Be Careful What You Post or Tweet

I’m in a Wendell Berry frame of mind and here’s something worth considering about ecclesiastical communions as communities and about the effects of social media on trust:

The health of a community depends absolutely on trust. A community knows itself and knows its place in a way that is impossible for a public (a nation, say, or a state). A community does not come together by a covenant, by a conscientious granting of trust. It exists by proximity, by neighborhood; it knows face to face, and it trusts as it knows. It learns, in the course of time and experience what and who can be trusted. It knows that some of its members are untrustworthy, and it can be tolerant, because to know in this matter is to be safe. A community member can be trusted to be untrustworthy and so can be included. (A community can trust its liars to be liars, for example, and so enjoy them.) But if a community withholds trust, it withholds membership. If it cannot trust, it cannot exist.

One of the essential trusts of community life is that which holds marriages and families together. Another trust is that neighbors will help one another. Another is that privacy will be respected, especially the privacy of personal feeling and the privacy of relationships. All these trusts are absolutely essential, and all are somewhat fragile. But the most fragile, the most vulnerable to public invasion, it the trust that protects privacy. And in our time privacy has been the trust that has been most subjected to public invasion. (Sex, Economy, Freedom, and Community, 161-62)

3 thoughts on “Be Careful What You Post or Tweet

  1. I’m with Cal Newport. There are very few good reasons to be on social media and many bad ones. The medium is the message: flippancy and outrage. When Twitter appeared 10 years ago, I thought it was the stupidest thing I’d ever seen and thought it would disappear shortly. I still can’t figure out how they make money other than selling massive amounts of your data to people you’d rather not have it. The reason people stay on it is their addiction. Christians need to close their social media accounts immediately.

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  2. It seems ironic in at least the Alanis sense to say so, but the Library of America publication of his collected essays is currently $38 on Amazon.

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