Julie Polter, in her Culture Watch column in Sojourners magazine, gives a Christian perspective on the religious use of social media. Christians, she observes, are among the earliest adopters of social media. Even the Pope recently called for clergy to take up blogging and other forms of digital communication. Polter, however, cautions against this enthusiasm by giving an analysis of the redefinition of privacy in the era of social media, where users, especially young users, find it normal to have more and more personal information available for potential public access on the Web. Touching on Facebook’s recent privacy settings debacle, she warns against the compromise of sacred solitude in the face of Friends lists. What is striking, for me at least, is her linking of the sacred with intimacy. As she writes:
The psalmist wrote, “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me … You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do” (Psalm 139:1-3). We can’t deny God such intimate knowledge and close scrutiny. But businesses and governments aren’t God.
Read the full column here.