We will be held accountable for every careless tweet. Every careless tweet—including the ones we’ve deleted—are viral tweets before the throne of God.
Social media isn’t the problem, we are. Twitter isn’t a bad platform, our hearts are: for out of the abundance of the heart, the hands tweet.
If we’re not kind on social media, it’s because we’re not kind anywhere. Social media exposes who we really are. Social media is just a platform for sinners. We are envious and vain on Snapchat and Instagram, because that’s who we are.
We are angry and rude on Facebook and Twitter, because we’re angry people. Our anger and rudeness on Facebook and Twitter says more about us than social media. And yet, social media is a unique challenge for us. It’s designed to keep us from practicing modesty and self-control.
Modesty and self-control isn’t good business for social media platforms. Instagram wants you to post as many vain selfies as possible. Twitter wants you to lose self-control and comment on as many trending topics as possible. It’s good for their business and bad for our soul.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t post selfies or comment on trending topics. It doesn’t mean there’s a limit to how many posts we’re allowed to share. God hasn’t given us a quota to maintain. But social media shouldn’t distract us from our responsibility to serve God and others.
Some people are more active on social media than you are. Some people post more selfies and tweets than you do. And that’s okay. I think that sometimes, we self-righteously demonize people who use social media differently than we do.
I think it’s because we make idols out of our personalities. Too often, we want to make others into our image, not the image of Christ. Not everyone who uses social media differently than we do is less or more godly than we are. We shouldn’t confuse personality for character.
However, careless tweets have nothing to do with our personality and everything to do with our character. Careless words or tweets are rude or flattering, harsh or cowardly, hypocritical or vulgar, and all kinds of unprofitable, worthless, sinful words.
Some of the most careless tweets I’ve shared are doctrinally right, but unrighteous words. They were truth I shared in unrighteous anger, not truth in love. They were discouraging, not encouraging.
I want to be right and righteous. I want to be kind and patient. I want to be gentle and respectful. That’s why I address people on social media as “brother” and “sister”, “sir” and “ma’am” so often. That encourages me to pursue a more gentle and kind demeanor with them.
But my youthful passions tempt me to sin. Sometimes I forget that that “when words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent” (Proverbs 10:19). Too often, I am not at all quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger, or slow to tweet.
Being right on social media is good. But being right and righteous is better. But I can’t do that on my own. That’s why I’ve asked people I trust to keep me accountable. And I hope you’ll do that for me too. When you come across a careless tweet from me, please correct me.