Social Media: Has it changed you or exposed you?
There’s no escaping it. Social media is an integral part of life. Everywhere you look (if you aren’t looking at your phone) you’ll see people looking at their phone. Sure, they may not be on social media. They might be reading an email or sending a text, but by and large people spend nearly 2.5 hours per day reading or engaging on social media. From a marketing perspective, a majority of companies are increasing their promotions and advertisement budgets to be on social media and lowering their budgets on more traditional methodologies because the amount of exposure on social media is greater than any other medium.
It’s hard to pinpoint what long term effects may take place as a result of the increase. Some say people (typically referring to millennials because they are assumed to be the most active demographic on social media) no longer know how to have face to face conversations with people (I disagree). Some say that it has increasingly negative impacts on relationships. (Sure… just about too much of anything can have a negative impact on relationships). Here’s the real question has the invent of social media changed you (and the way you interact with the world) or has it exposed you?
Gary Vaynerchuck, a world renowned speaker, author, and media guru once said in his podcast, “I don’t believe social media has changed anyone. It exposes them”. He is saying people are still generally the same before social media and now, it’s just the landscape has changed now. Instead of saying things to a few close friends, you now put it online and the whole world can see it. Their heart hasn’t changed, just the method of communication.
He’s not wrong.
The Bible tells the same message. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. 29 They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them” (Romans 1:28-32).
We’ve always been sinful people. Technology has changed, but people have not. Social media hasn’t changed anyone, it simply exposes (to more people) the depths of our depravity.
So what should we as Christians do? Get rid of all social media? Absolutely not! In fact, I think Christians should use social media more to spread the gospel. I think Christians should use social media to bring Christ’s light and love into a dark world. Imagine if our social media feeds were filled with anger, hostility, and vitriol, but messages of love, encouragement, and hope. How wonderful that would be.
Let’s use the power of social media to broadcast the life, the hope, and the grace we have in Christ Jesus.