I will begin by admitting, I struggle with this. I’ve had to make some changes from time to time on what I post as well as what I read.
At times I just want to shut it all down, and take it away from my kids, too. Honestly, there are probably appropriate times for doing just that! But, what if we can take steps to use social media for good instead of letting the evil rule over it. Below are some things to think through when we go online.
Let’s begin by asking ourselves two simple questions:
*What am I posting?
*What am I looking at?
First, What am I posting?
1. Does everything I post line up with what I claim to believe?
Does my language reflect a follower of Christ?
Are the subject topics that I choose to share pointing others to The Lord?
Do I use social media to bash others, get revenge or vent in an unloving way? It’s so sad to see Christians using their platform in this way. Especially when the people they are bashing are fellow believers.
Matthew 18:15-17 - Gives us the formula for handling problems with each other. The world is already against us. We are called to be unified in love.
Colossians 3:12-17 - We are supposed to look different, act different, love different.
2. Take it one step further. Am I using social media to share my faith in Jesus?
We’ve all been entrusted with a voice, a social media presence. Is your voice sharing the good news of the Gospel? Is it telling your listeners what God has done in your life?
3. How will others receive what your are posting?
There is no way to know what all is going on in the lives of every person reading your words. However, when we post, we can be mindful that everyone isn’t seeing things through the same lens that we do. They haven’t lived the same life, they don’t have the same convictions, they are walking a completely different road then I am. Of course you should be proud of your children, your husband, your job… Enjoy your vacations, your new car, your get togethers with friends. Just be careful not to use social media to rub others' faces in your success.
I’ve seen it over and over with teenage girls. They have a get together, leave a couple girls out, and then post all over social media about it. And guess what else I’ve learned? Grown women are no better! They do the same things! And no matter how old you get, it still hurts to be left out!
*If you are one who gets offended, hurt, discouraged… by what you see on social media, read on for suggestions on how to overcome this!
Next, What am I looking at?
You may follow all of these suggestions above, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else will. You only have control over what you post. Therefore, we have to ask ourselves, what am I looking at?
Does what you are looking at encourage you?
How do you feel after scrolling your newsfeed? Are you angry, discontent with your life, jealous, offended…? Or, is what you’re reading helping build your faith, giving you hope for your life, uplifting and motivating?
Some suggestions for how to overcome the evil of social media:
1. Hide “friends” who's posts make you feel any of the negatives mentioned above. You don’t have to unfriend someone to stop seeing their posts. They won’t see that you’ve hidden them from your feed. And, you can go to their page to catch up anytime.
2. If you have a smartphone, move your social media apps to the very last page. I did this months ago when I continually found myself thoughtlessly clicking, scrolling, and when it came down to it, wasting time that I could have been doing something productive. Now that these apps are at the back of my phone, I only go to them and click on them when I have a purpose for going there, or, I have extra time to sit and scroll.
3. Take a fast from social media! This may seem extreme, but it can really be freeing to take a break for a day, a week or maybe even a month. Try it out to see how much you might be missing out on in the real world. If any part of your online life is bogging you down, this may be for you.
There are so many negatives to this Social Media driven world that we are living in. But, if we are intentional, we can use it for good!
How are you using your online voice for good? What is the most negative part about social media for you personally?
Audra and her husband Jordan are called to ministry and he is the senior pastor at their church. They have two beautiful children who bring them tons of joy, lots of laughs, and on occasion new grey hair. She is a former teacher who still loves to teach, enjoys cooking and baking, and has a passion to lead other women to know Jesus and live out their faith in Him.