In Secret

By Caleb Keith

It is times like these that I really hate social media. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other internet crap explode at the nearest sign of tragedy. Everybody has something to say when a massacre like that in Orlando happens. Most individuals mean well when they post platitudes and hindsight on their pages and walls as if they are experts in the fields of gun control and terrorism. The same sensation was true during the Cincinnati Zoo incident. As soon as a boy fell into a gorilla pit, everybody on the internet miraculously became an expert zookeeper. The result is a week of endless noise, under informed arguments, and mild personal gain.

Take it or leave it, but what I understand about times like these times of horror, unrest, and heartbreak is that remaining silent and unseen online is more respectful, honorable, and helpful. Let the real experts talk, let those truly connected grieve, and pray silently. Like it or not, Facebook, Twitter, and the like are about attention. For every public prayer, argument, or statement one posts, he or she will receive likes and comments in return, and of course, their friends see that they care. This kind of attention is wonderful for sharing personal moments, family pictures, and funny cat videos, but is inappropriate when it comes to heartbreak or tragedy that one is not personally involved in.

I am not asking anyone to stop praying, learning, and grieving. Instead, I would like to point out that your efforts are more sincere in the real world where you won’t gain likes and follows at the response to somebody else’s loss. I am reminded of Matthew 6:5-6, “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Pray to God for grace and mercy concerning the dead, learn more about the issues at hand, and take a moment of internet silence for the sake of those involved in horrific events.