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There’s a restaurant my wife and I attend fairly regularly and we often end up with the same waiter. He always ends the night by saying the same two things: “Enjoy the rest of your evening” and “be safe.”
Be safe. Of course, we all try our best to be safe. Unfortunately, there are some times when our safety is out of our hands. We can be the most careful driver around and still get in an accident. That’s why our parents always warned us, “It’s not you I’m worried about, it’s everyone else on the road.”Because our safety isn’t always in our hands, it is even more important that we take advantage of the situations where our safety is up to us. One of those places is the internet--specifically, our own facebook pages.
I opened up a facebook account primarily to make it easier to contact young people in the Diocese about writing articles for Daylight. Since then, it has allowed me to touch base and rekindle friendships with people I haven’t talked to since college, high school and in some instances, even grade school! Despite that, we all have to realize just how unsafe it can be on sites such as these. People lose job opportunities because a simple Google search brings up picturesthey would have never wanted their potential employer to see. It isn’t enough to say, “only my friends can see this.” What about if your friend posts a picture of you and then all of their friends can see it?
I write these things because everything happens so fast in cyber space. It is important to stop, take a moment, and really think about what you are doing first.
Most of you likely list in your profile that you are an Orthodox Christian. It’s important to realize the responsibility you have when you are proclaiming that. As Orthodox Christians, we are called to strive to live the Gospel, not just on Sunday mornings, but ALL THE TIME. Think long and hard about the things you write on your facebook page, the language you use, and the photos you post. Are you representing what a young Orthodox Christian should be? Whether you like it or not, people will piece together who they think you are based on these things collectively. In essence, in our internet driven society, what people see on your facebook page literally becomes who
you are. Therefore, YOU are in control of what people perceive you to be.
Be responsible with what you post. Be safe.
Fr. Matthew Moriak