Knowing What to Share (and Not Share) on Social Media - Christian & Anastasia Anderson
What wisdom and guidance can faith provide for deciding how you use social media and what you share? We talk to Christian and Anastasia Anderson about how God has guided them on their journey as influencers.
- 2 Corinthians 1:8-9
- Christian and Anastasia on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/YourFavoriteChristian
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christianandanastasia1/
- TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@christianandanastasia1
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Leah Archibald: Making It Work is brought to you by The Max De Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary and the Theology of Work Project.
Mark Roberts: Welcome to Making it Work.
LA: Through conversation, scripture and stories, we invite God into work’s biggest challenges... so that you can live out your purpose in the workplace.
MR: I’m Mark Roberts.
LA: And I’m Leah Archibald. And this is Making It Work.
Today, over 4.6 billion people around the world use social media. If you've looked for a job recently, you probably had to spiff up your online profile. And over the last decade, we've seen an increasing number of online influencers who many look to for everything from entertainment to how-to advice. How you present yourself and what you post online impacts you, and others. What wisdom and guidance can faith provide for deciding how you use your platform and what you share? Today, we're talking to Christian and Anastasia Anderson about how God has guided them on their journey as influencers. Christian and Anastasia are active creators on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, they currently have a family channel that has over 40,000 subscribers and over 30,000 followers each on Instagram and TikTok. And although their approach on social media is lighthearted, their influence runs deep. Christian and Anastasia, welcome to the Making It Work Podcast.
Anastasia Anderson: Thank you.
Christian Anderson: Thank you. And you know what, it's the bio thing is always interesting because the numbers fortunately continue to rise so now I think that...
LA: So that was even outdated. Tell me what the numbers are now.
CA: Yeah, and now it's a 50,000. 50,000 for the YouTube, I think is a 40,000 now for...
CA: 44,000. And we only know this because there was a sponsorship thing that came up and Anastasia is like, "We better ask for more money 'cause we've got more." I'm like, "Oh yeah. Good, good call."
MR: Well, and for those of us who are not subscriber kind of people. Your actual views on YouTube are like way through the roof. Way more than, really big. So you're speaking to a lot of folks.
AA: Yeah, the viewers a lot. The viewers more of, so like a month ago, two months ago, it was like 4 million views.
AA: Views is more. Yeah. It's more than just the subscribers as you mentioned.
LA: Does that baffle you sometimes just how many people you have influence over or how many people are looking into your life?
AA: In the beginning, I think it was more of a cultural thing where you shouldn't share too much of your life. But once I got over that. And was like, listen, I like to talk anyway. So whether I posted on that, I might share with someone else I might as well just post it for the whole world. Why not? Yeah, not really.
LA: So tell me about that because that's what we're talking about today, what do you share from your life. What was counter-cultural to you Anastasia about sharing personal tidbits of information, or just sharing your life over social media.
AA: I think I would say more of your relationship and your romantic side and your affectionate side. So you're not supposed to share that deep about your life to other people. So your marriage situation, or whether you having fun in your marriage or not having fun, you shouldn't be sharing with friends, with anybody else. And then when we got pregnant, like I show my belly and my stomach and it's like, "Oh my God, she is crazy. She should not be sharing her stomach. She should not be sharing any of that." So people automatically said we're gonna lose Kwame because, the evil out there and then we had Kwame and we've looked the whole like giving birth. Yeah, so it was more like, do not share anything about your life. Just let people see what they see you, you walk in with Christian, that's all they need to know. You're married to him. And they thought that the more you share, the more people have opinions and which is true.
People have more opinion on what you put out there. But I think what helped us is that we joined the social media life older, meaning like we knew who we were. Right? I know myself, Christian knows himself. So being on the social media not at the age of 18 but at the age of 30 something. I've learned so much and grew so much that what I know what to put out there and what will really hurt me not to put out like I know. Do not say this online, because if someone says something back, it might hurt your feelings. So I know what could hurt my feelings and what cannot hurt my feelings. So if it's out there, that means, yes, I want you to know and bring it on. I got this.
