In the culture of social networks it is easier than ever to find common ground with another person. Anyone who has a profile, a website or has accepted you into their online community, has personally posted each piece of information because they’d like to share it with you. It’s an invitation to engage, not an invasion of privacy. People on the sidelines of social networking fear that once they get online, the whole world can see into their private information.
That simply is not true. People share the information they want to share.
You share the information you choose to share – period. Banking information, personal address, phone numbers, social security numbers, personal photos, and emails — stay private. (Well – as long as you decide to keep them that way or don’t blow it with a DM that misses the “direct” part.)
If someone posts in a status update...
This visit is lasting waaaay 2 long. Does anyone know where I get my mother-in-law a 1way tick to the moon? :O
It’s his or her post and choice.
You’ll see comments that are awkward, border on a pinch too personal, or are just plan TMI (too much information!) It happens. Expect it. But if you’re serious about sharing your faith online, you need to take the personal bias out of the equation and read the comment through God’s eyes and just love right over them. The common ground eventually surfaces if you are willing to linger and look for it.
The upswing to social networks is that for some reason people tend to share information online that may have taken three months of lunch dates for them to divulge otherwise. This candor works in your favor if you are truly a student of evangelism, seeking to know others, and passionate about developing Christ-like relationships.
If you pay attention, the opportunity to offer a word of encouragement or share some light humor with a stranger appears. Before you know it – that person is no longer a stranger to you.
C.S. Lewis once said,
“Friendship is born the moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You, too! I thought I was the only one.’ “
What are some of the things that people post or publish that make you want to connect with them online?