Following on from his recent articles on Facebook, Tim Chester lists 12 guidelines to consider in using social networking.
- Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say were the people concerned in the room.
- Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t share publicly with your Christian community.
- Ensure your online world is visible to your offline Christian community.
- Challenge one another if you think someone’s online self reflects a self-created identity rather than identity in Christ.
- Challenge one another if you think someone’s online self doesn’t match their offline self.
- Use social networking to enhance real world relationship not to replace them.
- Don’t let children have unsupervised internet access or accept as online friends people you don’t know offline.
- Set limits to the time you spend online and ask someone to hold you accountable to these.
- Set aside a day a week as a technology “Sabbath” or “fast”.
- Avoid alerts (emails, tweets, texts and so on) that interrupt other activities especially reading, praying, worshipping and relating.
- Ban mobiles from the meal table and the bedroom.
- Look for opportunities to replace disembodied (online or phone) communication with embodied (face-to-face) communication.