LA: Christian, was it a similar learning curve for you?
CA: Yeah. Well, I think I was at first really surprised that Anastasia was just jumped head first into it because in the relationship one would say that I'm the more extroverted and Anastasia is the more introverted reserved one. And then once upon a time, I was an actor in Los Angeles so I was used to sharing and being vulnerable in front of folks. So it wasn't that big of a jump for me, but there is a lot of commentary that comes with, so you have to be aware of your own sensitivities. And like Anastasia said, it's like, I think that's the big, once you start to get open up more and more, just be aware that just expect the worst. And so that was little fortunately, I think again, to Anastasia's point the maturity just being older and just knowing how it is out there, especially with the wild west of social media, that you're going to get everything. And once you put yourself out there, you're gonna get the negative and the positive. So just be prepared for that. And so I don't think we've seen anything that was shocking. I think comments about our son, the inner parent gets really defensive real quick but then you're like, then you start to feel bad for the person, like what hurt is going on in your life that you would want to say something negative about a one-year-old child.
Like you must be really in some pain so you feel bad for them, but yeah, so I think the biggest learning curve was like, "Holy cow, my wife has completely become like the momentum of this channel," where I really thought it'd be me trying to pull her out of bed doing this. And that's how it was at first and it was more of like a day in a life of a priest channel. And then we realized no one wants to watch that. No one really cares about that, people cared about, here's this couple that happened to be from different countries and there's a culture clash. And how does their life work together and they happen to be people of faith, that's what really allowed it to really blossom. And that was Anastasia's doing that with her saying, "You need to take it there. People don't care about a priest."
LA: So in a way, it's the relationship between the two of you has been a vehicle for sharing your faith over this channel versus what you may have thought in the beginning, Christian, which was... Might be more the other way around...
CA: Yeah, for a person who would pitch himself during seminary is the one who was so missional and out there and trying to meet the seeker, I'm the one who was trying to shove Jesus down their throat, and then she was like, Dude, stop, just be you... Just talk about our family. And you just happen to be a person of faith, and that has been much more, I think, healthy and successful in attracting really great conversations in the chat section and direct messaging, and also just... Yeah, an indirect way of discussions about faith.
LA: Mark, I wanna bring you into the conversation and maybe you can give us a little more... Like a historical perspective, 'cause today, Christians like Christian and Anastasia who are reaching out to many people over social media, aren't that different from the apostles in the New Testament, who also reached many, many people, they weren't having a one-to-one conversion ratio. They were really a one-to-many, I'm thinking of Paul who wrote the majority of the books in the New Testament and had a significant influence over many Christian converts in the Roman world. Do you think the scale of influence today, Mark, is something completely new that influencers can have online, or do you think it's part of the trajectory of faith transmission throughout history?
MR: No, that's a, that's a, Yeah, great question. The scale is new, that you can reach hundreds of thousands, even millions, sitting in your bedroom on your computer.
LA: Paul would have been a little jealous of that.
MR: I mean it...
LA: No, shipwrecks and Paul.
MR: The scale is unbelievably different. And also, you know, when Paul wrote a letter, he might have written a letter and then it takes... Let's just say a month for the thing to get there, and then it gets read in the church, and then if they're gonna respond in a month back, so it's a really different scale and pace. Having said that however, sometimes we forget that what Paul was doing in particular with letters was novel, they wrote letters in the ancient world, but up to the Apostle Paul time, nobody that anybody is aware of had ever used letters as a kind of a community formation, or we could even say a pastoral work that just wasn't done, and so what he was doing is taking the technology of his time and in a very creative way transforming it to do the work of the gospel. We’re so used to the letters and all that, we don't realize how innovative that was, and also how technological that was, 'cause that was using the technology of the day. So what you guys are doing, Christian and Anastasia, is in many ways, just today's version of what the Apostle Paul and the early Christians were doing innovatively using technology, but not just using it in the way it comes, what you guys are doing has a really different feel from most of what's out there.
