I think I’ve come across one of the earliest examples of social media. Nehemiah was a governor in Persia when he asked permission to return to his cultural home of Jerusalem and rebuild the walls. He was doing pretty well, but there was a small group of men who were opposed to what he was doing and were trying to distract him.
It sounds like Facebook BC450 when Sanballat and Geshem sent out an unsealed letter making all sorts of accusations against Nehemiah. Being unsealed meant that as the letter was passed along, anyone who wanted could read it and spread the news they read.
The letter commenced with the words: It is reported among the nations and Geshem says it is true – two phrases that are repeated regularly in the 21st century:
“It is reported among the nations” – or more commonly, “everybody is saying it” and “Geshem says it is true”, more commonly paraphrased “If it’s on Facebook then it must be true.”
Gossip may have been around for the last 2500 years or more but it’s taken on a fresh form in the world of social media. At church this morning I talked about this and prayed that we fix our eyes on Jesus and allow Jesus to guard our ears, control our fingers, direct our tongue, and protect our mind.