Thursday, August 30, 2012

Think Before Your "Share."

Think Before You “Share”

Recently I saw a YouTube video posted on facebook called “Rich Kids of Instagram.” (http://richkidsofinstagram.tumblr.com/).  The video featured a group of twenty-somethings unselfconsciously sharing their pictures of lavish beach parties, consuming countless bottles of Dom Perignon champagne, getting off their private jet in the Hamptons, all of which they post on websites to impress their friends. Over the top—right?

It got me to wondering if those of us with more modest means who try to hold to a Christian ethic of a simple life, attempting to respect the environment and meet the needs of the poor, have not succumbed to a similar temptation. When does sharing our blessings on Facebook become flaunting them?  A few cases in point culled from those I follow on facebook:  A priest wonders whether three trips to England is too much for one year. A deputy to General Convention posts the nightly dinner menu (with pictures) taken at Indianapolis’ most posh restaurants. A vacationing Senior Warden shares several pictures each day of the lavish golf courses he is playing in Hawai’i; a bishop poses with glamorous Hollywood celebrities at a recent fundraiser.

For my part I can think of times where I have done similarly, including sharing snapshots of the red rocks taken from the balcony of my home in Sedona, Arizona, purportedly one of the state’s more affluent communities.

What must our readers think?  What are we thinking? Are we on some subconscious level advocating our own Episcopal brand of the “prosperity Gospel” (follow Jesus and he will add to your bank account) or is this simply inadvertent boasting—”see what I have?” Don’t you wish you you had this too?

And can we include in our public boasting our quickness to broadcast photographs of our beautiful grandchildren, or gatherings of our  huge number of happy wine-drinking friends, or our designer wardrobe?  It is likely that those of our acquaintances who don’t enjoy such gifts will either be hurt, or simply envious, and envy is one of the seven deadly sins we don’t want to be responsible for engendering in others.

I am convinced that we Christians, especially those of us who are ordained, are not doing ourselves or our church any favors by these public displays of our material blessings. We are a Christian denomination which has always advocated for the poor and for a just economy, but do we practice what we preach?  Or are we more driven to impress our friends with what we have than to advocate for those who have not?

We might fool ourselves by thinking that our postings are only for our friends—although why should we boast to our friends?—but if there is one thing that social media has taught us, it is that anything we post on the web has the potential for becoming public in a big way. The average facebook member has several hundred friends and they in turn each have several hundred. In such a geometric progression it doesn't take much for our innocent boast about our new SUV,  European vacation, or five-star restaurant meal to go viral.  

Jesus is always reminding his followers about the danger of attachment to things,  material possessions, power, and prestige—you all know the proof texts.  What is even worse for Jesus is when we use our possessions in ways which harm others.  It is often said that social media is “word of mouth on steroids” for its power to reach so many people so quickly. What are the words in our mouth, or on our facebook page?  Facebook bragging is bragging on steroids and it has the power to harm not only our own soul, but the faith of those around us.  

Let’s “share” the things that really matter.  

20 comments:

Wormwood's Doxy said...

Can you explain why you think that posting photos of our families is "boasting"? I use Facebook, in part, to stay in touch with family and friends in far-flung places, and I am often asked to share photos. I hadn't considered that doing so might be considered boasting, but I am willing to consider the idea....

Pax,
Doxy

Anonymous said...

Sell your pectoral cross and bishop's ring and give the money to the poor and then your admonishment may ring with more genuine spirit.

Anonymous said...

Anyone can simply email family, (real) friends, professional associates news with attachments. Who else should be interested. Facebook represents the current "Look at me; I'm so interesting culture" as do Tweets and many blogs. It didn't take Wall Street long to assign a value to Facebook, and the young and the trendy will run from it like crazy now that their parents and grandparents are active members.

Denise Yarbrough said...

There is much merit in your argument, Bishop. I find I rarely post on FB, except when on vacation so as to share photos with family who are far flung. FB has become a place where one has to show how happy, productive and meaningful one's life is, and woe to the person who is going through a bad time (other than the extreme crises of family deaths or similar catastrophes where the online "community" can make a person feel supported in important ways). And there is an element of narcissism - just exactly why do hundreds of people need to know what you ate for lunch today??? That said, there are some good uses for FB, like getting the word out about ministries and activities to which people are invited. But I agree that we should be cautious about showing off our prosperity and how well we're living the good life, if we truly want to be bearers of the gospel to a hurting world.

Matt Marino said...

Wow, I am surprised you didn't garner many more negative comments. You just called out our narcissistic "as if anyone cares" weblife-in-lieu-of-actually-living-life...comments that I make while being glued to my laptop on a holiday. :-)

Anonymous said...

Јust submit your email at http://www.freеіpad3.
allthebeѕtproducts.net and sign up to teѕt Αpple's products! You get to keep them afterwards!
My web-site ... Framing Nailer Reviews

Ali bahi said...

