I was once very occupied with social media. I had accounts with LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Mastodon. My followers in Twitter amounted, at one point, to over thirty thousand. I was happy to write or post messages every day for everyone.
My involvement began to unravel after joining the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service. Because of so many followers, I used the “like” star as a place holder in Twitter in order to go back and review the tweets I had seen but had too many people to look through and to respond to for a single session. Unfortunately, those above me in the chain of command in the military did not understand this and took offence to some of the tweets I had “liked” not understanding the role I was assigning that button.
Some of the tweets I retweeted and some of my own book suggestions caused offence within the Canadian Armed Forces even though they were within the guidelines issued by the Forces. They were simply books Catholics might find helpful. But critical eyes and hearts decided it was too Catholic and offensive to some who looked at my tweets.
In the end, faced with military punishment, I deleted the account and began a new one and self-censored to avoid a repeat of the past. Unfortunately, that account was suspended by Twitter while deployed in West Africa while transiting Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Sénégal presuming I was a bot and I was unable to contact them through the telephone so far from home.
My Instagram account had been suspended twice because a person in Africa was stealing my photos while living in Malawi and reposting as his or her own with a variety of names for six accounts seeking to swindle followers of their money. Facebook I only used for work at the request of the branch I worked for and used Messenger while deployed at sea. The same person who stole my photos also tried to set up a Facebook account the same as Instagram but I reported this and he was removed. Some time ago I ceased using LinkedIn and Parler.
In one way it has cut me off from many people I supported or felt support from in a great many places around the world. I was able to meet in a virtual way a large number of people and share stories and faith. But also, these programmes created a dependence and a loss of time.
With the changes in my own life, I have not even spent time writing this blog as I could not bring myself to sit at a computer and write when there seemed so many things wrong in my life. The next blog post will go into some of that detail. We all face challenges. Sometimes we need to prioritise events and schedules so that we can accomplish the tasks we are expected to do in out state of life whether married, single, ordained or religious. Pray for discernment and do as the Lord wishes in you life.