When I first heard that Mandy, one of my Facebook friends and a friend of several of my friends, was going to write a book called Reforming Social Media, I was thrilled! When I had the opportunity to be part of her launch team, I was even more thrilled. When I actually sat down and read her book...I just sighed. This, my readers, is a breath of fresh air...something we all need to read, to think about, to reflect upon.
Mandy's purpose in writing this book is to reform our thinking and reform our use of social media in order to glorify God. On page 13 (of the PDF version, may change in the actual printed copy), Mandy states the following: "If you and I choose to use social media, we should do so in a manner that is glorifying to God. If you and I choose to not use social media, or limit our use of social media, we should do so in a manner that glorifies God." How true. She makes the point that social media, whether we like it or not, is definitely here to stay. With that in mind, we, as Christians, really do need to have some kind of game plan, some kind of vision for how we relate to it.
Mandy covers very practical topics in her book, something that is greatly needed and almost lacking in the market right now. She goes over guidelines for how to use social media. She gives very practical and biblical advice on how to relate to other people's posts, what to post and what not to, how to apply biblical principles to our use of social media specifically, and how to handle any offense that comes via Facebook. She brilliantly explains terms and also the basics of social media, which would greatly benefit those new to social media or those who don't use it but would like to know more. One chapter contains a question/answer type format regarding basic social media etiquette. (I almost wish everyone was required to read that specific information before signing up for any social media!) She also beautifully ties in scripture, as this really should be the foundation for all we say and do--and Facebook and other social media is not exempt from this. I thoroughly enjoyed her chapter detailing the different types of people that are on Facebook and why they are on there. I found myself chuckling as I could pick out the different types. Each chapter in Reforming Social Media ends with a section called "Action Steps," which helps readers apply what they read and helps bring the topic of the chapter even more personal relevancy. I like that the questions in this section are not unlike the questions one reads at the end of a Bible study book--the questions that make you examine your heart, your life, and make needed changes.
Mandy's book is not condemning and was not written to persuade her readers to give up social media. Instead, her words are convicting and are meant to challenge her readers to change how they approach social media. I really took to heart some of the practical questions she shared as an aid for deciding what to post. So, as a result, I made the decision to not post something the other day. You know what? It felt freeing. I also felt conviction when she talked about how we've made social media all about us. She also wrote about what things in our lives we've allowed social media to actually replace (OUCH!). She shares about how social media is a vehicle for showing God's love. Because I see Mandy on Facebook, I can clearly say that she practices what she preaches and is sharing out of her own desire to see social media reformed to reflect the love of our Savior.
This book is for those who already use social media, for those who use it some, and for those who know absolutely nothing about it. In essence, this book is for all of us. As Mandy points out, we have a choice to make about how we relate to social media....and I believe her book is an essential tool in making this choice.
I will share more information when Reforming Social Media hits the market! Stay tuned!