What Does the Bible Say About the Social Media Network?

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What does the Bible say about the use of social media network for Christians?

Social Medias

As time goes on, social media’s dominance in digital communication has become more apparent, and the numbers are staggering. It is concerning that social media is growing so rapidly because it may carry more risks than benefits. According to Pew Research, Snapchat is used by 78 percent of 18-24-year-olds in the U.S., YouTube is used by nearly 94%, and Instagram by 71%. Facebook is used by more than two-thirds (68%) of American adults, and 75% of these users log in daily. Americans are most likely to log into three platforms regularly.

Using Social Medias

With social media becoming such an important issue, online communication ethics is increasingly being discussed. Several issues are facing firms, including business, privacy, and accuracy concerns. These are all excellent topics for discussion, but there is an even better question to ask about social media in terms of what Jesus would do, specifically, how would Jesus want us to use it? There are many who have never used social media who have no desire to use it anytime soon, but because social media does not appear in the Bible, why would you preach on it? It’s clear that the Bible has a lot to say about social media, despite it not specifically mentioning the topic. That’s because the Bible touches every aspect of our lives. There is a cross-cultural element to it. Every culture and every era of human history is touched by the Bible. During the first century AD, the Bible was as relevant to the world as it is today.

Understanding the Bible

Understanding the Bible can be a challenge. There are many books available to teach us how to study the Bible. As a general rule, it’s best to understand what the passage meant to its original audience and to consider their culture and history. Then you proceed to a personal application. After this, there are literary questions to answer: What is the nature of this literature? Is there an allusion, a metaphor, a figure of speech? Consider the context of the book; where does this passage fit? How does it affect me today, given what it meant then? Those are oversimplifications, but they are a good representation of what many believe to be the correct way to read the Bible.

Problems With Social Media

1. Compassion Fatigue

Scripture says, “For with much wisdom is much sorrow; as knowledge increases, grief increases “(Eccl 1:18), and so it can be when our social media feeds are full of posts from friends, family, and others. Some may reflect pain, sorrow, or other emotions, but there is only so much emotional energy that we can give and reading every post depletes a little bit more and more of our compassion and empathy. Just look at the world: war, cancer, injustice, natural disasters, racism…the list is endless. There are only so many tragedies and hardships that one person can bear. Only the omniscient God can help us through all these sorrows.

2. Decrease in Work Efficiency

“Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys” (Proverbs 18:9), meaning our time and energy can easily be consumed by social media. This robs us of time and energy from the work we must do, so being lazy at your job is pretty much the same choosing to sabotage your team’s efforts.

3. Decrease in Real Relationship

The Bible teaches “Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away” (Prov 27:10), and we know there are similarities between social media and relationships, but it’s not the same. Being human is about experiencing physical interaction with others and part of having a soul. We were created for relationships, so we should not be so quick to replace the real thing with a digital one. Given, there are some relational benefits to social media, but these should all be run through the filter of God’s Word.

4. Exposure to pornographic content

Obviously, we’re to “Flee from sexual immorality” (1 Cor 6:18), but in addition to being ubiquitous, influential, and deadly, we should run from pornography. Sexually explicit content has thrived on social media for years and exposure to such content can desensitize us and we can easily become addicted to it, so ask yourself, “In my quest for sexual purity and devotedness to my spouse, does social media help me or hinder me?”

5. Lack of civility

God says, “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom 12:18), but sometimes it’s not. Social Medias are programed to keep you coming back again and again. Algorithms are built toward the things you like and agree with. This results in social media feeds being “echo chambers” based upon your browsing history.

Biblical Principles of Social Media

We can use the following biblical principles to guide how we utilize social media and communication in general:

Avoid unwholesomeness posts or comments. Instead, build-up others and be gracious (Eph 4:29). It is our responsibility to speak and communicate in a way that illuminates others graciously. Unless our communication accomplishes this, it is unwholesome.

Use wisdom, and make the most of the opportunity, be gracious and discerning in each response (Col 4:5-6). The passage suggests we should apply wisdom and discernment before we respond. It’s not wise to make quick and thoughtless comments just because we disagree with some post.

Be above reproach in sound speech (Titus 2:8). Believers cannot tolerate unsound speech because that invites reproach. We should make sure our words are good so that even those who disagree with us will not speak badly of us. The point isn’t to be influenced by the opinions of others but to be sensitive enough to speak well of others and to disagree graciously.

Clarity is important (1 Cor 14:9). Communications through social media are often fast and imprecise. In the 280-character limit of Twitter and texting, communication has been simplified, and people are saying more by saying less. By remembering the reason for communicating and being aware of those who will receive our communication, we can gain the benefit of tools while still maintaining clarity. After all, if we do not communicate clearly, how is it likely to benefit others?

Why Should You Take a Break From Social Media?

Many people are beginning to notice they’re more isolated these days, so social interaction is becoming more sought after than reaction.

While it would be unwise to retreat from social media, we should consider taking a break from it once is a while. Social media provides wonderful tools to connect with people, but taking a break from it could also be beneficial. Christians are told to “not to associate with sexually immoral people” while still being in the world (1 Cor 5:9-10) and to not be conformed to this world (Rom 12:2). We don’t want to fall into the trap of being captured by social media but rather, be using tools to accomplish His specific purposes. Here are three reasons to take a break from social media:

1. Reduce Anxiety

FOMO is probably familiar to anyone who has spent some time on social media. Defining it as the fear of missing out, the urban dictionary says it is to do with the fear of being left behind. The urge to keep up with everything that’s happening within online circles has become almost insatiable. The anxiety, worry, and even compulsive behaviors that we exhibit when excluded become ingrained. Sometimes we fail to recognize how much anxiety social media can cause for us and for our kids because we’ve begun living vicariously through others. People look at what everyone else is doing, especially when they are discontent with their own lives. Philippians 4:11 describes how the Apostle Paul learned how to be content no matter what circumstances he encountered.

2. Practice Self-Discipline

How To Glorify God At Work

In describing the fruit of the Holy Spirit, what is the first word that comes to mind? Most of us would likely respond with “peace, joy and love,” however, self-discipline is the last fruit mentioned in Galatians 5:23. You cannot overemphasize the importance of exhibiting self-discipline online. We put ourselves at risk of separation and isolation if we don’t set limits. As a society, we have turned social media into an outlet. The online world allows us to indulge in our fleshly desires, much like an addiction. Moreover, when we feed our flesh, we display less evidence of spiritual fruits, which are “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Gal 5:22-23).

3. Be in the moment.

The enemy uses distractions to make us lose focus on what is most important to us. Spending fifteen minutes on Facebook before work is more appealing than reading the Bible. Even when we spend time with our family, we are burdened by social media. The importance of being in the moment when you escape social media is imperative for many reasons. People feel valued when they are recognized.

Conclusion

Together, we can fully appreciate the time spent together. The most important thing is that more time can be spent in God’s Word, as Scripture says, let us say, “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word” (Psalm 119:15-16).

Author’s Bio: Alecia is a Christian parenting blogger who enjoys sharing her insights about parenting, and she is blessed with four beautiful children. Currently, Alecia is working in the parenting field called fenced.ai, sharing her extensive parenting experience with people worldwide and providing them with resources to help them learn about parenthood better.

Here is some related reading for you: Why Christian Posts Are Being Censored More Often on Social Media

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



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