Why I Joined Twitter

Sharon Wisdom 5 Comments

Well it has finally happened. I have joined Twitter!

For some of you reading this, you’re a little stunned that I waited so long to join Twitter. As a writer, Twitter is a great promotional tool that I have willingly avoided thus far. From a marketing standpoint, it was about time.

For others of you, it is remarkable that I joined Twitter at all. As many of you know, I have written a number of posts exploring the pitfalls of Twitter, one specifically explaining why I had yet to join. I have challenged Twitter users on Ed Stetzer’s blog and I have written about it on Christianity Today’s blog for women, Her.meneutics. Although I never condemned Twitter itself, I suspect some readers perceived me as being outrageously anti-Twitter.

However my intent was not to reject Twitter wholesale. Drawing on the language of 1 Corinthians 10:23, it was never an issue of whether or not Twitter is permissible. As a technological tool it is, by and large, morally neutral. Instead, I have wondered how it might be beneficial. Knowing its many misuses, how might I use Twitter in a way that is productive?

As one who struggles to tame my tongue in daily conversation, I am sobered by the public nature of Twitter. As a Twitter user, I am only a few taps of the finger away from miscommunicating or mis-speaking in front of an entire audience of followers. The knowledge of this temptation has been a great deterrent.

On the other hand, I have spent the last several months praying over my writing ministry and thinking about how I can better serve the church. Although I use my blog as a teaching platform, I would like to do more with it. I am the steward over a tiny corner of influence, and I am not content to steward that corner with writing alone. Using my blog, I want to be a more tangible example of the truths I teach. This means giving a voice to the voiceless, promoting powerful ministries, and supporting other Christians and Jesus-centered causes. In addition to those resources and partnerships, I want you to know about my writing on other websites, but I have been limited to promoting these sites through Facebook. Twitter allows me to do all of these things.

With those desires in mind, I have set a ground rule for myself, and I give you FULL permission to hold me accountable to it:

The primary purpose of my Twitter account is ministry and the up-building of the church. It will not be a running log of my daily activities. You will not know when I am stuck in an airport or on a date with my husband. You will know if I hear an encouraging quote or read a great Bible verse. You will know when I come across a great cause or  a great book. You will know when I have posted a new blog, or written for another website, or hopefully the day I publish my first book!

That is not to say that I will not respond  if someone Tweets something to me or about me. I will, especially if it’s encouraging! 🙂 But I also need a margin of privacy in order to continue in an authentic life of Christian discipleship. I do not cast judgment on those who use Twitter differently, but knowing myself it will be difficult to remain authentic before God and others if I am constantly tweeting my life before a host of watching eyes. I fear my life will become a performance.

That is also not to say that my Tweets must be stuffy and self-righteous. In laying these ground rules I’m not trying to be legalistic about this; I just know my weaknesses and I want to be wise about it.

With all of that in mind, you will notice some other changes on my blog as I attempt to use this space for greater purposes. In doing so, I hope to exemplify the content of this blog, rather than simply writing about it.

Hope to see you on Twitter!

51

Comments 5

  1. Post
    Author
  2. Chris Pappa

    Sharon,

    Welcome to the twitter-sphere! :o)

    I imagine you don’t have a lot of time for random books, but if you do, there’s one I read recently that challenges the conventional wisdom that technology is a morally neutral tool. It’s called “The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains,” by Nicholas Carr. Very well-written and well-researched, and it changed how I look at various aspects of technology, particularly the internet. From what you’ve written in the past concerning twitter etc, I think you might find it intriguing as well…if you can find the time!

  3. Post
    Author
    Sharon

    Chris, it’s funny you bring that up because I really debated about the sentence. That’s why I wrote “by and large”–that was my lame attempt at conveying that it’s a more complex subject than I have time to examine here. But you’re totally right–modern media technology is not only fraught with temptations, but it seems to be affecting our brains in ways we might not ever realize. I’ll keep that book in mind!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *