Why I’m Not Giving Up Facebook or Twitter for Lent

When I started out on Twitter a little over a year ago, I had one goal – to be witty. Just about everything I posted was hoping for a re-tweet, a reply, or at least a laugh.

Facebook was different because I’m a youth minister, and Facebook is my primary mode of communication with teens.  I have lots of teens and former teens who are friends on Facebook, so I am always careful to watch what I say and how I say it.

But Twitter, well, Twitter was my “adult” world.  I could be a little more snarky and sarcastic and push the envelope a little more because all my followers (at that time) were adults.  I didn’t even tell my teens that I had Twitter because I didn’t want them to follow me – I didn’t want to have to watch what I said all the time.  I wanted to be witty and funny and flirt with the line of appropriateness.

Tweets that make me laugh. Now, when you're done reading this blog, go read a book...

Last March, someone I look up to and admire greatly said to me, “I love following you on Twitter – you’re always so funny!” The euphoric pride I felt was quickly (and thankfully) smashed by a spiritual director who asked me how the Twitter persona I had so carefully crafted was leading me closer to God.

So, when Lent rolled around last year, I decided to give up Twitter and spend some time re-evaluating how I was using this particular social media tool. I was back full force after Easter (hopefully) still witty, but also much more conscious about how I was using this technology to bring glory to God rather than to myself.  It wasn’t hard to do, and the Lenten fast served it’s purpose – with unexpected benefits.  I found myself being much more open about my personal faith on both Facebook and Twitter.

Unfortunately, the change also had some unexpected drawbacks.  I don’t get re-tweeted as much any more or get very many funny replies to my tweets – though those are relatively minor consequences and have become less important to me.  No, the biggest and most unexpected drawback has been the rejection I’ve experienced.

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