Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Why I Stopped Hopping on Hashtags

Today is one of those days - the kind where it seems like the whole world is talking about something controversial, politically charged, heartbreaking, game-changing, or all of the above. Today is one of those days - the kind where hashtags are being hopped on, viral articles are being shared, viewpoints are being defended, and devil's advocate costumes are being donned. Today is one of those days - the kind where my heart yearns to say something of significance about a trending message, my soul cries out for Truth to be revealed, my eyes beg to shut out the headlines, my fingers ache to dim the bulbs of enlightenment for just a minute. And yet in this culture of social media activism, this I know: no matter which side I take or what I have to say, any words I hitch to a hashtag will ultimately become nothing more than sound bites in a cesspool. Everyone talks on social media, but does anyone really listen? Can hearts and minds and opposing viewpoints be changed if I craft the perfect counter-sentiment in 140 characters or less? More and more, social media just seems like a bunch of people jumping en masse off the proverbial bridge, silently screaming at each other as thumbs fly across iPhone keyboards all the way into the abyss. More and more, I see that labeling my heart cries with a hashtag only kindles whatever fire I'm trying to extinguish. Social media has given everyone a voice and a platform from which to share it. But in the cacophony of opinions, so often I feel that I've lost both. This thing that was meant for connectivity has turned into a pit of controversy, and we're kidding ourselves if we think much ground is going to be won in a Twitter war. So what do we - those of us who have so much to say, but seemingly nowhere safe to say it - do? Go silent? Delete our accounts? Pay to promote our own beliefs via a social media campaign, then watch in horror as the truths we hold dear are ripped to shreds by hate, vitriol, and a hefty dose of sarcasm? The Bible says the following: "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." (Matthew 7:6) I could get really arrogant and self-righteous by interpreting that verse to mean something like "I'm a pearl and they're all pigs." But y'all, God is so good. Here's what His Word says right before bringing on the bacon: "...how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye." I can pour all of my passion into fighting humans on a hashtag, or I can give that passion (that angst, that righteous anger, that fill-in-the-blank) to my Heavenly Father and ask Him to equip me - despite my brokenness, my hypocrisy, and my plank eye - to love the humans who agree with me and the humans who don't in the same way that He has loved me. I can also get on my knees in prayer and ask for walls to come down. I can ask for veils to be torn. I can ask for eyes to see, ears to hear, hearts to know, minds to understand. Most importantly, I can have peace in the knowledge that I don't have to fight any battles - social media or otherwise - like a rogue soldier, all on my own. My message is His inerrant Truth and perfect Love; my platform is my salvation story and continual experience of the Lord's grace. Those are my words that matter; that is my safe place from which to share them. "Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. For the Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth." (Psalm 47, NIV)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Introducing our brand new travel blog!

Hello friends! If you just so happened to stop by today, I hope you'll pop on over to the brand new travel blog my husband and I started together. Things have been a little quiet on this blog lately, but that doesn't mean it's going away - for now, we're just investing a lot of time and energy into work for our clients, finishing up our business site, and documenting our 2.5 month backpacking trip through Europe! Hope you'll join us.

Karley with a K. Todos los derechos reservados. © Maira Gall.