This is really just half an idea, and may well sink like a stone, but after encouragement from a couple of Twitter friends, I shall at least propose it.
I’m very interested in ways that social media can make a difference. It generally doesn’t do that – and in some cases in the Christian world, we can generate an awful lot of heat and light online without really achieving anything tangible. So I’ve been pondering for a while about how Twitter might be used, if only in a very small way, to do some actual good.
So here’s the idea: we instigate a new weekly tradition on Twitter, called (because I could think of nothing better) Love Monday. It’s like Follow Friday, but instead of being about attracting or suggesting followers, it’s about encouraging people you follow. So you pick say, three people, send each a tweet telling them something about them that you like, love, respect etc… and then they ‘pay if forward’ and do the same. You add the hashtag: #LoveMonday at the end, and while I don’t for one moment expect it to go viral, we might at least encourage a sort of community habit, which, if it grew, could only do good.
(In Christian terms, it’s a practical Twitter application of 1 Thessalonians 5 v 11: ‘Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.’ And if you’re not a Christian, then it’s just good sense!)
So in the morning, you could decide to pick a few friends, and take a moment to encourage them on Twitter. You might want to do this semi-privately (by sending it as a reply), privately (as a DM), or indeed publicly, by not starting the tweet with their username. This is where the idea proves itself as half-baked: I now hand it over to the Twitter community to make of it what you will.
I have no idea if anyone will do this, but tomorrow at least, I will. A couple of people (Dave Roberts and Jonathan Bishop) were really encouraging about the idea when I first suggested it this morning, and the latter helpfully moved the idea from a Sunday (why, he asked, does it always have to be a Sunday?!). So I throw the idea out there, and we’ll see what happens.