Daily Blog Email
My job is to help authors leverage blogs and social media to use the gifts God has given them to serve the Church in her mission of making disciples.
But man, I really wish social media would just disappear sometimes. Don’t you?
Usually, the times I wish social media would disappear come about when I see Christians behaving badly on social media in such a way that it makes Jesus or the Church look bad.
I tend to think everyone should be on social media (and that everyone should have a blog). I think this because I think God has gifted everyone with unique insights and abilities that, if shared, may be used for the building up of the body of Christ.
But, sometimes it’s smart to keep yourself off of social media. Some of us are prone to certain sinful attitudes or postures that may make social media more harmful than helpful for us. Sometimes it’s smart to avoid social media altogether. Here are three reasons you should NOT use social media:
There was a time in my life during which my number one goal was to try to impress as many people as possible with my vast knowledge of everything.
That time has come and gone because I, along with everyone else, realized how little I actually know. But, I would be lying if I said ego never affected what I say and do online anymore. In my weaker moments, I do tweet things for no other reason than to get slaps on the back from people I respect.
Obviously, considering we are all sinners, all of us struggle with sinful pride. But if you have identified pride or egotistical issues as a primary area of sin in your life, you may want to stay off of social media entirely. In the same way that an alcoholic should stay out of a bar and a glutton should stay away from a Golden Corral, a Christian who routinely struggles with pride and image issues should abstain from social media.
Social media approval triggers the same chemicals in our brains as drugs and sex do, so if you find yourself longing for the approval of man at the expense of pursuing godliness, log off.
Once upon a time, “Social media was all the rage.” Now, it feels like all social media is is rage.
Recently, I wrote about how I deleted politics from my digital life. It has been glorious, and believe it or not, I have found other means to stay informed about political issues that don’t require me to wade through hateful memes and angry rants.
It isn’t good to argue and vent anger on social media because it is more difficult (impossible?) to communicate nuance and tone on social media than it is in real life conversations. Having arguments with a friend or venting anger about an issue can more easily lead to unintentional miscommunication, which makes conflict worse rather than making it better.
I am sure it has happened, but I have never heard of someone coming to trust Jesus Christ because of an argument on a Facebook comment thread.
I have, however, heard dozens of stories about damaged friendships or other kinds of negative results from Facebook feuds or Twitter wars.
If you’re prone to over-promoting yourself on social media or social media fights are like an addictive drug to you, you’re doing more than making yourself and others miserable—you’re damaging your gospel witness.
If your social media followers and friends know you’re a Christian, but you share a borderline racist meme or you equate a presidential candidate to Hitler, you are potentially creating obstacles that may keep your unbelieving friends from coming to know Christ.
It’s just not worth it. Stop.
Before this blog post ends, I just need to make one big request of you:
Please, for all that is good in this universe, for the good of your own soul, and for the good of the Church, have people in your life who can tell you when you’re being foolish on social media.
Christians, we must be willing to be held accountable to keep us from sin and correct us when we do sin. Social media is not exempt from this necessity.
If you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably using social media in some form.
Should you be?