The impact of Social Media
Most of us are involved in social media to some extent. Apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc exist that are platforms for us to stay up to date with others and present a picture of ourselves. While in some ways social media has its advantages, I think social media has some very negative impacts on our society. What does God’s word teach us about some of the impacts that social media can have on our society?
1. Social media often paints a false picture
Have you ever seen someone post all the details about the worst day ever? What about they best day ever? Chances are you have seen mostly the best day ever. People love to create this false idea that everything in their life is perfect. They create a false image. Pictures are given the opportunity to use filters to take away any blemishes or spots we think look bad. Social media seems to be highly dishonest at times. What does the Bible say about creating this false image?
Notice the words of Paul in Colossians 3:8-11 “8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.” The idea of do not lie to one another catches my attention. A lot of what you see on social media is lying or deceiving someone else in to thinking this life is perfect. When in reality we never expose our flaws on social media. Also social media can cause us to covet the life another has because everything they have looks perfect. One of the Ten Commandments deals with the idea of do not covet and this principle is repeated in the Old Testament. We often see things others have, things which look perfect and then we covet or want the things we see that we do not have.
2. Social media can cause division
Have you ever seen someone post on social media just to stir the pot, just to cause division. People seem to like the attention of getting hundreds of comments on their posts. Notice Paul’s urge to the church at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 1:10 which says “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” It seems social media often does the opposite of what this verse tells us to do. It cause deep divisions sometimes even between Christians. How problematic it is to get involved in such divisive behavior through social media.
3. Social media can take our attention away from Jesus:
Now this is not a one size fits all statement. You can have social media and still follow God. But what I do mean is that social media can be very distracting and waste a lot of time. I do not know about you but I find myself wasting much time with reels. It seems you just mindlessly scroll for something to do. I am sure we could all admit we could better utilize our time. Colossians 3:23 tells us “whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord.” Matthew 6:33 tells us to “seek first the kingdom of God.” I would find it hard to live by these verses yet spend countless hours scrolling on social media each day. I am just as guilty as any one else. It is any easy trap to fall into. Yet as Christians its time to do a self check up and see where you stand.
Social media in and of itself is not a bad thing. However, if handled the wrong way it can cause some serious problems. Let us seek to eliminate distractions where needed and seek fully the kingdom of God.