Facing the New Year: Fr. James Martin’s Social Media Resolutions for 2014

I’ve stopped making New Year’s resolutions when I turned 16.  But I’ve never stopped planning each new year, making sure I have quarterly goals that I’d hopefully achieve at the end of the year.

In 2014 though, I’d like to go back to listing resolutions again.  I think it’s a good exercise in mapping out one’s life:  changing things that need to be changed, stopping (or at least trying to stop) bad habits and envisioning the kind of life one hopes to live.

laptop a dose of simple

One of the things I’d like to work on is to change my social media habits. After all, it figured prominently in my life last year– both personally and career-wise. And it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who has this in mind. One of my favorite Jesuit authors, Fr. James Martin, writes about his Social Media resolutions. I’m sharing with you his article that appeared in America Magazine where he is an editor at large. I think we can all relate to some, if not all, of his points!


Social Media Resolutions for 2014
by James Martin, SJ

As a user of (pick one) Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Tumblr, Pinterest or whatever has been invented as I’m typing these words, I make the following resolutions for the New Year:

1.) I will treat everyone with charity and give everyone the benefit of the doubt.  No matter how rude they are.  And no matter how many times they post annoying comments that make me want to stop typing, put on my coat, drive to their town, knock on their door and sock them.  Because Jesus never did that when he posted stuff online.  Jesus told us always to turn the other tweet.

2.) I will avoid posting anything anywhere when I’m so angry that I can barely type–or speak.  Especially speak.  That’s a tip-off.

3.) I will avoid being drawn into an argument with anyone who is apparently (a) crazy; (b) not listening; or (c) both.  Even if they call me (a) stupid, (b) a heretic, or my latest favorite insult (which happened the other day) a “poor excuse for a Christian.” I will not be drawn into a pointless argument that will be a waste of time.  For both of us.

4.) I will read whatever article I retweet.  Most of it anyway.  Well, a lot of it.

5.) I will not post too many stories about, or photos of, Pope Francis, no matter what awesome things he does or says.  Notice I said not “too many.”  “Many” is fine.

Ahhh… how uncomplicated life used to be!  Comic illustration by John Atkinson

Read the rest of Fr. James’ article here.

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