At one point or another, we have all been exposed to social media. Whether on well-known platforms such as Facebook, or less popular sites such as Google Plus, we’ve all seen it before. So what does social media have to do with our spiritual walk? How does it play into our lives as followers of Christ? Is it something we should use or something we should avoid? The answer to all of these is just below.
#1 What is Social Media?
Social Media is an online platform used to connect with others across the world and a way to show your interests and life. Its initial use was to help connect people, however, now it’s being utilized as a way to gain attention and or gratification. Now, I know that many people don’t see social media in this light and choose to see the positive aspects, but the fact cannot be ignored that people often base their self worth and lives on social media. I think a lot of times we don’t realize how much our words or what we choose to show on social media impacts others.
“But just because we can’t see the impact of our words in real life doesn’t mean our words don’t make a splash. If we’re saying things that aren’t words we would say in front of someone’s face, then we shouldn’t say them at all.” -Neal Samudre, “8 Things Christians Need to Do More on Social Media”
Another thing to mention is FOMO or the Fear of Missing Out. When I say that what we do on social media affects others, I don’t just mean how they view us. Jealousy and longing are real things; when you see someone having an amazing time, you wish you could be there too. There is a sense of “I wish I could do that,” but underneath that lays a feeling of solitude and doubt. If one of your best friends decided to go somewhere fun, you wouldn’t want to miss out, right? I want you to think for a moment, how would you react? If a friend went somewhere without inviting you and then posted on social media about it? You would feel terrible.
I do believe that social media can be used for good and I will discuss that later, however, when we base our worth on it, and when we choose to be careless in our words and actions, it can have terrible effects.
#2 How does Social Media connect with Christianity?
So what does this all have to do with being a Christian? As Christians, I believe that we need to be transparent and as Christ-like as possible. How you act in church should be how you act outside of church—especially on social media. If you are being an excellent role model at church but never exhibit that behavior through social media and your life outside, then you should really take a good long look at your current relationship with God. In your actions, you need to be transparent. You cannot live two or three different ways, you either live for God or for yourself. Whether on social media or outside of church, you need to act Christ-like. I know too many people who act one way at church but act completely different on social media. They give into worldly influences and never think for a second that they are misrepresenting Christ and themselves. No, when being transparent you don’t need to share every single aspect of your life, but you need to present yourself as you are—not how the world defines you.
#3 Should I use Social Media?
In all honesty, I cannot give you a simple answer on this one. I think that if you have a solid foundation in Christ as your identity and that you know how to present yourself on social media, it’s okay. What concerns me about social media is the danger of self doubt and acting carelessly in front of others. If you believe you can use it in such a way to please the Lord, go for it. I think that social media can be used in an astounding way to bring people together and to spread the gospel. Social Media, like any other tool, can be used for good or for evil. What are you using it as?
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. ( NIV Matt. 6:24).
Hey guys, this is your columnist speaking! I had an interesting time writing this article and I hope it gave you some insight reading it. If you would like some additional Bible readings that are relevant to this issue, look at James 1:22-27, John 13:34-35, Ephesians 4:2, and Romans 12:2.