If you’re reading this, you’ve probably already figured out that I’m a writer—or at least I claim to be. For a living, I write super awesome blog posts that are distributed on Facebook to an audience of more than one million followers on any given platform.
In my very limited time doing this (compared to other individuals in the industry), I’ve run into this paradox that I think anyone who scrolls through social media on a daily basis can relate to:
Facebook just doesn’t share many REAL things.
I can write “tragically uplifting” posts and publish mommy-blogging rants about, let’s be honest, first world problems until the cows come home. But I cannot for the life of me get people to care about the fact that beyond these American borders, there is a lot of real stuff happening.
It’s happening in our own country too! More people are taking their lives every day by suicide than they are dying in car crashes. Our own neighbors have been stranded without food, water or electricity for more than TWO months! Syrian refugees are being shuffled in by the government while simultaneously being shut out by the general public—and more pressingly, CHRISTIANS!
But no matter what I write, or how I frame it, people seem to always go for the content that doesn’t serve much of a purpose. The stories that aren’t politically charged or riddled with negative reports. And Facebook knows it.
And Y’all, I get it. The media is plagued with an overwhelming amount of negativity. So we share positive things no matter how mediocre or irrelevant they are because sharing the GOOD is better for our souls than sharing the bad.
Don’t get me wrong, the fact that this boy returned someone’s wallet when he found it should be celebrated as good. But as a matter of basic human morality, does his good deed really garner the need for VIRAL attention?
Unfortunately, these days, it seems like we can’t count on anyone to simply do the right thing. So when they do, it’s what we share.
Now that’s not to say that less-than-heroic stories don’t matter either. I love my job, I really do! And I love having the opportunity to share uplifting stories that restore people’s faith in humanity, their faith in Jesus, and maybe put a smile on their face in the process. But Y’all, we are truly missing something here.
Facebook, there’s SO much GOOD to share, but we have to set a new standard for what determines GOOD.
Do you know that Facebook only shows you what Facebook wants you to see? It doesn’t matter how moving or pressing an issue is, if Facebook makes more money from someone else, the good things that are worth talking about may never even be seen.
We hear more about President Trump’s Twitterstorms and divisive protests throughout the country than we do about people doing GOOD things that are actually worth sharing.
Take this little girl in Liberia for example. After her father died of Ebola, she was forced to drop out of school because her mother can’t afford it. Now that doesn’t sound like great news, but that’s a person. Her life and her dreams of becoming a musician and singing in churches—they matter. And what IS good is not that her life is harder than anything we can imagine, but that WE, even worlds away from this beautiful little girl, have the power to change her future.
It’s inspiring to think of the woman she may grow up to be if people just knew her story, and came together to do GOOD on her behalf.
Do you know what my most shared article on Facebook was last year?
It’s an excellent piece, and you should definitely read it when you get through with this. But at the end of the day, did it solve a problem? A REAL human problem? One that isn’t specific to privileged children growing up in the U.S. who have the luxury of having a lunch to forgetfully leave at home?
Did it prompt change or salvation? Did it inform a vast audience about a pressing issue that they had the power to solve?
Please hear me when I tell you, this is not to say that some of the most basic and uplifting things aren’t worth sharing. In fact, some of the simplest things in life also turn out to be some of the greatest things.
I LOVE sharing viral videos of people gathering together in Sam’s Club and literally having CHURCH in the middle of the store. I love mothers who go to the greatest lengths to protect the lives of their children. And Y’all, there is no shame in the love I have for Chip and Joanna Gaines, who embody the teachings of Christ and reach millions of people through their television sets, simply by BEING good people, who exude love, acceptance and simplicity.
And as Christians, we WANT to see more of Christ on Facebook and in the media.
But the truth is, WE have to create the things WE want to see.
It’s up to us to be champions of the church, to create the change we want to see, and share REAL stories that lead to REAL hope for REAL people.
We started FaithIt.com with the hopes of influencing culture and creating a Kingdom movement online. Will you join us in showcasing your faith through sharing stories that matter? Stories in which only God can be given the glory. Stories of compelling experiences that prompt others in your life to know the only true Savior, which is Jesus Christ.