The Problem With Social Media
Social media platforms have produced a unique set of problems in today’s society. Its use has increased by 356% Since 2006. Eighty-three percent of people say that platforms like Twitter and Facebook have built new friends and relationships for them. One billion photographs have been taken on Instagram. That’s hard to wrap our heads around.
A friend of mine who works in the industry says it’s like technology works just enough to keep us coming back.
Technology is the most pristine mirror that I can think of in today’s culture. It displays our depravity. It also reflects our righteousness. It shows who we are and who we want to be. It shows the perceptions of our lives. It also shows the imperfections of who we are. Technology is a reflector because man is the director of it. When you follow somebody and you read their posts and the pictures they show, you can get a glimpse into their priorities. Look at someone’s profile and you can tell a lot about them. Technology is a mirror. It reflects the external and the internal. We want to look good to others. We post pictures that make others jealous and cause envy.
I recently came across a post from a guy who was at a car show. He took a picture of himself with these cool cars. He said, “Look where I am!” There are Bentleys and Lamborghinis and Maseratis. It sounds benign. “I’m with the Maserati and Lamborghini crowd and you’re not.” What a difference if he’d said, “Look at all these cool cars.” See the difference?
6 Problems with social media
- Eye problem. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:12 (NIV) “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” It’s unfair to compare. When I compare myself with you I’m making a mockery of God’s creative genius.
- Ear problem. We so worship what people say that we miss the voice of God. We’re so busy behind the glowing screens, we’re so busy clicking, we’re so busy swiping, we forget to listen to the voice of God and we forget to listen to others who give help us hear from God.
- Stomach problem. Boasting about myself and where I am, who I am with causes me problems internally. I want to look good to others, like holding in my stomach to impress you with my six-pack. But it doesn’t work! I eventually have to let out my breath and you see the real me.
- Back problem. I am like a jellyfish - spineless. I use social media to attack other people secretly or anonymously. It is way too easy to hide behind social media to attack and criticize to make myself feel better.
- Head problem. Social media so often is not real. It’s Fantasy Five Sports. It just shows brief highlights of a person’s life. Like Sports Center, It does not show the work, the sweat, the angst, the pressure, and all the stuff that goes into success. It just shows a brief little glimpse of a person’s life. There’s always a back-story, a story behind the story.
- Mouth problem. How we say what we say is as important as what we say.
1 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV) “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”
Matthew 15:18 (HCSB) “But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a man.”
The Solutions to the 7 Deadly Sins
We must take a “sin-ventory.” The Bible talks about the seven deadly sins. Yet, it’s evident what is the opposite:
1. Pride. Humility is giving God the glory only He deserves.
2. Envy. Admiration is celebrating with others over their accomplishments.
3. Anger. Composure is using God’s strength to keep ourselves in check.
4. Slothfulness. Diligence means being persistent about spending time with God.
5. Greed. Giving is the antidote. God is a generous God and He wants us to be generous also.
6. Gluttony. Self Control is part of the fruit of the Spirit. I’m talking here about overdosing on social media.
7. Lust. Purity is staying away from the images that are so pervasive on social media.
The Power of 7
Look at your last seven posts on social media. What did they say? What were they about? What’s the motive behind them?
Also, look at the last seven people you’ve communicated with using technology. You show me your friends, I’ll show you your future. You’ve heard it. I can look at who you’ve communicated with, and who you’re talking to right now. I can say, “Oh yeah, I know you.”
And the same goes for me. Because if we hang out with the wrong people, we associate with the wrong people, and if we’re always texting the wrong people, we’ll end up missing God’s purposes and plans for our lives.
How about the last seven songs you listened to on your playlist? How about the last seven movies you watched? The answers tell us a huge amount about where our hearts are.
There are things you can do to encourage a healthy relationship with technology. Here are several ideas.
- Go on a seven-day social media fast, and use the time to get closer to God.
- Take your own personal ‘sin-ventory.’
- Go for a walk, and talk to the Lord.
- Connect with people in person.
Breaking a pattern of harmful behaviors related to using technology won’t be easy, but the results will be worth it! Expect great things to happen.
If you have questions or want to connect, visit us in person or online at Fellowship Church.
Want to learn more? Watch the related sermon.