Speaking the Good Word on Twitter

‘A good word is above the best gift’ (Sirach 18.17) and ‘A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver’ (Proverbs 25.11). Those two sentences are culled at random from the scripture I store in my head, and for me they pinpoint why a Twitter silence is likely to prove an inadequate response to the evil of trolling and abuse. Silence will not, of itself, change a culture of abuse β€” and that is what we have: not merely individuals who abuse, but a culture which tolerates such abuse. Indeed, a Twitter silence such as some are advocating may allow it to flourish all the more. Instead of walking away from Twitter and other forms of Social Media, I think we should engage with them for good. We must show how use of the good word, positive speech and engagement, is much more beneficial, in all senses of that word, than bad or angry/abusive words.

It is a challenge we can all take up, but as we do so, perhaps we need to examine our own conduct. We may not be trolls, but we may be a little too free in our negative comments about others, a little too inclined to assume that we are right and everyone else wrong, keener to lecture than to listen. The good word is born of a listening silence. Let’s not forget that.


8 thoughts on “Speaking the Good Word on Twitter”

  1. Every campaign and cause put into the public domain should properly be tested . Healthy debate can persuade hearts and minds to change for the better and twitter is an ideal medium for this to happen.
    It would be a great pity however if twitter is made so safe that only anodyne comments are tweeted and worse still if Twitter becomes the umpire to decide what is or not acceptable and who can remain in the field of play
    Of course Criminal conduct cannot be tolerated in any public place and it is accepted that the authorities cannot possibly enforce every infringement on twitter so it is incumbent upon us all to behave and to speak up when we see abusive comments. Foul abuse and threats of rape and violence are intolerable and it is quite proper that those responsible are dealt with appropriately.

  2. Must agree, social interaction whether face to face or via a device, should be two way. We must listen (read/follow) more than we speak. The most disconcerting aspect of the troll/Twitter abuse is the focus on women. I thought the world had moved on from such outmoded and offensive prejudice.

  3. If you engage with the Internet you ‘will’ step in a viper’s nest and get bitten, but have faith. Don’t wressle with a snake that’s been knocked to the ground, even if it bites you, let it slither back into the undergrowth. You will still live in Christ and overcome the searing sting of evil words. Otherwise do not be the food that feeds the vipers, know when to engage and when to let go of a conversation. Mark 16:18, Acts 28:5. God is love, words spoken in love and genuine affection heal and attract people to Him. πŸ™‚ There’s no sharper knife than a combination of letters falling onto a page as if they fell from the tounge, the words can be revisited and plunge into a victim again and again.

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