Social media is nothing new and anything but social. Paul observed the teaching of the people and their purposeless passion for socialess media in his day. In preaching to the Athenian’s he observed,
“For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.” Acts 17:21
Just two verses later, Paul struck at one of the outcomes of social media in his day (and ours). As he was passing through, Paul mentioned their alter with the inscription “TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.” In essence, the Athenians were “ignorantly worshiping” content and not the creator. In fact, they were so wrapped up in content they lost complete sight of the creator, their God. They recognized they were missing something with their idols. Instead of pausing to listen to Paul or reflect on why they “ignorantly” had an “unknown god” their response was give us more; something new.
People don’t know where they are going and are in a hurry to get there.
The world by feeding on itself won’t last. By consuming worldly content, no matter the source even if its not evil, you are changing your brain, tricking yourself into temporarily pleasure (not happiness), and leaving less room for Christ to permanently fill and fulfill you. Mother Teresa said, “the more we empty ourselves, the more room we give God to fill us.” The world doesn’t have the refreshing and life-giving water we need to be fed, filled, nourished, grow and happily bring forth fruit. God is the Gardener even if we suppose Him to be.
The only lasting happiness comes from being constantly consumed in Christ not consumed by the world. Paul aptly put it,
“That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us.” Acts 17:27
The Independent newspaper in England recently published, “Is quitting social media the key to millennial happiness? From the feeling of never quite scrolling to the end of a news feed to those perfect pictures on Instagram, is it healthy to take time out every once in a while? Two people tried it with encouraging results.” Read their experience here or download pdf
There will be no end to the factual results of social media on souls and society since social media has sky-rocketed in the last decade and so has the side effects; from Bloomberg, “Social Media Are Driving Americans Insane. Almost half say they are “constant checkers.” download pdf
What the wise Christians have known for years the world is just waking up to. Whether they will follow their own advise and gut feeling is another test.
Even the Pope in his Feb 23nd 2017 twitter sermon said, “Do not underestimate the value of example, for it is more powerful than a thousand words, a thousand “likes”, retweets or YouTube videos.”
- Where attention goes, energy flows
- There is no life in social media: “dwelleth not in temples (websites) made with hands (fingers or thumbs)” (v. 24)
- We don’t need social media: “neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing” (v.25)
- Be consumed in Christ, not consumed by the world: “seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things: (v.25)
“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” (Psalm 42:2)