The nation continues to experience a deep divisiveness — a splintering that has impacted families, friendships and everyday dialogues. Christians are uniquely tasked with the command to love God — and love others. And in an era when this is becoming increasingly difficult, it's important to explore the ins and outs of compassionate discussions and interactions.
Unfortunately, while technology has been used for a great deal of positivity, some experts believe that social media has also fueled the fires of division.
"Social media is a powder keg," Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) News reporter Amber Strong recently said on an episode of PureFlix.com's "Pure Talk." "There's almost a pack mentality to it sometimes."
Strong spoke about the fact that social media has knocked down a barrier that once existed — a wall that didn't always make known people's differences of opinion. Social media holds the power to "spread...toxicity faster," she added.
Watch what she had to say:
"Duck Dynasty" star Missy Robertson, who joined Strong on a panel discussion, added that she has seen some of her positive social media posts quickly take negative turns.
"[I'm] trying to put something out good on social media and then people will find anything they can to criticize," she said, before going on to share a rule her husband Jase Robertson lives by.
"Jase has a rule ... he said, 'If you write something out on social media, do not push send for 30 seconds,'" Robertson explained. "It's the 30-second rule. Read over it, read over it again, read over it again."
Taking time to review and assess material before tweeting or Facebooking it — especially messages composed out of anger or frustration — often helps people make more informed, rational decisions.
Strong shared that she also has her own rule: Facebook-free Fridays. She essentially stays off all social media and out of the news cycle every Friday. While it's difficult for the journalist to "unplug," she said her avoidance of social media for one day a week has helped refresh her heart and mind, while giving her more time to spend with her family.
As for social media, Strong also noted one other element: the fact that people can sometimes become dehumanized.
"What's lost in the rhetoric is perspective — 'I don't know why you feel that way because I don't know you, but when I get to know you ... then I can say I see why you feel that way. I don't agree with you, but I see why you feel that way,'" Strong said, noting that social media reduces people to a small profile photo and not much more. "Social media takes that away. It dehumanizes people."
Robertson noted, though, that social media can also be used for good, citing the example of "Pure Talk" to highlight the fact that good conversations can be conducted, so long as the right heart and approach is taken.
On a broader scale, PureFlix.com also harnesses the power of technology to bring faith and family friendly content to the forefront. If you're looking for inspiration, PureFlix.com offers thousands of uplifting Christian movies, TV shows and original programs that you can watch at home for free during your one-month PureFlix.com trial.