One Good Thought: Real Connection in the Social Media Age

“When we talk to our fellow men and they tell us about their troubles, we will listen to them carefully if we have love for them. We will have compassion for their suffering and pain, for we are God’s creatures; we are a manifestation of the love of God.”
+ Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Have you ever been on Facebook and suddenly realized you just casually scrolled past someone else’s tragedy?

Social media can bring much into our lives: the joys and sorrows and random ideas of our 350 friends. It’s often overwhelming. People share things publicly that used to be reserved for quiet conversations over coffee with a close friend. It’s hard to respond to those kinds of social media posts with an appropriate level of care, and sometimes we just can’t–the relationship isn’t really there enough to support this kind of information.

Someone posts that a family member has died. We respond with an emoticon. That may be fine, or it may be sort of distancing because we responded, but the relationship didn’t grow the way it might’ve if the same information (and our heartfelt response to it) was shared in person.

How can we be a manifestation of the love of God to others?

Remember what Elder Thaddeus advised: talk to others and listen to them carefully and with compassion. You can show the love of Christ to those around you – in person, through phone calls and letters, and yes, even on social media, but this love starts in your own heart, in the love of Christ that grows there.

Lord, help me to open up my heart to listen to those You bring near me. Help me to love them with Your love.

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