Social Media affects everything. It is everywhere in our world:
- at home,
- at the store,
- at school,
- at restaurants,
- at work, and
- in our pockets.
Social media is with us and around us all the time. The truth is…IT IS AFFECTING US! But how? The social media gurus want us to think that social media is strictly positive, and great for everyone and everything. They want us to think that social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn, Snapchat, and texting) are all about building relationships and passing on information.
But is social media really causing us to relate more and give good information? If we are honest with ourselves, I think we can all say we have at least once felt, that while we are overly connected by social media, there is still an underlying feeling of being alone, depressed, and unconnected. In light of this reality, we are in the middle of a five week study here at Preacherontherun to examine how social media affects us. We are looking at five areas in which social media affects our views: relationships, words, time, self, and truth. Today we continue with Social Media: How it affects our view of ourselves.
We all want to have lots of friends on Facebook. We want to have followers on Twitter. All of these things are not bad in and of themselves, but these desires and the social media is all built upon building our little kingdom. Our kingdom of self, being great. But Jesus had another idea of kingdom and whose we should pursue first and foremost (Matthew 23:11-12). Jesus said that the one who humbles himself, does not exalt and brag on how great he is or all she has done and is doing, is the one who will be exalted by Him. However, the one who exalts and talks of herself and brags on himself will be the one humbled. Social media is built on the idea of exalting yourself.
Think about the posts that get the most attention on Facebook and Twitter: things about yourself, something stupid someone did, a quote about how awesome the person is, etc. There are over 300 Million search results on Google when asked about how to get attention on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. For instance, take the “selfie”. Defined as – a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website, these were all the rage in 2013. So much so that Oxford dictionary made it the word of the year. The truth is the term “selfie” would be almost obsolete or at least a lot less used and utilized if social media did not endorse and encourage the idea of self and the world being about each individual who uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
What do we look for every time we post a picture, status, or video? We want likes, retweets, comments, and reposts. We want our social media to be about us. We want people to like us. We want people to follow us! But Solomon had a 140 character or less tweet of his own: “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips” (Proverbs 27:2). God is saying through Solomon here, don’t look for your own praise. Don’t do things, say things, just to get other people to praise you or bring attention to yourself. Why? – “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). The reason God tells us not to seek our own praise is because it fuels pride. And pride only precedes a fall. Think of Adam & Eve, think of Satan, think of Tower of Babel, think of King Nebuchadnezzar and we could keep going. When man has tried to seek his own glory, repeatedly every time, God tells us it turns out for the worst.
So what should we do instead? How do we avoid the pride here? Take the wisdom and advice of Isaiah 66:2,
“But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” Humble yourself before God. Don’t make life all about you. But instead tremble, fear, and revere God’s Word! Trust Him and make much of Him not yourself. You can even use social media to make much of God and keep focused on His Word!
As I argued from the beginning, social media affects everything. And one of the major areas of our lives and thinking it affects is our view of ourselves. Social media wants us to build our kingdom, make our name know, for our glory. But God has designed us and created us to bring Him glory not ourselves (1 Corinthians 10:31). So how can you use social media to make much of God? How can you use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to glorify God rather than yourself? Stop by next week where we will discuss how Social Media affects our view on truth. In case you missed it Social Media: How it affects us (Relationships) or Social Media: How it affects us (Words) or Social Media: How it affects us (Time) you can find them here.