Heidi Cohen (NY, Marketer/Journalist) wrote an article in 2011 titled “30 Social Media Definitions.” The article briefly explains that social media continues to evolve, and that it’s a set of multi-platform, multi-purpose communication tools. The article then lists thirty different definitions for social media by professionals all around the globe.
There was one definition that stood out to me, and directly matched what I believe social media should be:
“Media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable communication techniques. Social media is the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogue.”
When I login/log on to Facebook or Twitter, for example, I most likely will be sharing some sort of information with my friends and followers. Knowing that most of my lifelong connections are working all around the country (and some in other parts of the world), I rely on social media for instant communication that will reach my desired target or audience in a matter of moments. I am able to share text posts and all forms of digital media that best displays my lyrics, videography, photography, and much more… Social media has been beneficial for me as a growing Creative Artist, as a full-time employee, as a long distance friend/family member/boyfriend, as an individual who simply needs to be heard…
and, most importantly, as a believer in The Almighty Father and follower of His only begotten son, Jesus Christ.
After rededicating my faith in September 2013, I began to take a look at every aspect of my life… and social media is large part of what I do. I admitted to myself that it became an unhealthy distraction from God’s word. There was a time when I would wake up and immediately check my phone to see what tweets I missed, who “liked” my status overnight, and how many new plays I had on my mixtapes. I did all of these things before even thanking God that I had made it through the night! I was awake! I was allowed to see the light in a new day! And I didn’t even have enough time to appreciate what I was given… My daily devotions were becoming an after-thought. My bible reading had become a chore, and I would fall behind in the calendar. Eventually, it got to the point where I would use my “sleepiness” as an excuse to avoid my devotion, and read it the following day. I was completely absorbed.
I knew this needed to change.
Fast forward to July 2, 2014, and my social media usage has been completely flipped. I took the time that I needed to regroup, rebuild, and refocus my life and mind toward the direction of God. Of course, I’m still an artist who relies on social media to communicate. However, I now do so in a way that honors God and brings constant positivity into my daily routine.
1) I unfollowed over 1,000 Twitter accounts, and primarily follow those that tweet positive messages about their community, their growth as a human being, bible passages and/or their love for Christ.
2) With media being so public and easy to access, the content can truly get out of control. As a result, I unfollow/unfriend accounts that post videos of neighborhood brawls and fights, images and posts that are degrading to women, pornographic material, media that is disrespectful to people with special needs, media that contains excessive profanity, and anything that is intentionally a “diss” to Christians and believers.
3) I take the time to retweet and repost scripture and encouraging messages that everyone deserves to view.
4) My personal posts continue to be family friendly, clean and enjoyable for all ages.
5) I use my mobile Bible app to take notes during church services, which I then send out to other note-takers and readers around the country.
6) Though I login/log on to my accounts daily, my time spent on social media has heavily decreased, and I spend much more time “in the moment” and present with those around me. (My girlfriend definitely appreciates this one.)
7) Throughout the week, I write certain posts that challenge the reader to go beyond retweeting or liking, and ask for thoughtful responses about intellectually-based topics.
8) My lyrics and new recording material lacks the profanity and themes that most Hip-Hop and R&B calls for. I've always believed in spreading a positive message with my music, and have been a stickler to it these past few months. I hope to record a new project that is family-oriented in every aspect.
9) I'm currently reading daily devotions, articles and books that are filling me with God's wisdom, and I share my thoughts through social interactions. I want other people to experience what I do while I read. This also encourages other young adults to not spend so much time on Social sites, and gives them the direct information needed to find the full text.
10) I write lengthy blogs about my love for God, and how He continues to be the center of my daily actions... like this one.
Thank you, #SocialMedia.