A stand-up comedian I like recently said he took Facebook off his phone because it's too extreme: everyone is either having the worst day of their life, or the best day. Either their house is burning down, or it's their wedding day.
Quitting social media has gained a lot of steam over the last few years. More and more people are leaving Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, etc, and the reasons for leaving are justifiably good ones.
They are all very easy to become addicted to, and the extreme, polarizing positions online are exhausting to try to sift through. But instead of leaving them cold turkey, I believe we as Christians should use social media to shine the light of Christ. I want to encourage you not to leave social media behind like we did our MySpace profiles and AIM screen names… because like it or not, social media isn’t going away any time soon.
But instead of leaving them cold turkey, I believe we as Christians should use social media to shine the light of Christ.
In 2016, 78% of the U.S. population had a social media profile. Worldwide, there are 1.96 billion people on social media, and that number is expected to grow to 2.5 billion by 2018.
People are on social media. And as Christians, we are called to take the Gospel to people.
Acts 13:47 says: "For this is what the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”
Technology has made it easier and more efficient than ever to be a light in the darkness.
For the most part, social media is about ME. It’s about ME posting MY pictures and MY thoughts and MY comments and whatever else comes to MY mind.
But instead of focusing our social media use on ME, let’s shift to focus it on others. When we start to use social media to look at how we can influence other people for the Gospel, the drain of keeping up with the Zuckerbergs by having our digital life be perfect starts to fade away.
The main thing I see on my feeds lately are people searching for answers. They look to celebrities, politicians, and their peers for the answers to life’s challenges. When they go to Facebook for answers, I want to be the person in their life who can help them find the only thing that can truly satisfy them: the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
Instead of scrolling through your feed like a sprinter, take a moment to look for those who are hurting and broken, and speak kind, loving truth into their life. Don’t beat them up, encourage them! [Side note: no one’s mind has EVER been changed by a Facebook argument. Please don’t argue online.]
The world is desperate for a savior. It’s easy to see that watching about 30 seconds of any news coverage. And right or wrong, like it or not, the majority of the population uses their phone to express their elation or despair online. When they do, will you be there to remind them of the hope we have through the grace of Christ?
I’d love to hear your thoughts below on how you’ve used social media for good. Share them and let’s learn how to be more effective for the gospel together!