I’m finding in a time of global stress it’s very important to manage interactions online, which are, while we’re in isolation, our main outlet for interactions of any kind. And, not to brag, but I’d like the record to reflect that my social media game is on point, especially following Beth’s 3 Basic Tenets of Conscientious Engagement — 1. Post what’s truthful, 2. Post what’s just, and 3. Post what’s kind.
For posterity’s sake, here’s the kind of thing I mean, Diary, and bits of what I’ve learned:
1. Post what’s truthful. It’s just super, super important we look out for common pitfalls both in our own posts and in our friends’. EVERYONE is susceptible to wonky thinking from time to time, and to fake news, and to confirmation bias. It can come in the form of bad scientific data or adherence to harmful cultural norms or in myriad other ways, so we must be on the lookout, like when my friend Laura posted this:
We really must correct wonky thinking with Scientific Data, challenging the old way of doing things with a healthier approach.
Now, I admit, I could’ve responded more gently, with fewer ALL CAPS and less frustration, but I’m still learning, like everyone else. I made my points, though, about SCIENCE and HEALTH.
2. Post what’s just. I know I say it all the time, but WE HAVE TO LIFT UP VULNERABLE PEOPLE and HELP CHAMPION MARGINALIZED GROUPS, and we do this best by a) Telling people out loud that we support them, and b) Being fully, authentically ourselves… i.e. …
Is this true? YES. Is it just? YES. Check and check and said out loud so folks who are gay and folks who stealth deposit geese know they’re not alone. BUILDING SAFE COMMUNITY — that’s what we’re after. Not necessarily safe from midnight goose attacks, but, you know, emotionally safe.
However, sometimes when we post things like this, our friends will help clarify any confusing parts of the message. WE NEED TO LET THEM.
We need to listen. Take their words to heart. Consider them thoughtfully. Decide where we can do better, and then do better.
Also, DO NOT ABANDON THE CONVERSATION. If our friends have questions and want to further the convo, let’s engage in that together.
Sometimes, our friends will take our ideas and run with them, improving the original concept immeasurably.
THIS IS WHY WE HAVE EACH OTHER. We are greater together than we could ever be apart, and our collaborative work nets better results than anyone going it alone.
Finally, when speaking of the importance of justice, empty threats do no one any favors. If we SAY we’re going to do something, we need to BE ABLE to follow through. We need to BE ABLE to do the legwork. We need to BE ABLE to demonstrate our commitment to the cause so that when we’re called out on it — say, by one’s father — we have the receipts
Street cred is everything. It’s the only way people can trust our commitment to justice.
3. And, lastly, post what’s kind. Look, there are a lot of folks out there hurting right now. They’re tired. They’re down. They’re vulnerable. And they’re reaching out for help and hope.
Let’s be there for them. When they express a need, like my friend Josie did, let’s do whatever’s within our power to meet that need. After all, this is what it means to love our neighbors as ourselves.
It is the work of God.