying. I would argue, to continue, that a pattern of such posting could well drag one into a pattern of time-wasting that could in the end prove unwise and even sinful. Does this make sense?
With that said, my exhortation to not use Twitter was intended to be a bit startling. As other sections of each blog articulated, many godly people use Twitter and do so for good reasons. I don’t personally think one has to use Twitter to live an edifying life, and I push back against techno-obsession and an over-realized drive to redeem all aspects of culture, and I have seen few people use Twitter in a way that seems robustly edifying or meaningful. But that’s not to say it can’t happen.
I guess at the end of the day I lean towards focusing one’s effort on the cultivation of face-to-face fellowship. That, rather than an essentialist understanding of Twitter, is where my exhortation sprang from.
Thanks to all who’ve chimed in and to Rich Brooks for being an insightful discussion partner and the leader of a terrific website, Christ and Pop Culture.