The temptations of Social Media.

19 Sep

For every good thing about Facebook, I’m starting to believe there are at least two bad things as well.  What did we ever do in life before we sat around all day long checking in on what everyone else was doing through out their day? How did we ever spend our time before we wasted it looking at status updates, pictures and playing games?  Who did we choose to tell our big news to before we could just broadcast it to everyone we’ve ever met in life and all their friends too?

I don’t think Facebook is bad.  But I think it’s a huge temptation for people to behave poorly.

I’m SO beyond guilty of neglecting my kids, home, husband and ministries by wasting hours looking at, well honestly, 90% garbage for 10% worth-while updates.

Scripture warns about idle women.  They are always “busy” in others business and become a  busy-body by what they say. ( I Timothy 5:13 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to.)

Don’t we do that sometimes (or often times)?  Don’t we judge others by what they post?  But look forward to the next thing they’re going to say? Or somehow think it’s our business to think critically for them? Or judge them?

What really has me concerned is the things we allow to flow from our fingers.

~ Frustrations with our spouse.

This is dangerous, disrespectful and very damaging.  Not only is it humiliating to your spouse to have their mistakes broadcast to the world… the picture you paint of their mistakes becomes the only picture of which people view them.

Scripture tells us we’ll be judged by the measure in which we judge.  And we have all made mistakes – and some pretty nasty ones.  If we’re going to broadcast others, we better be simultaneously broadcasting our own so we can paint the real picture of ourselves too.

Oh wait?  You’re more than your mistakes?  Whew, cause I am too.  And so is everyone else. Especially your spouse.

~ Secrets that would humiliate our kids if they knew they were being shared?

You don’t have to be 18 years old to be old enough to be embarrassed.  Or have a Facebook account to experience humiliation.  We can totally embarrass and belittle someone,  and it’s cruel and dishonoring – even if they don’t have an account to read it themselves.  You just never know what other parent is going to read it and tell their kid and that kid tells your kid.  Or the image you’re painting of your own child.  Again I will say, painting a picture of someone on only their mistakes, questions, funny misunderstandings or life experiences (even if humorous) is discrediting them in all their intelligence and amazing qualities.

~Eye witness events from people in our life that bother us. (Especially in-laws, church members, teachers, neighbors and ex-friends.)

I hate this one.  I believe this one TOTALLY discredits us as believers in Christ.  For one, it’s extremely unloving.  And Scripture says the world will know we are Christians by OUR LOVE. For two, it’s immature and idle talk.  And three, it’s only posted with the intent to humiliate, belittle or cause others to have a negative opinion of someone else.  ALL of these things are unlike Christ’s example for us, unholy, not beneficial, and damaging to our testimonies as believers.  Who would want to be saved if that just means they’ll become cruel and immature in their speech about  others?

We have no right to use Facebook as a platform to allow the world to hear our opinions about people we are judging or don’t like. This just takes our previous struggle with gossip to a few people and makes us guilty of gossiping to hundreds at a time!

And, we’re not fooling anyone when we think we’re “hiding” our true intent by masking it with “I just love when people …..” or “It’s so great when you walk into a person and they pretend …..”  all the while having someone very specific in mind but patting our self on the back by being “sneaking” and “careful” not to directly talk about someone.  Bad news…. it’s still talking directly about someone even if you don’t post their name.

~Assumptions about people based on partial knowledge or facts.

I think this one shows up more in our comments than even our own posts.  Someone else posts something about someone/something – We’re given a few sentences –  Maybe all true, maybe all false, and maybe just opinions –  And somehow, we think we have enough information to offer advice.  “You deserve better”  or “You should quit that job” or “Those people are such jerks.”

Really?  You’re sure that’s wisdom off of one off-handed post from someone in a disgruntled state of mind?

I wish all the Christians were hanging together and never participating in any of this, but it just isn’t so.  Christians or not, we’re tempted to join in, participate, and post inappropriate things. It’s juicy, glamorous, inviting and accepting temptations from Satan.  And it doesn’t seem “obviously” wrong in the moment. Besides, everyone else is doing it.

Satan rarely works in obvious and disturbing ways.  Otherwise, none of us would ever sin.

But I’m calling us out church.

We have no business judging those outside the church.  God tells us that His wrath is coming on unbelievers and it’s not our place to judge them. So – any talk about non-believers should not leave our lips, or fingers.  We know better.  And we should have empathy for the lost.  Not ridicule.

