A Generation After God
11/12/14 at 05:17 PM 0 Comments

Why Large Online Followers Don’t Really Make Us Leaders.

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I interviewed my husband, Jonnese (pronounced Jonas), not too long ago asking his opinion on the effects of social media, being that he has no desire to have social media anything. No twitter, to facebook, no instagram, no nuthin’! I mean, the man hardly even text messages and calls himself “old school”; going out meeting people in reality, calling people on the phone personally and so on. But, you know, I’ve found it absolutely refreshing in staying grounded and simplifying our life to focus around the things that matter.

There’s something he said that I want to highlight. He said,

“I feel a lot of people feel its necessary to check their profiles in order to up-keep an identity that they’ve created online and to their friends and so they feel that its necessary to always be on to maintain this identity that they’ve posted online.”

I’ll just let that soak in for a second...

Social Media gives people a voice.

Anyone a voice, might I add. It’s like giving a multitude of people a bunch of mics and letting them all stand on stage at once to fervently express their opinions, my own included. That is the lovely picture of our virtual reality today. When someone happens to like what you have to say and it makes sense to them, they follow you. It gives virtually anyone a platform no matter what direction they’re going in. Does having this voice automatically make us a leader?

In a sense it does, a leader can be anyone who is a guiding source of direction, even if its in the wrong direction. But when I think of a true leader I think of a person of integrity, not just what’s displayed on the shallow waters of online impressions.

Lets talk about integrity.

I believe every true leader, every real leader, leads from a place of integrity. Integrity shows a person of good character when no ones watching. Now I’m not perfect and have learned from mistakes that were beneath me but I love my Father. Every day I just genuinely want to please my God, to honor Him in every choice big or teeny tiny- from the dedication of small unseen tasks in my home to how I treat people who I may never see again. This personal “unseen” life means everything to me. After all, personal integrity is who I really am. So it is under constant reflection and self-accountability whether I have a voice or not. If I can lead a thousand people but can’t help lead my own family in first priority, what kind of leader am I really? If I can be kind on the presence on Facebook but act nasty with people in my personal life, what kind of person am I really? It’s not rocket science! Leadership is a personal thing long before it’s a public thing.

The problem with social media is that it’s a public stage, not a private accountability. I hope for the goodwill of all our social media hits out there but the truth is that we’ve seen how a large following and instant fandom can easily entrap people in believing that “we made it”.

God is a crockpot God, not a microwave.

There’s so much building that God wants to do with our character. Character simply isn’t built online. And a true leader has to be a leader of character. It takes the experience of time, trials, and real life encounters. Things that take place offline and can’t be learned behind a screen.

A ka-trillion followers can makes us think we’ve reached what it means to be a leader figure based on the measurement of our numbers rather than the measurement of our character. Yet it’s not in what we tweet, but in the personal decisions we make everyday.

So yes, I think that social media can bring light to a leader and expand the influence of good leaders but I don’t believe these numbers could possibly make us leaders at the core.

Hey, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Is social media creating a culture of premature leaders?

-Brittney Moses

photo credit: Jason A. Howie via photopin cc

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