Thursday, December 24, 2009

In case that last post sounded sanctimonious

I'm not sanctimonious or holier-than-thou even if my last post sounded that way. My children may have survived thus far, but that is more of a reflection of God's grace than my parenting skills.

Maybe I'm sensitive to the harsh criticism dished out by M. McGraw because I've been the subject of other parent's judgment before. During their teen years my daughters were always able to find a sympathetic ear and welcoming arms in the form of "replacement moms". D#3 moved in with a family whose mother actually told my mother she (the replacement mom) would never treat her children the way I've treated mine. Nice, eh? And all of the judgment passed over me by those replacement moms without benefit of Twitter.

And with Twitter? It definitely gives me something to think about. One of my daughters follows me on Twitter (although I don't think she actively follows me, she could). One of my co-workers is also a "follower". But it's more than that that makes me think before I Tweet. It's about the understanding that once Tweeted, the whole world is privvy to the thought I captured in 140 characters or less.

Do my Tweets make the world a better place? Do they spread light? Or darkness? As Christians we're tasked with trying to spread light so that filter should apply to everything we do or say.

I won't claim that before every Tweet I consider that it could be my last but I do try to apply a reasonable filter and use good judgment. Maybe it's something along the lines of "What Would Jesus Tweet" (although not that well thought through).

Even with that in mind, after I tweeted this "Co-piloting while 15 YO drives the most dangerous stretch of I35. Praying! Oh, Lord be with us!" it occurred to me - if we were in an accident (traffic was really nutty with all of the holiday shoppers) someone might correctly assume I wasn't paying enough attention to my child who was in a potentially dangerous situation. As the co-pilot I was supposed to be paying attention, responsible and accountable for the safety of others.

My sisters and I often communicate via Twitter and in a way I was reaching out to them. It seemed better to focus on framing my next Tweet than to stress out. Maybe not. Fortunately we weren't in an accident and my decision to send a Tweet wasn't hotly debated by those who might choose to judge me. Or if it was, none of that was shared with me.

My musing this week weren't meant to imply that I've got it all figured out. Far from it. I'm still trying to figure it out. Although I could post stories about what a horrible parent I've been and what tragic mistakes I've made to the detriment of my children, I choose to focus on how I think things *should* work.

Our social networks should work for good, not evil. And when we Tweet, we should Tweet responsibly.

That's all. Oh, and.... Merry Christmas!

{From today's reading in The One Year Bible: "Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another." (Zechariah 7:8)}


Anonymous said...

Blessed Merry Christmas to you, my Friend!

"Do my Tweets make the world a better place?" This post helps me as I anticipate beginning to twitter in the next year. While I feel believe (same) I have a handle on what my blog is all about, I need to give more thought to the meaning of twitter, for me. Honestly, I want it to be an extension of the blog.

I did not judge you to be sanctimonious when I read your last post (perhaps a little defensive - don't hate me).

Judging others is a very, uhm, developmentally low form of behavior. Think about it - imagine young children blurting out "you're fat!" With limited experience and language, young children state starkly what they know. Those who accuse with abandon likely are limited in their experience (and social training). Is that judgmental of me - to say that? You decide.

Do my comments make this world a better place? I hope to hold to that question. Barbara

you gotta wonder said...

Thank you Barbara! As always, I appreciate your comments. I pray you had a very Merry Christmas! Best wishes for the coming year!