It’s hard to remember a world without social media; although, for many of us, we’ve had far more years without it than with it. It’s a testament to the dominance and significance of the Internet in general, and social media specifically, that so much of our lives are played out online.
Social media is a powerful tool and one that so many churches, individuals, and organizations are using to spread the Gospel in innovative ways. It does, however, present significant questions for Christians to answer.
I have a confession: I spend far too much time on social media and it matters to me far more than it should. I’m trying to work this through in my own life because I’m not totally convinced that ‘deleting the apps for a bit’ will actually help solve the issues that social media exposes. That’s what social media does, for better or worse. It pulls the curtain back and shows who we really are, what we really believe, how we really think.
“Let another praise you, and not your own mouth.” – Proverbs 27:2
This verse from Proverbs challenges me, particularly with regard to social media. You see, so much of what we post is our own mouth praising us. Our own thumbs praising us. It’s putting up a picture, subtly showing off a moment of success. It’s a #humblebrag. It’s retweeting people who praise you, so that others can see how knowledgeable/spiritual you are. It’s documenting your successes; your own personal Silicon Valley hosted highlight reel.
Obviously, there’s value in posting memorable moments. Shared celebration is one of the most enjoyable aspects of social media. It’s OK to update us about your life and that includes (hopefully) some good bits, some successes, some wins.
However, it’s worth asking, every now and then, am I always the hero? Does this really need to be shared? Is this a private triumph I can enjoy without needing to broadcast it publicly?
Remember, your social media will always say more about you than you realize.