"Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions" Proverb 18:2 (NLT)
I use Twitter and Facebook. I keep up with people with whom I would never keep up. I get insight into the people I serve. I get chances to celebrate and cry. I even add my own thoughts.
On the other hand, I understand why Solomon wrote what he did above. I see adults of the Christian persuasion touting their drunk exploits (often in front of kids.) I am asked to join hate groups by people I actually think know better. I get Sunday morning posts from folks who skipped church. And I see much real and potential damage done by and to teen posters who have little or no adult monitoring.
I am no prude. Free speech is important but it can both sting and backfire. The tongue, says James, should be monitored. Words on the internet live forever. Shame and ridicule are very public in this milieu. People project personas (false revelations rather than true soul-bearing) they believe will make others like them or think they are cool or a troubled bad boy or bad girl. I worry about youth who do this. I have worked with thousand of youth over 35 years. Words can seriously hurt and get us into jambs we never imagined.
My alma mater (okay, Junior High alma mater, click here) was in the news because the principal recommended that middle schoolers not be on social networking because of the damage that can be done. We often forget that adolescence stretches into the twenties now and we who are adults do need to care for them. That means reasonable boundaries. Freedom with no boundaries (preferably self imposed) is lawlessness. The principal asked parents to consider opting out or monitoring of social networking. No laws. No coercing. Just a suggestion from a caring, educated person who is experienced with youth. That is what Solomon might call wisdom.
God, today I want to understand and not just pop off with my opinions. Lead me to listen for wisdom and devour it when I experience it. Let my words be few and well chosen. Especially, let me care for the youth in my orbit, not being a friend but a mentor, encouraging boundaries that lead to life and maturity.