And to those of us in the church — I think it’s about time we start to judge our actions against scripture and hold each other accountable like we’re instructed to do. (Instead of falsely believing the scriptures about not judging each other applies to us.  They don’t.  We ARE suppose to judge amongst believers!)  We need not allow Social Media to trick us into being idle busybodies.

If our actions aren’t honorable before the Lord through our social media accounts – it’s time we clean them up, or delete them.

I’m the first to say – I’ve been idle.  I could do SO much more with my time.  I am wasting opportunities and have nothing to show for it.

How about you?

Practical Application –

Spend some time in prayer.  Ask God to give you new eyes when you sit down at your computer the next time to review your social media accounts.  Review your past updates.  Evaluate the words being typed by others.  Go back and look at friends post that you’ve liked and commented on.

Are you doing well in this area?

Or do you have some changes to make?

Are you checking it minimally for important connections and fun entertainment?

Or are you wasting hours each day being idle and unproductive at your job, in your home, and in your community?


6 Responses to “The temptations of Social Media.”

  1. Gleniece September 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    You’re right, Kayla. What DID we do before the internet? I’m one of those few (or only?) people who still don’t have a home computer, (I’m typing this on my not-smart phone), but I find myself draining my battery WAY too often. While I’ve enjoyed the opportunity for building Christian friendships (a good thing), I’m also aware of how much time I use up neglecting my family (a bad thing). Balance, balance, balance. As for posting comments, I keep in mind that my words once in cyberspace are there FOREVER. (At least that’s how I think it works). Regardless, I don’t want to be ashamed of or regret anything I’ve said tomorrow, the next day, or ten years from now. I try to think- is God glorified by this? If not ,I delete. Thanks for another thought-provoking post.

    • Kayla Gulick September 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

      Good for you for not owning a home computer if it hasn’t been a need for you 🙂 All to often we talk our selves into things that appear to be a need but really aren’t.

      And that’s a GREAT way to look at your words and how you comment. Never regret it tomorrow and once it’s out there, it’s out there forever! Love that!

  2. Jodi September 19, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    I don’t know why I’ve never thought of social media time as “idle” time til now. It’s so obvious! Thanks for the conviction.

    • Kayla Gulick September 20, 2013 at 6:38 am #

      Jodi, I hope I explained myself well in the post that just because we have an account, check it and update it, I don’t think it’s always just idle time. It can be used for ministry, fellowship and connection with family and friends. But I think it becomes idle time when we spend hours on end looking at the same updates and playing games while neglecting other things we could/should be doing instead.

      Thank you so much for your comment!!

  3. Mel September 22, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    I pop in periodically and was floored by the post!
    About 4 weeks ago our pastor talked about the temptations men face, specifically with their eyes – but he also pointed out that the ladies weren’t getting off scott-free. He said the same temptation for women is in their tongues, meaning nosiness and gossip. He went on to share that as women, we can never ask God to help our husbands in their temptation if we ignore ours.
    So while he was preaching I asked God if there was an area in my life I needed to work on, knowing that in our church I was the least of the gossip mongers. He convicted me of Facebook, and the drama, tension, anxiety it was causing me, let alone being nosy. And so I gave it up cold turkey. Just as I wouldn’t want my husband to “periodically” check out other women, I couldn’t periodically check Facebook. I had to treat this matter just as seriously as I wanted my husband to treat his, so God knew how serious I took this matter.
    I deactivated my account, “telling” God I would give it a two week trial run.
    1 week after I gave it up, something happened and my husband asked me if I was going to post about it. I told him I had shut my account down, he was surprised but said nothing.
    2 weeks later he mentioned to me that I seemed to have more peace about me now that I didn’t know what everyone else was doing, and he liked it.
    Now 4 weeks in, I could care less what people are doing anymore, and I have all this free time to spend having fun with my kids, cleaning my house, enjoying my husband.
    My friends think I’m crazy, but I just sit and watch how upset they get over things they read, and realize how free I truelly am, and have no desire to go back, not even to fully delete my account! It can just sit there.

    • Kayla Gulick September 22, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

      Mel –

      This is FANTASTIC! Thank you SO much for sharing that! took a 4 months hiatis once and it was awesome. I ended up coming back on because I also use it to advertise for my crochet items. I am though considering and praying over what to do at this point to remove it from being an addiction in my life.

      Congratulations on finding more time and peace! This is truly a great testimony!!

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