MR: And so the distinctiveness, it's the Christian distinctiveness, so using the technology to reach out and to reach wide, but doing that as authentic Christians.
My word for you is authentic, when there's just one video and not to embarrass you Anastasia, but you cry a lot and Christian, you let her go. And part of me is thinking at first, Oh, you should have intervened, and I'm thinking, No, this is like really tender and precious, and I would not use that language very often for stuff on social media, so it's a gift to share that with us.
LA: How do you think of that, Christian and Anastasia, how do you decide where to place boundaries or where to set the boundaries on what you release?
CA: The first time that we... Well, let's put it this way, that we always knew we were a family-based channel, so we want the content to be... We weren't going to be... Okay, we've definitely made choices throughout the time that we weren't gonna follow certain other formulas that would allow the channel to grow exponentially, so we weren't gonna use skin, sex, other gotcha type topics to pull you in, that just... And not a judgment against those choices that just wasn't us. And so there would be times when Anastasia will be like, "Yeah, no, not gonna go there" or something will come up like, "Yeah, no pass." Even sponsorship there, we just recently turned down a wine company that want to... And it was just a wine club, and it's nothing bad about that, but it just... The line gets a little fuzzy with what we're trying to broadcast as a family channel, we're like, is it really appropriate for us to be saying, "And here is this glass of wine that we love, you should sign up."
AA: And they were paying a lot of money.
CA: But it just doesn't, it doesn't match what we're trying to reflect, so yes, there is a value there that does reflect, we've assumed just being a Christian household, but also knowing that who our audience is, are family and we wanna keep that family base, so we know that we do sacrifice potential audience for that.
CA: So there's that. And then when we went through our... We got to a place where we had a family loss, a tragedy, and so that was probably the big when we lost our daughter, at five months gestation. That was really the big offering of saying, "Okay." We definitely took time away and walked away from the channel for quite some time until we were in a much better place. And then there came a turn, through just a sermon and prayer, that definitely Anastasia felt, that you know what? We're just holding this inside, and we're not sharing it, and it just feels like we're not doing justice to our daughter's name, and we're hiding her. And so it came to an appropriate place with appropriate boundaries to open up and, not for our sake. There's a little bit of, "Sure, it is cathartic," but also seeing the response when we did it locally, just in our church community, how many people came out of the wood work who experienced the same loss, who didn't have the ability to share their loss, and then became the cultural undertones.
Anastasia's Ghanaian. And so there's, how does a West African family deal with a loss like this, historically? And so that just opened up the flood gates of people reaching out and sharing their stories. And so the vulnerability allowed us to... The boundaries stayed in a healthy place, but changed a bit for our own vulnerability to really open up about... I don't think we had done that before to that extent.
CA: Because it did seem like that was a place where... I felt where God was inviting us, to do it if we felt confident about it. And you definitely... To be quite honest, I wanted to follow your lead on it, and you felt confident about it because it was the number one reason why? Because you knew of other lives that were being touched by it, or as part of your journey, also, of healing?
AA: I think... Yes, so it was part of my journey and also bringing an awareness in the African community because it was not something that we talk about at all. And up till today, I still have family members who do not wanna talk to me just because I shared that information. So I wanted to bring that awareness that we, Africans, but... You know some people have that myth that we don't experience the same things, but we all do, it's just how we respond to it. So I've been taught not to share that information, I've been taught not to talk about death when a child dies. And so I made that decision to go ahead and do it because I knew our base. We have so many African followers, and so doing that allowed so many other Africans sending us messages and talking about how thankful they were, and now even though they lost a child, maybe 10 years ago, they are able to talk to their friends, to let them know, "Oh my gosh, I saw this girl on YouTube. She's Ghanaian, she did this, now, I wanna let you know why I've been feeling this way."
