God may have blasted the original ten commandments into a tablet of stone but today’s church are no less tablet savvy, prompting them to pen an updated list of social media commandments – albeit in the rather more prosaic form of a press release.
Responding to increasing numbers of people embracing social media clergy have warned against giving into temptations and vices whilst online, such as the vain desire to accumulate ‘likes’ by drawing up 9 commandments for the communication age.
Officials are urging members of their flock to ask themselves ‘Would God like my tweet?’ before posting as part of wider efforts to communicate with existing believers and recruit more followers.
The best practice template begins with a command to not ‘rush in’ and come complete with their own instruction manual which states: “Before posting always think: Is this my story to share? Would I want my mum to read this? Would I want God to read this?
“Essentially, you should participate online in the same way as you would in any other public forums. Your actions should be consistent with your work and Christian values and you take responsibility for the things you do, say or write.”
God-fearing tweeters are also being urged not to hide behind anonymity and to act as ‘ambassadors’ for the Church.
The nine Commandments:
1. Don’t rush in
2. Remember updates are transient yet permanent
3. You’re an ambassador for the church
4. Don’t hide behind anonymity
5. Think about the blurring of public/private life boundaries
6. Safeguarding: communicating directly online is like meeting someone in private
7. Stay within the legal framework
8. Respect confidentiality
9. Be mindful of your own security