TIME, FAMILY, AND THE EVIL IN BETWEEN—SOCIAL MEDIA PT.15 Minutes To Read

In my last post, I laid out the fact that we are too dependent upon our devices. I also promised to share with you my own personal journey through this behavior that is potentially sinful. Having a phone is not sinful. Having social media is not sinful. Enjoying both of them, in and of themselves, is not sinful. As with virtually anything else that we can possess, as long as it doesn’t have us, it is not sinful. However, we must also recognize the fact that the abuse of these things plants its feet into idolatry and many more sins that are birthed from this parent-sin. I believe John Calvin was onto something when he asserted

“Man’s nature… is a perpetual factory of idols.”

And because of that fact, we must guard our hearts by recognizing a few things when it comes to social media.

SOCIAL MEDIA IS DESIGNED TO DRAW US AND KEEP US


  • It is a Business

Think about it. How many advertisements are you exposed to on a daily basis just through Facebook alone? What about YouTube? YouTube is owned by Google. Google virtually owns the market when it comes to discoverability through a search engine. I never use anything else but Google; so why would we think that YouTube wouldn’t be a breeding-ground for advertisement revenue? Advertisers advertise anywhere eyes are found

It’s by design that social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Flickr…etc) are specifically created to draw the eye, keep the eye, and move the eye toward something.

We must remember that social media, too, is a business. Therefore, by necessity, needs us to participate.

So, with that knowledge, we must be aware of the schemes it will try to employ to gain us and keep us.

  • Notifications- The conversation killers

This is what gets us the most. Mostly, it’s the general notifications. The ones that ding, vibrate and chime to grab our attention in order to tell us that “Aunt Jemima liked a status you are tagged in.” Along with 52 other victims that hate the Christmas Tree gif, too. There are also specific notifications that alert us when a new post is made by a best friend, or that @theRealDonaldTrump posted again to Twitter, or that the Online Yard Sale has a slick, barely used tooth brush for sale for only $2 in a town that’s 23 miles away. And if somehow we muster the will to avoid looking at those, we inevitably will see the tiny red bubbles with numbers in them to make sure that we don’t miss something.

  • Pictures and Videos-The attention grabbers

Ever since the front-facing camera on the iPhone in 2010, the way we take pictures has drastically changed. Our pictures are not so much centered on objects as they are people. So, now the pursuit we have is to either post pics of ourselves to see how many likes and comments we get, or to simply like and comment on others’ selfies. When it comes to the pull of video, think of all the 2-minute magician videos. With ear-buds in their ears telling you how they’ll guess the number or planet you’re thinking of, they urge you to “Like and share this video!” so that all your other friends will use their time being entertained and their influence will grow. Know why they want that? You guessed it- advertisement opportunity. We have got to watch ourselves and be aware of the bait in order to overcome this.

  • Rabbit Trails-The time wasters

This has to be the most difficult for me. I’m a researcher; I love finding new information and searching for details. I love to see how things work. This is where YouTube simply can eat away a lot of my time. It can start with practically any social media platform and lead straight to YouTube. Or facebook can simply have “teaser” videos with a link that promises the “full video” by clicking it. Also, there’s something none of us will verbally own but that we all do. Creep. We follow the rabbit trail of pictures of our friends to get information about them, their interests, hobbies, and to even see how much weight they’ve gained to feel better about ourselves. All of this has the potential to stir up the sin of wasting precious time that God has privileged us with.

DISTRACTED AND ADDICTED


“Interruptions are outside things that throw us off. Distractions are things we do to ourselves that derail us”-Michael Hyatt

As an addict would say to their prescription drug abuse or an alcoholic to his alcohol abuse, “I don’t have a problem; I can quit anytime I want!” That’s the cue for those of us who’ve never struggled with that sin to quip “Ok then, Quit.” Meanwhile, while we go on passing judgment, we fall into the same category under a different substance. When we engage in social media at the exchange of the more important divisions of life, we are elevating one thing over something else. To say “yes” to something means saying “no” to something else.

If we exchange precious time with our families for the trigger of “what’s new” on Facebook, then we are choosing our impulse and someone else’s business at the neglect of our own responsibilities. Shame on you and me. When we refuse to read our Bibles but can mindlessly scroll on Pinterest or Instagram for hours, shame on us all. We will have to give an answer for that wasted time. (Matthew 25:26; Ephesians 5:15-16)

Consider how this works so that you can better understand how to wage war with this potentially sinful behavior. There’s more to come next week.

WHERE DO YOU STAND?

How much time do you spend on social media every day? (You can download an app that helps you see that right here.)

How many times per day do you check your social media unprompted and without notification?

How much time does your family see you in front of a phone screen?

What is your plan to solve this problem?

Comment below!

2 thoughts on “TIME, FAMILY, AND THE EVIL IN BETWEEN—SOCIAL MEDIA PT.15 Minutes To Read

Add yours

  1. This one stung a bit but I appreciate your boldness in addressing this common issue among many Americans. Keep up the good work of bringing sin and disobedience to light in order to honor God!

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