If you are reading this you probably saw this posted on social media. So it should be obvious that social media is very popular and powerful. Because the popularity of social media has skyrocketed over the years it is no shock that hundreds of millions of people use social media on a regular basis. Social media has been used for a lot of impactful and positive things over the years. I have seen strangers use social media as a platform to bring awareness to causes and efforts to help others that are in need. But like with many other things there is also a lot of instances where social media is used for reasons that are not as pleasant.
Social media by itself is lifeless and is empty but it is you and I that give social media a "personality" and bring it to life. When I hear people make statements like, "social media is evil" I understand what they are saying but in reality its not so much that the social media platform itself is evil but the way that someone decided to use it. As an example preachers around the globe are able to use social media to reach more people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. No matter what it is once you click "post" on your favorite social media platform your message is able to reach masses of people.
Sadly in the church not everyone is using social media for the right reasons or with the right motives. Below I list a few reasons to evaluate your why's as it relates to using social media.
1. Using social media like an online diary. Not only is this unhealthy I have seen the embarrassment and regret people have had from airing their dirty laundry online while being angry or frustrated. I always suggest that people consider therapy, journaling or even both if they are dealing with issues that are causing them considerable distress over time. I would rather see people go to professional therapy which is completely confidential or even try journaling so that they are able to express their thoughts and even "vent" without the worry of the world knowing their deepest and darkest secrets. Although people will click like, comment or even inbox you very rarely do people ever care. In some cases people are just simply being entertained or even laughing at your pain.
2. Using social media to attack others. Sadly, this has become common among believers. Screenshots, clap backs, subtle "shady" posts and openly attacking other believers happens too often. This type of behavior has the ability to confuse other believers and destroy relationships. Many times these occurrences happen due to someone jumping to conclusions or misunderstanding what someone else might have posted, commented or shared. Other times disagreements, and a dislike for certain individuals can be the fuel behind a social media fight.
3. Using social media to show our good deeds. There are definitely times and moments to use social media but we need to consider others before using social media to show that we are feeding and clothing the needy. In 2018 it seems the new phrase should be "no good deed goes unrecorded". People that are unfortunate should not be used for social media clout. They deserve respect and privacy like anyone else. A person shouldn't be involuntarily subjected to going viral in their worst state just to get a meal and a few dollars. We are blessed to be a blessing and we should be able to love and help others without recording in fact many see it as ingenuine. The time spent clicking "live" could be spent privately speaking with and even ministering to the person you have encountered without including an unnecessary social media audience.
4. Using social media to record private moments. I pray the day never comes where widespread lawsuits take place because people have been photographed, or videotaped while at a service and their image goes viral. My heart broke as the world made fun of a woman that was a new believer telling her testimony. What will it take for us to stop clicking live non-stop and just enjoy the service. Everything is not for public consumption but many lack the wisdom to use discretion. Sadly, a man who converted from Islam to Christianity was attacked by his family after they saw a video of him being baptized after he asked the church not to record this special moment knowing the backlash he could face back home. I would advise churches that are going to photograph and record video of people to get their written permission first. This small step can help minimize potential issues. Besides people like me don't want to be at your event dodging cameras it can be a distraction and quite annoying.
This is not a blog against social media just a few thoughts to cause us all to think before we click "post". Social media is powerful and the world is watching the church. And much of what they are seeing even disturbs me. Via social media the church is seeing an onslaught of false prophets, angry wounded saints, online fights, carnal preachers and so forth. Social media is an instant platform for ANYONE. All things considered, may we all use social media for a purpose that glorifies our Heavenly Father.