What I am about to do might be deemed blasphemous by many Christians. It might even be regarded as absurd by the blogosphere, which is ironic because I’m going to defend social media. This space is known for its plethora of diatribes, hate speech and fleeting trends we all want to forget, like the Gangnam dance. But I think more than ever, there is more social activism and open dialogue as a result of social media. Yes, I know your mind revolver is fully loaded with snarky comments and memes ready to be fired off on Facebook and Twitter to refute this idea, but hear me out for a second more.
Just this morning I read a blogger rant about how outrage borne by social media over Starbuck’s decision to remove symbols of Christmas from their holiday cups is a red herring pulling us away from real Christian issues. It’s as if by not rallying people to march into Starbucks (something they’d normally do anyway) to ask for a Christmas cup, they would instead March off to war to fight ISIS.
Yes, ISIS certainly is a more imminent threat to Christianity than Starbucks. However, the battle for American minds is fought on the cultural front in places like Facebook and at Starbucks. Their logo is a cultural icon, and Starbucks, as a corporation, reserves the right to print whatever they want on their cups. We, as consumers, are entitled to voice our objection to what’s printed on those cups. As Christians however, we have a responsibility to influence culture and spread truth. In today’s world, social media is a big part of culture.
Let’s be real, the majority of America would sit in silence watching television if not on social media, rallying for albeit sometimes worthless causes. But amidst all the noise, there are a lot of great causes that people would not otherwise be involved in if it weren’t for the power of social media. Even incremental change through seemingly little issues can pay dividends in our culture.