On this episode, Sonja shares “Nine Guidelines for Healthy Social Media Interaction.”

  1. Try to communicate with people like you would if you were sitting across a table from them. If you wouldn’t say it looking them in the eye, you likely don’t need to type into the comments bar. 🙂
  2. Always treat others as image-bearers of God with inherent dignity – that includes the way we speak to them.
  3. Not everything needs to be addressed publicly. Sometimes a discussion will go better in a private forum where people don’t have to feel like they’re being called down in front of the class.
  4. Give people the benefit of the doubt. All of us have said things we didn’t totally think through. And most of us have beliefs that we are still working through and sussing out. Most people have good intentions even if they’re not good at expressing them.
  5. Don’t assume people are stupid just because they don’t agree with you. Memes or posts that characterize the other “side” as stupid or short-sighted, etc. will never lead to helpful dialogue.
  6. Do not use insulting nicknames. Just don’t. (See #2.)
  7. When scripture says “a soft answer turns away wrath,” it means it. I’ve seen it happen. Your tone MATTERS. You can encourage healthy dialogue or completely shut it down simply by the tone you take and the words you use. Always use a tone of respect – even if you disagree. Kindness often can disarm a tense disagreement.
  8. Think about your motive for commenting. Is it simply so you can appear right and make your point? Or is it so that you can engage in respectful dialogue and get closer to the truth together.
  9. Humility matters. It is dangerous to assume that we are always right. Often we are not. Take a large dose of humility into every interaction.

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