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The Best and Worst Uses of Twitter

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I have written a couple of posts about twitter—why I decided to use it and things I’ve learned from the experience. Overall, twitter has been a positive experience, but not entirely. Here is a short list of the best and worst ways to use twitter:

The Best Uses of Twitter:

Encouraging Connections—Twitter is a great means of encouraging others and staying connected with helpful and strengthening relationships—friends, family, and ministry acquaintances—and what’s going on in the lives of others. I love following Pastor Chappell’s posts—they encourage me in a multitude of ways.  Hundreds of times others have strengthened and encouraged my spirit through their posts.

Edifying Words—Twitter is great for sharing quotes, scriptures, and principles that edify. I love following people whose hearts are obviously focused on spiritual matters and challenging subjects. Positive thinkers and spiritually minded people have a joyful heart and challenge me to be a better Christian.

Equipping Resources—Twitter is a great way to share ideas, helpful information (eg: blog posts, stories, useful media). I have often been informed of a good article, a new book, or a resource that proved to be beneficial in some aspect of life.

The Worst Uses of Twitter:

Arguing Foolish Questions—On or off twitter this is just wrong. But it is especially undiscerning to bring an argument into the public arena of 140 character posts. What an impossible and pointless way to carry on, and a fantastic way to ruin your testimony, hurt the name of Christ, and nullify the little influence that twitter might afford. Twitter isn’t the place for airing grievances, issuing reprimands, or broadcasting contention. (Only by pride cometh contention.)

Arrogance or Narcissism—Twitter doesn’t make someone arrogant, but it does reveal it. Pride and narcissism show up easily when you’re only allowed 140 characters. Twitter is a really bad way to tell the world how great you are and how much you love yourself.

Amplifying the Wrong Voices—Twitter is a tool of communication. It publishes, influences, and amplifies—and not every voice should be amplified. Before you quote, link, or otherwise amplify a voice, think it through. Don’t inadvertently give greater exposure to voices or philosophies that are unbiblical.

Aimless and Pointless Posting—For some, twitter is nothing more than a place to post mental rubbish. Strange. In truth, Twitter is an invitation to influence. It is permission to publish. If even one person follows you, they have asked you to share your life, your heart, your thoughts. That influence is a stewardship. Before you post, ask: Does this in any way honor the Lord and encourage others?

The bottom line—twitter is influence by invitation. If you misuse it, your invitation will be revoked. If you use it wisely, others will appreciate and benefit. As Christians, our communication should be biblical, pleasing to Christ, and helpful to others.

To those who have positively influenced me through twitter—I say, “Thank you!” Keep exemplifying these best uses!

One person recently said it this way, “Twitter is simply magnifies what you already are.” May every part of our lives—including twitter—magnify Christ and that which He loves!

How have you seen twitter used positively and negatively? Share your thoughts below…

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9 Comments

  • So true. It is sad when twitter is used to drag personal disputes into the public arena. May we always seek to edify.

  • Very helpful article. Thanks for the insight! Also, your twitter updates have been encouraging and helpful for me personally and for the ministry. Thanks again!

  • thank you for the reminders about how we, as Christians, should use twitter (and by your excellent message last night, other media). God help us to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and to edify others in everything we say and do!
    i enjoy following you and mrs schmidt on twitter because you both honor the Lord and encourage others (me!) with your tweets. thank you for being faithful.

  • Great article! Glad I found your blog. Looking forward to exploring it more.

  • Thanks Bro. Schmidt. I started a twitter account so my teens could know what I do during the day, and I could share good quotes and thoughts. Like anything in life, if you get lazy you get of track. This was a good reminder to be wise with my words. I want to stand before God with a clear conscience!

  • Bro. Schmidt,

    Enjoyed the thoughts here. Thanks so much. I appreciate it. You’ve been an encouragement to me!

  • Bro. Schmidt,
    I really do appreciate your heart and believe that everything you said about Twitter was correct. Thank you for the reminder that we should always consider our testimonies even when we are on programs such as Twitter.

  • Bro. Schmidt, Thank you for the great article. You are a great influence on many who have never met you personally. What a convicting post.

  • Bro. Schmidt,
    Thank you for the convicting, yet encouraging thoughts. “We are known by what we say.” I pray that more would follow and heed to these truths. Thank you for being an “encourager”.


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