Digital Scarlet Letters

scarlett letterI think we can all agree social media is a good thing, when used the right way. I know I have been able to reconnect with lost friends, and as much as facebook makes me crazy, it is the only way I know what is going on with my family most of the time.

Despite all of the good on the internet, there are some downfalls, and pitfalls. The example I give today is about a woman named Justine Sacco. Ms. Sacco was a PR director for a firm that did humanitarian work. One day she tweeted out a “joke”, and then got on an airplane for 11 hours. During that time, her “joke,” which really wasn’t very funny, or even a joke, really, broke the internet (at least for that week), and created a public furor which left her without a job, and a ruined reputation.

To read the full story click HERE.

The author of the article interviewed Ms. Sacco and the man who created the fury surrounding her bad tweet, Sam Biddle. In an ironic twist of events, Sam Biddle had his own fury from something he said online too, and although his reputation did not suffer as much as Ms. Sacco, he still had his walk in the social media hall of shame.

After reading the article, another friend commented that these public shamings, pile-ons and furies were like the Scarlet Letter of our day. Because someone said something stupid, and thoughtless, they were branded for life, they lost their job, and their reputation was ruined. Continue reading

Elder Bednar’s Social Media Guidelines

Elder BednarElder David A. Bednar spoke yesterday at the BYU Education Week on using social media to “flood the earth” with the message of the Restored Gospel. After listening to his remarks, I felt, more than ever, the excitement of the times we are living in. We are literally watching, and taking part in the fulfillment of revelation and scripture.

Read and watch his address HERE, on

He quoted Brigham Young, who said, “Every discovery in science and art that is really true and useful to mankind has been given by direct revelation from God, though but few acknowledge it. It has been given with a view to prepare the way for the ultimate triumph of truth, and the redemption of the earth from the power of sin and Satan.” When I think of how this has come to pass it is humbling. Things like the internet, satellite, radio, television; the ability to record and save audio and video of General Conference, all have a place in spreading the Gospel. We can send and receive messages, pictures and video instantly as well. Twenty years ago when I was a full time missionary in Bulgaria, it would take six months to get a VHS tape of one or two sessions of General Conference into the country. Now, members can watch Conference as it happens on line, and the following week in their meetinghouses as a Branch. It is truly amazing! Continue reading