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Facebook banner: sad face and unlike button. Graphic by Ashleigh Pesu.
Graphic: Ashleigh Pesu

Five faith Facebook faux pas

Just because you can say something, doesn’t mean you should. Heaven knows not all Christians use Facebook appropriately—a sad and missed opportunity considering the potential impact. Here are five tips to keep you on the straight and narrow.

1Inspiration overload

I’m so glad you are inspired by five million quotes from “Anonymous” laid over city backdrops and Bible verses placed adjacent to fluffy animals but please find other things to share. Except #spiritualinspiration posts from the Uniting Church Queensland Facebook page, you can share those 😉

2#blessed!

Akin to the humblebrag (self-promotion couched in phony humility), #blessed posts are the worst because it’s straight-up bragging cloaked in Christianese. “So #blessed to wake up to my beautiful hubby every morning 😍 #blessedbeyondmeasure #itsthelittlethings” Ew.

3“Isn’t it horrible that …”

Hmmm. Be careful with this one! Your opinion isn’t shared by all your Facebook friends and while you may think it’s your Australian-given right to express political and social opinions that to you are “common sense”, it’s wise to approach hot button issues in a more constructive manner.

4Ease up on that clickbait

Clickbait sites like Upworthy use sensationalist headlines encouraging people to read in order to generate advertising revenue. We’ve all fallen for: “19 facts about motherhood that will SHOCK you! Number 7 will make you cry,” but in reality this is just fuzzy, feel-good media designed to drive traffic. It doesn’t affect real change and only exists to generate profit for a private company. So keep this in mind before you hit the share button and spam your friends.

5Tone matters

If only Christians realised the tone and posture in which they talk about contentious issues can be a greater witness than the words spoken.Facebook is good for talking about important issues but sometimes conversations need to be taken offline if authenticity is a priority. “Do you want to grab a coffee to discuss this further?” may be the perfect response to diffuse an aggressive, rude “friend” who has real questions but lacks the web etiquette to express them cordially.

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