“Follow Me”

We live in a social media age where Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and similar sites are frequent places of social interaction. As I pondered a bit the theme we have selected for our campus observance of Lent – FOLLOW ME,  I couldn’t help but think of the phrase “follow me” as it relates to Twitter. How often we see that posted online or spoken to encourage folks to “follow me” and all that we have to spew in written word. The energy we now spend in posting and tweeting about our lives is amazing. Over 190 million tweets occur everyday! Twitter adds over 500,000 users each day! 1 in nine people on earth have a Facebook profile and those users spend 15.5 hours a month on Facebook. (to see more stats on social media use) Social media is part of our lives. The question we might ask ourselves is: how do we use this technology to enhance the quality of our lives? How can I spend this Lenten season to ponder such a question? Some folks choose to sacrifice the use of Facebook or Twitter during Lent and while such sacrifices are noble causes, it might not be the best way to really reflect on our use of social media.

Lent is a time to re-focus, renew, rejuvenate our spiritual lives. It is time to review our behaviors, habits and social interactions. How do our daily interactions witness to a life centered in Christ? Do we treat others as we would want to be treated? Are we spending our time and energy in positive ways to enhance the quality of our life and those whom we love? These are all important questions for our Lenten journey. Our use of social media and technology is not exempt from this reflection. Next time you get a text while listening carefully to a friend sharing a personal story, let the text go until there is a more appropriate time to respond. Be attentive to your physical presence and less attentive to your virtual presence! The content we share on Facebook, Twitter and other sites, is a reflection of who we are; does this content reflect the person you are and how you want others to see you? Do you take seriously the charge of our Church to engage in a new evangelization and to use social media as a means to spread the Gospel and your love for Christ? Do you really have a message to share on Facebook and Twitter that intrigues me and others to FOLLOW YOU? So next time you ask others to follow you on Twitter or Facebook you might think more carefully about what it is you want all those following you to hear; hopefully they are hearing a message worth following. Hopefully it is a message similar to that of Jesus, a man who paved the way for us, who sacrificed his life for us and made it all worth us to FOLLOW. Follow Me on a journey deeper into this Lenten season…

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About bhalderman

A Marianist brother who works as the University Minister for Social Justice and as adjunct faculty in the department of Sociology at St. Mary's University. Brian holds a Masters in Social Work and a Bachelors of Arts in Religious Studies.

Posted on February 23, 2012, in Lenten Reflections, Spirituality. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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