So it was great to know, even though my family is still like, "Oh, she's crazy," but I wanted to do that. I wanted to do that, not just for me, but also for every person who grew up in Africa, that look just like me, and went through similar situations, but were not able to share. And also that opened up for my own mother to share. I didn't even know my mother went through the same thing I went through three times.
LA: Really? Wow.
AA: So sharing allowed my mom to also tell me how she felt when she went through it. Without sharing, I would have never known that my mother went through it. So sometimes we share things without knowing the outcome, but I always say, when your gut feeling says, 'Just do it,' just do it, just do it, and something great will come out of it.
LA: Is there a way that you engaged... How did you know that it was the right time to share? Was there scripture that you were reading, was it something in your prayers, was it just an internal sense that was telling you, "Now is the right time"?
AA: And I remember the exact time that it happened. So we were at church, and then we have a women's group. So one time I went to the women's group because I heard there was another woman who was sharing a story, and I wanted to know more about the woman. So I went there, she was sharing her story, and that really touched me. Through the prayer that... We were praying over the women for her to share her story, and the prayer just touched me, "Share your story. Other people want to hear it," it's just this feeling that came over me. And so right after that speech, I went to the leader of the women's group and said, "I'm ready to share my story." So that's how it started. And then we talked about it. And then the following month, I shared my story, and then... And I was like, "I'm ready for YouTube. Let's do this." So it started from there.
MR: Chapter two on my earlier comment, one of the things that was true of communications in the ancient world, over time in the New Testament, was that, for the most part, people did not share their inner lives, especially their pain. You just don't find that in letters. You don't. And then you come to the apostle Paul, and especially 2nd Corinthians, the beginning of 2nd Corinthians. And I'm gonna beat you to the punch, Leah, 'cause I even got it, and I'm gonna read a little bit of it. Leah always reads the scripture to us.
LA: Oh, good. Let's hear it.
MR: I'm gonna do it this time. So Paul says this, to the Corinthian Christians, "We don't want you to be unaware brothers and sisters of the affliction we experience in Asia, for we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death, so that we would not rely on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead." Now again, when we read this from our cultural perspective, we might even say, "Wow, that's out there," but for in Paul's own day, that was absolutely an extraordinary sharing of this incredible pain. Now, he brings it around to talk about how God met him and all that.
But the point was that he was taking extraordinary risks doing something that was really quite countercultural by sharing his inner life with people and what you were doing. But especially what you're doing when you go through really hard things is really very similar to that. And it's not... The difference is that Paul knew pretty much who is gonna see the letter. You put that out there, and comments on social media are often, sometimes just hilarious and sometimes really mean. And when you put your heart out there and somebody is mean, that's really hard. But what you'd said earlier, it's so important. You were talking about, you know who you are, you've got some maturity otherwise that could be devastating 'cause there's a risk there. But the flip side of the risk is there are people, and you've mentioned them who have been able to open up about things. Your mom, something she was never able to talk about. And that's just... That's really a wonderful gift that you're giving to people. But you sense a call to it. I don't hear you saying, "Everybody out there should do this." There are certain people who are called to it who are emotionally able to do it, and for those who have that calling.
LA: Well, Paul had his haters too. He was a...
MR: Oh yeah. In Second Corinthian. This is what the other ironic. So yes, Leah, this letter is the one where he talks about the people who just pretty much had nothing good to say about Paul. So he is opening up in a context where he knows he's gonna get slammed in particular because his opponents were like the victorious Christian living people. And they were like the super apostles, and it was all great and wonderful, and they're just practically in heaven. And Paul is saying, "I despaired of life itself." So he knew that he was not just sharing this with his intimate best buds, but with people that were gonna really rail on him. But there was that calling to that kind of openness. And again, I go back to the word authenticity, that works for you guys. You're sharing your life with us in a way that invites us in, and that's kind of amazing.
