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Thanks for this post Jerod - an important topic when it comes to websites that the people take seriously.

I coordinate blogs for a few different companies and guest blog for others.  Generally writing for the web is different that writing for print.  When people read on websites they are looking for content that is easy to digest that they can get through quickly.  I'm not suggesting you write fluff that doesn't change people's lives.  I am suggesting that you make it easy for people to read and understand your writing, especially for complex topics. 

This is done by following some of the suggestions above such as, using plain English instead of abstract Christian language that the average person wouldn't understand without it being explained to them.  Other ways to make your reading easy to understand is by:

- using short paragraphs of 4 -5 sentences maximum, sticking to one point per paragraph

- using clear subheadings throughout so readers can quickly find the part of the post that they are looking for

- using lists to make points easier to follow (for example, this was a paragraph before I hit the publish button, then after reading it I realized a list would be easier for readers to understand) 

- use a compelling title that actually says what your post is about - not something abstract

- enslist the help of an editor, someone who can give you feedback and ask you questions about parts that aren't clear

Remember you are writing for your readers.  The harder your audience has to work to understand the point of your message, the more likely they not finish reading your post, an will click to another post that is easier for them to find the information they are after.

I can totally relate. I used to love playing Farmville on Facebook. My youth pastor husband came home one day and told me he had to see what Farmville was all about because many kids in the youth group were talking about it. I have a very busy life but I used to love the control that Farmville gave me. I was in control of how my farm looked, how much money it made and where I would spend that money. If I didn't like how I had set the farm up I could change it. Hours would pass quickly and the farm looked great, but my house did not. I tried to cut back by only checking the farm once a day but the addiction was so powerful. What I enjoyed for the control factor actually left me feeling powerless. Thankfully I left the farm and have never looked back.

What saved me you ask? God of course. I was selected to attend a conference for work. There was one session that talked about social media addiction and the signs thereof.

Some of these were:
- Sneaking a peak online so people won't see you and complain
- Ignoring real people to take care of virtual ones
- Reorganizing your schedule to allow more time for online interaction...

At the same conference there was a session on the science of happiness. What I learned was positive people have lots of meaning in their life. So as soon as I got home from the conference I deleted the meaningless farm. I told people I was quitting cold turkey so I would be kept accountable. I approached it in kind of a "12 Step" fashion. Some of my Farmville friends tried to convince me to keep playing to enable their addictions. I would say to them, "You do realize it is not a real farm, you are not earning real money, and nothing will really die if you quit."

Looking back I don't know where I found the time to play. Now I have re-focused my time into real people and meeting the real needs of my home and those around me. Thankfully, God has also used my short lived addiction experience to help others leave "the farm" as well.

It's funny you should mention that you use Facebook to connect with old friends. Even when I read this post I knew that we went to highschool together, although you probably didn't know. In fact, I was good friends with your brother. Your parents and he were at my wedding where I married my youth pastor husband. I never knew you ended up as a youth pastor. Social media is a powerful tool that should be used as such. Another blog about social media addiction recognition would be a great topic for youth pastors. Thanks for your thoughtful insights. I have used my experience to help others - It's James 1 testament every time!

You may be correct. I went to high school with your brother and sister. Thanks for replying and keep up the thoughtful writing!

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