There’s this interesting aspect of blogging and social media that I’m caught up in. Here’s how the scenario plays out.
Step One – Some crazy pastor or politician or ignoramus posts a blog or shares something ridiculous on Facebook or Tweets something stupid.
Step Two – We blog about it or share it on Facebook with all of our friends or retweet it to our followers, along with our disparaging comments and proof that what this person said is one of the dumbest things we’ve ever heard.
Intended Result – To prove, with our superior logic or higher level of morality or more graceful approach to life that this person is a complete idiot and what they said was ridiculous.
Actual Result – More people than ever hear this person’s message, a message that we consider to be uninformed, or a poor example of Christianity, or an illogical approach to life.
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Just a few days ago this very thing happened. A few people I follow posted blogs basically saying, “This is ridiculous. Can you believe this person would say this?” So I clicked on the link and watched the silliness in real life. I never would have even heard about this particular thing without them pointing out how wrong it was. I certainly never would have watched it if they hadn’t provided the link.
Why do we so willingly provide PR for people we disagree with?
If the offending person called up my friends and said, “Hey, help me promote this,” I doubt they would do so. Yet we do it without being asked.
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Alise Wright wrote an excellent post about what she did when faced with this very situation yesterday: she knitted.
Jamie the Very Worst Missionary tweeted: “Sometimes in our effort to combat the crazy, we elevate it.”
My initial response is, “Hey, stop helping these folks spread their messages. Ranting against them is only tuning people in to what they are saying.”
But I’ve done it in the past, and I’ll probably do it again.
Isn’t it good to speak out against people that spread confusion? Shouldn’t we combat messages that hurt people?
What do you think? When our rants help spread a message that might otherwise go unheard, are our rants counterproductive? Or should we always speak out against that which is wrong? Is it possible to do this in a way that doesn’t “elevate the crazy”?