LA: So talk to us Christian and Anastasia about the haters. Do they make you wanna stop or [laughter] do they make you wanna continue to be authentic?
CA: I think the only that's ever gotten us to stop, it's just the weekly commitment and before when I had no idea what I was doing with editing and editing would take forever, and we've realized we've gotten much more efficient and effective in our shooting. But the haters have not because if you go into social media looking for validation it’s gonna be a real rough road. And unfortunately, it's a real quick... It's a great way to get validation if you go for it. It could be a real quick hit, the dopamine is a rush. And so that's why I do feel for... I know we keep on talking down to the younger generations, like they're the poor little kids.
And they're like, "We're fine, thank you guys. You don't have to keep on worrying about us." But I just know that how I was... Where I was at in my 20s, seeking validation, seeking acceptance, and you put something up online and you get all these yes, yes, yes, and then one time you just get nothing or nos, it's gonna hurt. So I think for us, if we ever put a dud out there, and recently we put up a video where we thought would do really well, and it was real slow, and I think we've just gotten a place where like, "Well, alright. We just dropped an egg on that one, we'll see what we could do. Change some things up, change the picture, change the image, change the title, or maybe we just made a dud." But for the haters, we've gotten...
I don't think it's ever stopped us. It's given us some good laughs, they'll attack religious stuff, they'll attack faith stuff, they'll attack our looks [chuckle] they'll attack our weight, they'll attack... It'll come and you just know that there's a lot of pain behind it and probably, I don't know, just work in the church, just knowing, just the work of empathy knowing that hurt people, hurt people. And so there's just some... They've got some pain going on and Anastasia is really good about always responding with grace. And then sometimes she'll put a little bit of grit behind it. But it's still wrapped up in some grace. Do you wanna speak to that, honey?
AA: Well, you're very kind. [laughter] But yes, I try to respond in a very nice way. Other times, no, but I don't do... One thing I don't do is I'm not going to be cursing or also coming down to your level, if I might say. I usually would just respond and say, "Yeah, we already know. Thank you." Like someone was like, "Oh my gosh, she's so fat, she needs to lose some weight." I was like, "Yeah, I think I put on a little weight, but I'm liking it." Things like that. So you don't think you got to me. Nothing you're gonna tell me that I don't already know. So if I gain weight and you see it on YouTube, of course, I'm not gonna look the same as I looked three years ago. But that's okay, you could tell me about it, and that's on you. And I will just respond and be nice about it, or sometimes I don't. Now, I've also realized that as we started growing, other people would love to join YouTube family, but they are also afraid by looking at our comments section because they realize that if they put something out there, this is something that they're going to get.
So when I get that message from people, I usually would delete it, just so other people don't see it. And when people reach out to me, how should they start YouTube, I always say, "Do you know who you are? Have you come to a point where you understand who you are? So when people come for you, you don't get hurt." Because they will come for you. And then I had someone who said they had a really hard anxiety. I was like, "YouTube is not for you, because they're going to rise it up, you do not want that. Now, find who you are, understand who you are, and then you can join the group. But if not, they're just gonna come for you." So sometimes I make fun of it, where I would put something on Instagram and say, the comments that we got. And then other people... And I will tell people, "How would you respond to something like this?" And then people would give ideas how you can respond to it so other people can see how they could also respond. But yeah, I don't let it... It does not get to me at all. There's nothing... I feel like we've... How should I say it? We've been through enough growing up, that nothing you can tell me now can hurt me, you know what I mean? Like, No, we're good, we're good. We know who we are.
