Bro. Ronald S. Townsend, Jr.
Being that I am a big advocate of using social media to promote our great Fraternity I thought I would say a few words about it. The times have changed and as we move deeper into the 21st century there are ways in which we as a Fraternity need to change also, social media being one of them. We are doing an education seminar in Pa. District 27 on January 16th, 2015 in which I will be covering this topic. (We will post details about the seminar in the near future.) Because the majority of you might not be able to make it, I will give a quick rundown here.
First and foremost, be responsible! Social media is not the place to get into a debate on issues of Freemasonry. It doesn’t matter if someone can find information about Freemasonry on the Grand Lodge website or anywhere on the internet for that matter. It is not a place for us to discuss it. That is why we have Lodges. That is where we discuss it. You can be suspended for conduct unbecoming for what you post on social media. If you see someone posting or discussing something they should not, kindly and gently point out what they are doing could be construed as inappropriate but do not engage any further if they become argumentative. If they are from your Lodge or district, contact them off of social media, i.e. a phone call, a visit or approach them at your next lodge meeting and remind them in kindest and most gentle manner of their failing and remind them of their obligation. Some have said that this is just Grand Lodge coming down with the hammer again. I say, you took the oath and obligation, no one forced you. You had the opportunity between each degree to walk away. We should honor our obligation in all aspects of our life, not just when we are in Lodge. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts came out with a code of conduct in 2012. There is too much to post here but here is the link. (http://baumbach.com/baumbach.com/GL/social_media_code_of_conduct_for_masons.htm) As of this posting the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania does not have a code of conduct for social media.
With that being said, let’s get to the good aspects of social media. It can be used as a recruitment tool. If you have a public Facebook page for your Lodge others can see the activities, events or open houses that you have had or are having. This would be a good example of the things we do in our Lodge to get others interested. Be sure to keep it updated and fresh.
Usually we have to wait for the Lodge secretary to read communications to learn about events or programs being conducted at other Lodges. How many times do we even hear about events at other Lodges or if we do hear about it, it’s already happened? We have a closed Facebook group for our District that we use to share events at each Lodge in the District. This is a great way for members to know what’s going on in each Lodge and at the District level.
There are so many ways to use social media to share the happenings in Freemasonry, promote our Craft and to stay connected with our Brothers. Please use it responsibly.
I would love to hear your thoughts on the use of social media and if you have any other ideas on how to use it to promote and share our Fraternity. Please leave a comment.