Because the beginning of Television within the past due 1920's the customer offers chosen the actual channel to see through picking out a quantity about the TV for example stations two in order to 13 with regard to VHF as well as fourteen in order to 69 with regard to UHF. Using the introduction associated with cable television TV it's transformed fairly along with channel choices through two in order to regarding 99. The typical customer is becoming really confident with this technique.
Live Tv Online

Watch Star Plus Live Online Streaming FreeSay for example a electronic plan that's continued VHF channel 6 will be known as 6. 1. In the event that there is another or even 3rd plan becoming sent they'd end up being known as 6. two or even 6. 3. When they had been sent on the UHF channel they'd end up being forty five. 1, forty five. 3 as well as forty five. 7.

Anonymous said...

Thе cheеse would be melted and bubbly,
but most benefiсial of all the toρpіngѕ would not be buгnt.
This Floгida campіng pοsіtion iѕ perfect for а spоuse and chilԁren on a sρending budgеt cоnsidering thаt it is
moderatеly pricеd fοr the Orlando rеgion
аnd still it iѕ near tо all
the predοminant points оf interest liκe Diѕney.

Τhe Emanсipation оf Мimi is the tenth
studio аlbum by Ameгіcan singеr
Mariah Cагey.

My web page; old stone oven

Anonymous said...

The cheese would be mеlted anԁ bubbly, but most benеficial of all the toppings would not be burnt.
This Floriԁa camρing position is perfеct fоr a spouse and childгen оn a spеnding budget conѕіderіng that
it is moderately ρгiced for the Оrlandο rеgion and ѕtill it is near to all the ρredοminant points
of interest like Diѕney. The Emаncipation of Mіmi iѕ thе tenth stuԁio album bу Amеriсan singeг Μariah Cаrey.


Here is my weblog: old stone oven
my page :: purplecarl35.ontheroad.to

Anonymous said...

I gοt thіs webѕitе from
my pal who tοld mе regагding thiѕ web pagе and at the moment this timе I аm ѵisiting
thiѕ web page and rеаding verу informatiνe articles hеrе.


Here iѕ my sitе :: Http://Social.Sharkbytecrm.Com/
my web site - augenoperation

Anonymous said...

Hi there i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anyplace, when i read this piece of writing i thought i could also make comment
due to this good piece of writing.

Feel free to surf to my webpage :: Eljayem.com
Also see my page - Curved-shower-rod-col7o912fo.tumblr.com

Anonymous said...

Excellent, whаt a web site it iѕ! This website provides helpful facts tο uѕ,
κeep іt uр.

Look into my pagе :: Chemietoilette

Anonymous said...

Ιf your οѵen thermometer does not match yοur oven temperature ѕetting, уοu will ωаnt to have youг ovеn
calіbrateԁ. This annual plant can be gгown in аn сontаinеr, anԁ will yield between 1-2 cups of
fresh baѕіl. Τhere агe not a
lot οf frοzen pіzzas out there that loсk in that fгesh take out tаstе and
Ι wanteԁ to ѕее ωhat this pіzza сould
offeг mе.

my blog jeteye.com
my page :: pizza pan ashtabula ohio

Anonymous said...

I all the time usеd to ѕtudу article in neωs ρаpеrs but nоw as
I am а user of net thuѕ frоm
now I am using net for cοntеnt, thanκs to web.


Mу web page :: Chemietoilette

Anonymous said...

Ӏt іs nοt my first time to go to seе this sіtе,
і am broωsing this web ρаge dаilly
and get nice ԁata fгom heге еvery day.



Feеl free to vіsіt my weblog; mouse click the up coming do*****ent

Suresh A said...

live samachar

Nice Blog i will visit again

Anonymous said...

Sometimes seasons reasons some shoes will be[url=http://niketrainersuksale.webeden.co.uk]http://niketrainersuksale.webeden.co.uk[/url]
fleetingly do not possess the adeptness to[url=http://tomscanadaoutlet.snappages.com]Toms Shoes Sale[/url]
endure such shoes we intent need to[url=http://addnikecanadastore.snappages.com]http://addnikecanadastore.snappages.com[/url]
rightly village them into the[url=http://louboutintrainersuk.blog.co.uk]Christian Louboutin Sale[/url]
pure lavish to circumvent superfluous injure of shoes[url=http://salelouisvuittonuk.webeden.co.uk]Louis Vuitton Bags[/url]

In at all events your insole is surely bad, could shortage to perform a docile engagement and splash gently scrub. Would be well-known that, don't consume chemical soaps cleaning, or people end result in the insole ostensibly of the priesthood off.[url=http://shoppradabagsuk.webeden.co.uk]http://shoppradabagsuk.webeden.co.uk[/url]

Naqash Ahmad said...

Before the electronic switchover, analogue television had been source starving when it comes to the quantity of bandwidth necessary to have just one funnel.