CA: And I think also too, with YouTube, which is our main audience is that it's not like Facebook where I think my emotions might get rolled into something faster because I know everyone pretty much personally on the Facebook community I'm a part of. And so if someone takes a shot at me, that's like getting a public square in front of all these people else that I know, it's like they walked into a public forum or just say, "Hey, that guy, Christian right there, he's a complete idiot and a total fraud," and I feel like I almost gotta defend myself. Now, someone on YouTube says that we're talking a lot of different people who I don't even know who you are. And so it's easier for me to be like, "Yeah, that's right. I don't know who I am, I'm a total idiot. And I'll just make fun of myself." So that does help with YouTube, because it's so vast, it's so huge, they'll say something you're not a real person of faith, and I'll be like, "Yeah, that's right, I went to Party City and bought this priest outfit and just kinda make a joke out of it."
So that's just fun, but if it was someone like a friend from high school on Facebook and I posted a picture of saying, "Celebrating my 5th anniversary in to priesthood" and someone say, "You're not a real priest," I would probably wanna call them directly and be like, "Yo, what's up?" 'Cause if not, I'd be maybe spinning in my head like, "Why would my friend Andy say that about me and in front of everyone and that's hurtful?" And I would want to contact that person and so that I would wanna work through that, and not just ignore it.
LA: Yeah. Now, you both have jobs that are outside of YouTube. Christian, you're saying you're a priest, do you ever have a worry about YouTube personality crossing into workspace or do you have a worry about your future eligibility in the job market because of this YouTube channel? What are the boundaries between YouTube and work?
CA: Yeah, I do have that concern much less now because we've defined ourselves more as a family channel. Yet, however, it can be a threat to any future employer of a church. So before I even started, the first thing I did was walk into my boss's office and just say, "Listen, this is what we're up to. This is what we're doing. What do you think?" And so it's a constant check, and now every time we make a video, I do think of the congregation, I do think of the people who are watching, and I do think of could anything here get misconstrued and so absolutely, we're authentic, but we're also smart with the boundaries, because as you know, any kind of leadership position you're in, you're having an influence upon others, and you have to be very smart. And even in the comments, so when you have haters, the way you respond to them, you wanna do it in a way that really models grace to others, even though you might wanna slap someone across the face, however you do that in a comment section, you have all these other folks watching you and you're now, I'm representing something beyond Christian Anderson.
I'm representing this church, I'm representing a faith, and if I have a bad day, it doesn't just hurt me, it can influence many others, and that's for any position really in leadership, but also particularly in church leadership. You're representing something way bigger than yourself and so bad days publicly are not good days for the church. So yeah, there is an awareness for it, I think we're in a groove now where I think we know better our boundaries, and I don't think we've had too many hiccups, and my wife is much more aware of it too, so she'll hold say, "No, you're gonna edit that. No, you're gonna cut, no." I'm like, "No, it's hilarious." She's like, "No, it's not," I'm like, "Yeah, that's funny. They'll think it's funny." She's like, "No, they won't." And so if I was by myself, maybe I'dhave been fired by now, but this my better half has kept me employed. And she has been aware that too for her work as in the health care, so she has to be aware of how things could come across, we might think it's communicated in one way, but you have to think of the three different ways it could be interpreted.
And she's aware of what people are watching in the office, we can visually see them when we're making, when we're shooting something like, "How's that woman in the third cubicle who we know watches this, how are they gonna interpret this and maybe go tell the boss or HR? Yeah, not worth it, cut."
AA: Well, also Christian likes to make jokes. So he's very sarcastic, and not everybody can get the joke, so I'm always on the other side, I get where you're coming from. But it might be interpreted this way. And you don't want people to see it that way. And so people will always say, we know what we're putting out there, we make sure that it's okay, I don't talk about my job at all and Christian because it's more of a public thing as a priest, but I do not share my job, I don't talk about my job, even if there's something really bad going on at the work space, I do not share because I feel like everybody, no matter where you work there's an issue going on, and if I don't know about yours, why should I share mine? So I try not to put my work on the forefront, and when people do ask me, "Where do you work?" I usually just say I'm public health or everybody know I went to nursing school, everybody knows that part about me, and that's okay, but I do not share work, I'm not comfortable with that space. I probably would never be comfortable with that space because I like to do work, deal with work as it is, and if I'm shooting is just fun thing for me to do, so I don't need to open up too much door about a job space and my bosses always watches, they watch our YouTube.
