As I have been delving deeper into the meanings of topics I took for granted before, I started wondering what constitutes idle talk. Is it pleasantries, break room talk, asking lame questions because you are either bored or shy or could it be talking via social networking sites? It is warned against by the Orthodox church so we need to know for sure.
What are your thoughts?
Excellent question! I'll be interested to see what others think.
Personally, I think the Church's warning against idle talk is a reminder of Our Lord's warning that on the Day of Judgement, we will be held accountable for everything we have said, including every "idle word" (Matthew 12:36). An "idle word" (Gk: "ρημα αργον") seems to mean either a "lazy" word (i.e. one which achieves nothing good), or it could mean a word "spoken in idleness"- the image being of reclining in idleness and chatting. Whatever the case, it seems to indicate that we are supposed to be careful that what we say always achieves good and edifies, and that we should speak with the constant thought that we will be held accountable for what we say. So we need to "weigh" and "measure" our words before we speak them.
I don't think this necessarily includes things like exchanging pleasantries. Wishing someone a good morning can be a blessing if it comes from the heart and is spoken in love. Nor do I think it includes social networking sites altogether, but it does include what we say on them. It is just as possible to say something edifying on Facebook as it is to spread gossip on it.