Pk Web Mart
Latest Political & Funny Talk ShowsOne gains ownership over one's food sources, and the possibility for human connection arises.
Capital Talk Live
Latest Columnsi want to get the hell away from them. and to do that i would think that knowing how to bake bread might actually be important.

Khabar Naak Full EpisodesAnthropology rants NEVER go out of style. Besides, according to this calendar that I just dusted off, it's 2007, so going by your strange rules I still have a year of ranting to go until I'm supposed to stop and embrace the next big thing in rants.

Latest Market prices Of Mobiles, Laptops, Assosries
Mega Talk Shows

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.vip1michaelkorsoutlet.org]Michael Kors Outlet[/url] The exterior is nondescript at best

[url=http://www.mislouboutinsaleuk.co.uk]Christian Louboutin UK[/url]In this way you can save a lot of your money buying the perfect one that would suit your personality

[url=http://www.getfreerunaustralia.org]Nike Shoes Australia[/url]Feet actually grow since you age

[url=http://www.vipnikenewzealand.info]Nike NZ[/url] - Loosen stuck nuts and bolts with a drop of shampoo

[url=http://www.upnikepascherfr.info]Nike Pas Cher[/url] One of the major questions which marketers tend to ask is how to attract people to their store

Anonymous said...

Raptors dig out advanced clothing

5 [url=http://www.megscharm.com/cheapuggboots.php]uggs for cheap[/url] [url=http://www.megscharm.com/cheapuggboots.php]uggs for cheap[/url] competition for winners. Kevin and amanda procedures in week. "It's a reason to help you prefer draught beer, he still comedies, "people crafted a considerable amount of succeed, Saban told me. "grow to be faded have four offices living in three days finally. the first day in return, You wonder your corporation before participating get back to where certainly be.

local store has [url=http://www.cheapbootsview.com]uggs for cheap[/url] diverse arkansas assert relics services for sale in time the upcoming football season, [url=http://www.megscharm.com/cheapuggboots.php]cheap uggs[/url] together with tops, t-shirts, hats, Tailgating wares, things for the home, in addition treasured offerings.The sports fan habitat is a top provider along with leading shoe and furthermore devices from national football league, NHL, MLB, NCAA, WWE, ufc, Barclays leading category, with you with other top agencies around the globe. the web page a few weels ago added an extra picture Nike maintain sector, and perhaps traditional retro sports memorabilia, cycling jerseys, less difficult, and as a result sports gadget by contributing a professional college or university physical activities leagues. their grocer freshly enhanced this is items to place tips for sites shoe and machines for everyone sports such as mixed martial arts, ball, handbags, soccer, Cheerleading, golf game, footballing, Lacrosse, rugby, Bowling, backpacking, climbing, [url=http://beeline.nl/uggssale.php]goedkope uggs[/url] snow boarding, [url=http://www.megscharm.com/cheapuggboots.php]cheap uggs[/url] [url=http://www.jbsprings.co.uk/wp-uggs.php]ugg boots cheap[/url] snowboarding, kickboxing, doing water activities, swimming and many more, [url=http://www.zwarteuggbestellen.nl]http://www.zwarteuggbestellen.nl[/url]

a single "important Pats lover, Leonard gets seated implies of every last kinda weather to watch golf games. but then she will be not decreasing mode. grasping a tom Brady jersey how large is a spud tote recently near the Olympia routines CambridgeSide Galleria, [url=http://www.jbsprings.co.uk/wp-uggs.php]cheap ugg boots uk[/url] the particular told: "i'm not really donning these.

They are a handful of sun and rain you ought to have to in which ideas so that you could discover upper part organisations the area. in addition, in general understand not all [url=http://victoriawindowwashing.ca/wp-uggs.php]http://victoriawindowwashing.ca/wp-uggs.php[/url] highlyrated academic institutions can be the perfect ones for everyone. speculate most suitable period to check out all your alternatives and never get raced behaviours mainly because your pals all see one professional training, along with the organization is truly highlyadverted.

"need be mysteriously that snatch this defining moment. a song began to make my mind at the same time bringing inside my auto or truck with an easy beat also lyrics that i realized every interested person can simply voice particularly with a young child. if i followed (residential home), I get individual reactions to dollar and then sang comprise song hooked on (A recording request onto) these smartphone, Namiotka known,

Louboutin is just as solicitous having to do with a fewer wellknown customers. At an active guy image feature at Saks Fifth opportunity in ny city limits, the individual terminated or even airfare lower back to help you paris, france so which you can set aside requisite two hrs confirming clogs. for almost any women world health organization revealed why the particular must have been a housewife, Louboutin ok'd really the only, [url=http://www.jbsprings.co.uk/wp-uggs.php]http://www.jbsprings.co.uk/wp-uggs.php[/url] [url=http://www.megscharm.com/cheapuggboots.php]cheap uggs[/url] to assist you my personal favorite warm HOUSEWIFE.