A Dallas megachurch bishop shared his views about best practices on using social media.
Speaking to The Christian Post, Bishop T.D. Jakes, founder and pastor of The Potter's House, said that addressing a controversial subject online should be viewed "holistically" and not just through one's personal point of view.
He suggested that before posting about a sensitive subject on social media platforms, it must be properly researched on or discussed with a "trusted friend," whom one can consider as "a focus group," to ensure "that [a person is] looking at it holistically, and not just narrowly through the lens of [his] own point of view, so that when [he] make[s] a statement, it sheds light rather than generates heat."
He added that doing so "will save" a person from grief, pain and finances for rectifying an erroneous statement shared to countless people online.
"If you go through that litmus test prior to typing, it will save you a lot of grief and pain, and perhaps in certain cases, finances, trying to rectify a ship that has gotten off course because you're exposing it to millions and millions of people around the world without the benefit of the kind of process that normal people would go through."
Jakes just released his new book, "Don't Drop the Mic: The Power of Words Can Change the World," that discusses about communication that glorifies God.
The bishop drew a parallel on making a documentary wherein creators don't just "throw ideas into the public domain" but would discuss about a certain subject first through focus groups. He said that this practice is "very helpful" in sharing ideas on social media.
"It's better to say what you have learned or what you're thinking or what you're wondering about rather than stated as a fact and become an authority without credentials," he further stated.
Jakes also said that good communication is important in building relationships to advance the Gospel.
He revealed that he grew up in West Virginia, where most of his neighbors are Caucasians. When the nation began to have conversations about race, he courageously spoke "to several white pastors who got backlash from the black community because of the way they phrased or said certain things."
The bishop advised that people must not be silent in addressing sensitive issues.
"And what I said at every turn, is, 'Keep talking, don't withdraw into a shell and become silent and stop talking.'"
"We must continue to communicate about this because it's not going to go away by us going back into our tribalism in our silos. We have to keep talking. And get it right," he continued.
He also said that having been corrected from a mistake does not mean that one should "stop talking."
"We need your voice. We all need each other's voices in order for us to be the human race that we were meant to be," he pointed out.
He further mentioned that for people to survive "as a society," they must have unity.
"We are one species, and we need to be more proficient at accentuating our oneness and acknowledging our differences in a way that brings wholeness," the bishop concluded.
Jakes is also the CEO of TDJ Enterprises, an advertising and marketing company covering film, radio, television, podcasts, publishing and music label.