My co-workers all watching, no matter what job I've had, they always follow me there, so I try to kinda give that respect to them because it's just work. And this is something different. So he helped me, he helps me.
LA: There have been some stories in the news recently about people getting fired from posting on TikTok about their job or about problems that they've had in their job. And I feel really conflicted. So on one hand, I want people to have a platform where they can share their grievances, especially when there's racism or sexism or classism in the work place. I think social media platforms are a place where we can share about that, but at the same time, we don't wanna put ourselves in conflict with our employer, and I wonder if these are new issues that workers today deal with, that perhaps workers 10 or 20 years did not have to deal with.
Mark, give us your perspective. I know you post a lot of scenery on your Instagram. You post a lot of nature pictures.
CA: That'll get you in trouble.
MR: Well, I think the basic issue isn't new in the sense that even if you lived in a small village two centuries ago, there would be... You would have to think about what you would share about your work with others, at least if you're wise. Generally, you don't wanna get your boss upset with you because you went down to the local barber shop and told all the people the bad things about your boss. The difference now, of course, is that it's projected to the world, and so it's amplified so many times over. But what you all are talking about here is just, again, it's a lot about wisdom, and it's about personal... Your sense of personal calling to this. So it's so interesting to me, Anastasia, and I respect the decision you make, completely. But you've decided to be exceptionally vulnerable about your personal life and not about your professional life, and I think that's wise and great, and for the reasons you've said, and I don't even know 'cause I don't know the details of your work life.
What that models... So you're not just saying, "Oh man." We are an open book. Everything in our life is... We're gonna be out there, and if I'm upset with my neighbor, boy, I'm going on and I'm gonna tell my neighbor how terrible they are. You have made some very important choices in terms of what you're doing and why you're doing it in service to others. I can actually imagine other sort of a parallel world in which people decide, "Well, I'm gonna talk a lot about my work." But there are different kinds of implications there. So again, I just, I admire the thoughtfulness with which you're doing this, 'cause you're not just running headlong into social media saying, "Now we're just gonna show it all and whatever." You thought it through, and where you feel that really God wants you to be more open and where it's really fine to be not so open.
LA: Wisdom. Wisdom is the key word.
CA: There has to be good boundaries, I think with social media, especially when you're trying to get somewhere in the career world. And the issue is the mistakes we see is that people first go to social media and start... When they have an issue that's not resolved, like when when we opened up about the loss of Aria, I would say we were resolved, but we weren't so much... There was a scar that was beginning to form. We didn't go in with that, or if they say, "Never preach from a wound, preach from a scar." So that we can start to open up and we started to make sense of some peace. We can see the long road of peace, but if we would have opened up right away, it would have been an emotional mess, and it would have been really just self-involved because we were just at a place where we just needed to have therapy and talk with ourselves, just make sense of life and where's God in all of it? And so when we have...
When I've had employees, who do the same thing, who have gone on TikTok to deal with their emotions, dealing with workplace or somewhere else, it's a new language and acceptance now that doesn't work, and I don't think it's a collision of culture of generations, it's just that social media has become so common place for us to share and open up about things, but then when you get older and you're in the workplace, it's not acceptable because there are certain things we need to figure out in-house. So if you have an issue with me, come into my office, let's figure this out. I can't have you feeling like your therapist is TikTok because now that hurts us, and so, it is a new...
