It is interesting how different social media platforms are used for different things. And this seems to support Marshall McLuhan’s famous statement: “The medium is the message.” As I have written about before, every medium is created for a specific purpose, and no matter how that medium is used, that specific purpose will manifest itself.
Take Facebook. Facebook is a platform created for you to present yourself, in the best possible way, to people who know you. Unlike Twitter, where you present your opinions (usually anonymously) to people who don’t know you, and unlike Instagram where you present images to people who don’t know you, your Facebook page is directed at people who know you and who you want to impress in a way which is positive to yourself.
But of course, your life is never perfect. Even when things are running quite well, your life most often falls short of your ideal expectations. But what do you present on Facebook? You present your life as though it always meets your ideal expectations. Therefore, your Facebook page is mostly deceptive.
And I often see this phenomenon with an organization’s Facebook page as well. Beware, when viewing a charity’s, or church’s, or missionary’s Facebook page. All may not be as it seems.
For example, I remember viewing a post by a missionary who had only recently begun working in Cambodia (which is where I live). The post consisted of several pictures of the missionary working with a western medical team. There was no written description of the post, only the photos. Anyone viewing the post would automatically assume that the medical team was there under the organization of the missionary, and sure enough, all the viewer comments proved that: “Great job!” … “You’re changing Cambodia!” … “Amazing team!”
Western medical teams don’t just partner with anybody. Those doctors are taking precious time off work and investing thousands of dollars into the trip. They don’t want their time wasted, and so will not partner with some new missionary who has only been on the field for a few months. So I was a little suspicious and I asked the missionary, “Was that your medical team?” No, of course it wasn’t. It was a team working with a well established organization, and the missionary had merely volunteered to help them for a day. But the Facebook photos made it look as though the missionary was running the show.
Maybe it’s not a big deal, and I just need to relax a bit. But this kind of stuff has always bothered me. I’ve seen it so many times that all the little examples build up and up into a big steaming pile of BS.
Perhaps I am just projecting here. How much of this am I guilty of myself? Would I even be able to see myself doing it?
As a Christian, one of the things I love most about Jesus is the fact that He is always sincere. Jesus will always present things as they truly are.