Olympic Games versus the Twitterverse
There was a day when people waited for news of the Olympics as they sat by their radios, but those days are gone. They were replaced by newspapers, television and the web. But recently the front page of the USA Today, July 20-22, 2012, reminded us that information would not be limited to those media venues in the London Olympics. Enter…the Twitterverse.
There are over 140 million Twitter users of which a few are participating Olympic athletes in London. Each athlete has a following hanging on every 140 character tweet. In itself this is not negative and could help promote the event. Unfortunately, the Olympic committee has discovered a few athletes that communicated questionable content. If their purpose was to create a buzz about themselves then it worked but it may come with a price-tag.
As I read the article, I was struck with the fact that many of these athletes are in the millennial generation. It should not come as a surprise to those who work with this generation and understand them. They are more transparent about personal “stuff.” They feel free to share without restraint.
Nevertheless I guess I was a little disappointed. These are disciplined athletes who for multiple years have trained daily for this moment on the world’s stage. Somehow as I “sit in my recliner,” I expected more from them. Why would they risk four years of blood, sweat and tears for a careless photo or racial slur?
But then I was personally rebuked. It is always easier to hold the “next generation” or even others in our own generation to a higher standard and scrutiny. If we look at it properly from the Christian perspective, it is not a generational issue. We all have to ask ourselves the same penetrating questions. Why would I risk losing my testimony for a moment of pleasure, an angry word, lure of a porn site or a careless tweet? . . . Or you fill in the blank.
All of us as believers are in the Olympics in one sense but ours is not a game and does not simply last a few weeks. Paul reminds us that those who run the race must run well (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). We too are on the “world’s stage” and we have the opportunity to display a life that honors our King.
If your life were being consistently communicated to the Twitterverse…what image would the world have of Jesus?