To whom will you liken me? (@Clairemaxim1)

To whom will you liken me and make me equal,
and compare me as though we were alike?
Isaiah 46:5

In that verse, God is speaking through the prophet writing as Isaiah. Did you follow that OK? Isaiah had at least three authors, three different prophets, although we know them all as Isaiah. They sound different, they write differently from each other, but their writings are considered as one coherent book of the Bible, and we call them by one name – Isaiah.

Social Media buttons

I follow a number of accounts on twitter which are the “Public Face of <insert organisation here>”. Some of them are tweeting churches, and since it is fairly obvious that bricks and mortar can’t tweet, I can safely assume there is a person or persons tweeting for that account – I even know some who do (and the Facebook face of the parish church I serve is made up of me and one other). The same is true of other organisations, some of whom encourage the writer of the tweet to identify themselves – the Met Office, and some train companies are examples.

But there is another form of organisational tweeting, and the most obvious example is @OurCofE – an account which is taken over by a different person for a defined period (usually a week) and then handed on to the next person. It’s not a unique idea – @smallholdersUK does it for, yes, UK Smallholders (small scale farmers, although some may take issue with that description, and apologies if it offends), and there are other accounts for other interests too.

In the immediate moment, it is obvious who is the tweep for that week – the biog and avatar usually change to reflect the current office holder. But as you look back down the tweets of such an account, it becomes harder and harder to identify who tweeted what, unless you keep a record, or have a good memory. It is possible to distinguish different voices, but less easy perhaps to identify them unless they are known to you personally.

Some of us worry about keeping our integrity online, about people who meet us online being able to meet us offline, face to face, and still recognise us, still know our voice. But it is true that over time, voices merge. I cannot always remember who offered me a piece of wisdom, just that I received it gratefully at the time. Here in @ourCofe, we have that situation tending far more towards Isaiah, where the individual identities become lost. In Isaiah, it is the voice of God which is most clear, far more than any of the individual prophets.

Perhaps there is the corrective to the “look at me” attitude which is so seductive on social media. In the end, what we say as individuals will fade. But what God says through us will live forever.

About Claire Maxim