I want to conclude my series on Facebook and other social media with some guidelines. I do not want to be too prescriptive about these. But they may be useful to someone who feels themselves susceptible to some of the dangers I’ve highlighted.
Twelve Guidelines for Social Networking
1. Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t say were the people concerned in the room.
2. Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t share publicly with your Christian community.
3. Ensure your online world is visible to your offline Christian community.
4. Challenge one another if you think someone’s online self reflects a self-created identity rather than identity in Christ.
5. Challenge one another if you think someone’s online self doesn’t match their offline self.
6. Use social networking to enhance real world relationship not to replace them.
7. Don’t let children have unsupervised internet access or accept as online friends people you don’t know offline.
8. Set limits to the time you spend online and ask someone to hold you accountable to these.
9. Set aside a day a week as a technology “Sabbath” or “fast”.
10. Avoid alerts (emails, tweets, texts and so on) that interrupt other activities especially reading, praying, worshipping and relating.
11. Ban mobiles from the meal table and the bedroom.
12. Look for opportunities to replace disembodied (online or phone) communication with embodied (face-to-face) communication.