Skye Jethani, the managing editor of Leadership Journal, does not Tweet. That is, he is not a user of Twitter, the free social networking service which has a global popularity ranking third after Facebook and MySpace. His reason for not Tweeting: He’s avoiding the temptation to desire the sort of attention from others he already has from God.
Our tendency to update our Twitter or especially Facebook statuses (you’d think the plural of status should be stati) with every minute detail of our daily lives may reflect some insecurity regarding whether we’re being noticed (even though God provides for all your needs and even knows the number of hairs on your head) or whether our lives are significant and worthy of noting (even though God has great plans for you and has made clear His perfect will for you).
I suppose, however, that’s something worth Tweeting or posting on Facebook… or even blogging about! =)
Here’s an excerpt of Skye Jethani’s comments, though it’s worth reading all his reasons…
I know I’ll get grief for this, but in the 2004 film Shall We Dance, one character had a really insightful bit of dialogue:
“We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness.’”
We all want our lives to matter, and we believe they only matter if they are noticed by someone. I wonder if this desire for a witness isn’t what fuels a lot of blogs, Facebook, and especially Twitter. We want someone, anyone, to take notice, to care about us, to watch us and by their attention communicate, “You matter. Your life counts.”
O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
I believe in God’s economy there is not a single thought, feeling, or moment that is lost. There is nothing that is unseen or unrecorded… My life really does matter – not because someone read it, heard it, saw it, or Tweeted it, but because God is my witness.
Skye Jethani’s website
Thanks for passing on these thoughts. I wonder how the amount of time spent getting virtual attention would change if I would simply get off my butt and visit lots of people, have tea with them, work with them, watch them in their competitions, etc.?
(Is that really an orca with an arrow in it? Or a downed bird?)
Very apt comment, Curt. Thank you. The graphic is a spoof on the Twitter “mascot.” S.