CA: It's a new landscape that, at least I'll speak for myself. We're just tourists and the natives are the Gen Z, I wouldn't even say millennials. They're old too. So now it's the other ones who there's an acceptance of... This is where I go to be vulnerable and open up. And then us old folks who are hiring people in the workplace. You're like, "No, no that's not where you go. That might feel safer to you, but really we need to have the more difficult conversation face to face and work this out first." And so there is... It's not rare. It comes up a lot and it's like an understanding of two different cultures of what's acceptable and what's not on social media. And they're gonna conflict. But in order for these multiple generations to be able to work together, I think we have to come up with healthy boundaries saying this is allowed, and this is not allowed. And let's work this out in house, whether that's as a family or as a community, as a workplace, as a church before we go public.
AA: [chuckle] But I also... If I can add something, but I also understand when people actually come out on social media, especially when you feel like you've done everything in house and it's not working. But I always say if I feel some type of racism towards me or anything that I feel like I'm dealing with, I want to deal with it where I am, meaning like, I need to go to the higher authority if I may do so. If it means getting out and just talking to members of the community, I would do that. But I just feel like sometimes being on social media and just bashing out, that means you actually ending era in your life. Meaning like other people that would love to hire you might not because they think you are being too much.
But it... I just feel like if I have to talk about my job and everything that goes on, I have to have a whole different social media. This is a family channel, is just about us, about the fun things we do. If I'm going through something at work, then I need to open a whole new chapter. But how much can I really give in terms of work? Is it gonna be just one video? So this has nothing to do with our job. It's more of a family thing. So I don't, I just don't like to share too much. And I speak up a lot. So if I'm at work and something happens, I do speak up. Maybe social media gives people platform where they're not able to speak up at work, but I'm able to let people know what is going on, what is happening. And even if people don't take me seriously, I know I need to go to the higher authority. I'm grown enough to do that.
LA: There was... So as I wrap up our conversation, I'm thinking the wisdom that I'm hearing from you is not so much about boundaries. Like, "This is where I've set the line. This is where I've drawn the fence." But cultivating the relationships in your life where you have the wisdom to have both relationships online and with many people and authentic relationships in person. That one doesn't replace the other and similar boundaries that you have with people in your life. Like, oh, you maybe you share some dirt with your friends, that you wouldn't share at work, for example. Those boundaries also translate into a relationship with many people online.
CA: Yes. And that the online community is not the source of your validation because they'll turn on a dime. They'll love you today. They'll hate you tomorrow. And so as for us, as people of faith, the one source of validation you gotta find is from God. And then everything else is just secondary. So then... But if that's not there and the online community... If you're a blogger, vlogger, social media creator, and you're realizing that is your number one source of validation, I would say it's dangerous. And that's real tricky. And I would say, make sure that your validation is in-house. I would say, as a person of faith through God first, through your family, through your tight friends who will ride and die with you. And then everything else, just take it or leave it. And you just do it because it's fun, it's engaging, it's exciting, you share stories. But you're not... They don't tell you who you are and validate who you are.
MR: That's great advice. But let me also add though, we need in the Christian community, pioneer missionaries, if you will. [chuckle] people who are gonna go into this new land and figure out how to share the gospel there. And in many ways what you're doing reminds me of what people do when they go to a different place to serve Christ. And you gotta know the place and you gotta figure out who you're gonna be in that place. But I appreciate the fact that you're... I really see you as you're kind of like out there and you're... And in time people will learn from you because we the broader body of Christ, we need to be in social media in a Christian way. For the sake of the gospel.
So, I think not only are you doing a good work, but those of us who wanna see the gospel out everywhere, are gonna learn from you and discover things that are gonna be really helpful. And that's really important.
LA: And I'm glad that you guys are doing it, 'cause you guys are fun. You are fun to watch, it's fun to feel like we're in a... We get to join your virtual family. And that's what I wanna see. And it shows that your validation is coming from God so that you can give that outwards to people.
Anastasia, Christian, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today. It's really, it's been a pleasure to talk to you.
AA: Thank you.
CA: Thanks for having us on it's been a lot of fun.