As a pastor, I was unprepared for the role social media plays during difficult times in the lives of church members. It took only a short time to realize that many people are now opting to connect about major life events via Facebook, text messages, emails, Twitter, and Carepages. Holy conversations are no longer relegated to quiet corners of the church’s fellowship hall, the pastor’s office, or around a friend’s kitchen table. Folks of every age are choosing to communicate about significant emotions and events through their cell phones, tablets, and computers.
Facebook and text messages are definitely not the only ways people can connect about life’s weighty matters. There should always be a special place for direct, personal contact. That said, these options aren’t mutually exclusive. We can simultaneously honor the value of posting to someone’s Facebook wall and the value of conversing together face-to-face and heart-to-heart. The more we can encourage one another to use a range of support tools in healthy ways, the better.
This was excerpted from the article “Social media in times of grief,” by Emily Carson in the March 2014 issue of Cafe.
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