I am in no way an expert, but want to make a few observances on things I have seen regarding blogs and other posts on social media sites. These are not comprehensive and situations differ based on the nature of an article, blog or comment. There are exceptions to every rule. But, these may help avoid some of the confusion and other difficulties I have seen recently.
Avoid “catchy” titles and/or opening remarks. These may get someone’s attention, but they can also mislead. We teach our guys at the BTSOP regularly that “words have meaning.” We must realize that a “catchy” word may cause someone to look, but they can also mislead and cause someone to stop reading because of a perceived “red flag.”
Define your terms early. If you don’t define your terms, you are inviting the reader to define them with his own definition. That may lead to your point being misunderstood and your being labeled in some fashion or other.
If error is taught, correct respectfully. I believe most of the writers I have read to be honest and sincere. If I catch someone in “error” and the first thing I do is “slap them in the face” that will not be conducive to their listening to what I have to say. Let us approach people in the best way we can to correct them if they are in error. Please note that I am not calling for comprise. Never! But, may we seek ways to effectively change minds. God’s word must be used, but our tone can have a major impact on such things.
Read the article in its entirety. Give someone a fair hearing. You may realize that you misconceived what had been written earlier if you read on. It may well be that something is stated later that sheds greater light on an earlier statement. Those writing should take great to be clear in their writing to avoid causing and/or adding to confusion.
When replying to statements, avoid “knee-jerk” reactions. Think through your response to them. Maybe investigate and give them a chance to explain. If they are teaching error, respond, but do so respectfully. Being respectful is not equated with compromise. We need to teach and defend the truth. But, let’s avoid having to “eat crow” because we jumped to a conclusion.
The internet is a great tool. Facebook and other forms of social media provide us a great opportunity to both teach and learn. Let us do so with diligence, honesty, integrity and concern for our brethren.