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A Heart For God: "Social Proof"

Friday, February 17, 2012

"Social Proof"

There's much talk about "social proof" these days. Social proof is an evidence of credibility in cyberspace (on the internet, across social media networks). It's an indication of your value, worth to others. It's a type of online resume, if you will.

Social proof is measured in various ways including the number of followers on Twitter and friends or "likes" on Facebook a person or business has (or Christian ministry).

It's also measured by ranking on Alexa or comments on blog posts or how many people have circled you on Google+. The higher the number, the reasoning goes, the greater the social proof (it's the lower number that's best on Alexa).

There's also the so-called Klout score that can be looked at. (I read somewhere that a score of 30 to 50 is good. 50+ on Klout is elite.) It's even being said that companies are now considering social proof as criteria in the hiring process.

As a Christ follower (Christian) I see "social proof" a bit differently. (Matthew 19:30) Sure, it can be fun to see numbers viral up, one's "engagement" soar (i.e. a tweet or blog post gets retweeted/shared hundreds or thousands of times). For some, it's a sign of success. For others, an ego boost. At worst, it's a pride thing ("look at me how great I am"), but is it really an evidence of credibility?

Jesus amazed the crowds. (Matthew 7:28-29) Christ's credibility arose from His character. (Luke 23:4) Satan had offered Him a shortcut to social proof. If He bowed down to him and turned His back on God, He would give Christ the kingdoms of the world. Jesus refused. (Matthew 4:8-10)

Some are "amazing" and have amassed crowds and audiences (both online and off), but they're serving themselves. They have yet to have the sin issue dealt with. They have yet to surrender to Jesus. (Matthew 11:28-29)

The only "social proof" that matters comes from God. (Matthew 3:17)

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