Social Media and its affects on Christianity

In this episode we discuss, Christian Social Media, how Christians should use it, not use it, and misuse it.

What game will the wheel pick in this episode?

Transcript

Jason 

OK, so social media. 

Rick 

Social media Christians or Christian social media? 

Jason 

Either way. 

00:21:35 Nathan 

So, I guess I can kind of start this off and kick it off so if you haven't had the opportunity to watch some of the documentaries that as they relate to Facebook and all these other social platforms and you will quickly learn that. These systems are built to give you what you want, which is very much the same line of thought that sin uses to conquer our lives. In many ways. If you lean into what you want too far, you can ruin your life. That can happen with anything from drugs to alcohol to promiscuity, to anything else. So, when you have a platform that's built to literally give you everything you want because they look at your likes and your engagement and they try to feed you more of the stuff that you are most engaged in. This is something that, you should take a moment and look at your feeds. Whether it's on Facebook or who you're following on Instagram and consider the stuff that you're following isn't really reflecting your walk as a Christian. For most people. I would wager the answer is no, because usually when you're building your wall and who's involved in your page, you're not necessarily doing it with intent. You're like, oh, I like that. Oh that's pretty cool, or you're just kind of reacting to it. And over time it builds this whole algorithm of what you like and what you want to see and what will keep you most engaged so that they can get the most money they possibly can from their advertisers, for your attention. And that is something where you have to understand that with the amount of time people are spending on social media, it can be very, very detrimental. And in a lot of ways, it's even leading you down some extremist paths. So that being said, social media is something that you do have control over. It takes a lot of work, a lot of effort, a lot of time. But you can go through and can lock pages. You can remove the influence of those who you no longer want to see. And I want to encourage listeners today to take a time and figure out how to do this and control what you're seeing by applying your Christian work to your social media pages. That's not an easy ask. It requires some time and some effort, but when you consider how much time people are spending on social media, it is something that is definitely worth your time. 

00:24:17 Jason 

Yeah, and how powerful is it that you and the privacy of your own phone can look at some of these social media apps and what have you and delete them or remove them from your life because you know they could send you down a wrong path, like for instance before I became a Christian I was on Pinterest and there's a lot of very tempting things, pictures and stuff on Pinterest. And when I became a Christian, I got rid of Pinterest because not only is there good ideas you can look up, and I'm so tempted to go on there for those ideas, but I know that there's going to be photos on there that I do not want to look at, and that is going to steer me down a path that I don’t want to go down. And so I just steer clear from it altogether because I it's it can be a very dirty place, even very bright and cheerful Pinterest. 

00:25:23 Rick 

Yeah, it's you know it's all about influence. The fact is that these platforms give everybody a forum to share what they want to share and. As with anything else, we must be very, very careful. We have to be very, very careful, that we are following the right people, you know, as a Christian or as Christians as Christ followers, we want to make sure that we are following the right people. And obviously that person is Jesus Christ, and so if he's not the center of everything, then we can't be. We've got to be careful not to be tempted to be led in that direction, and so I think you know for me, for example, I don't really use social media for getting anything for the most part, I use social media to give. In other words, I want to be an influence onto others as opposed to having others, you know, influence me, and when I want to be influenced, I'm going to go to other pastors. I'm going to go to the word of God. I'm going to go to my church. You know that sort of thing. So, I just think we all, we just have to be kind of mindful. We always have the potential to be influenced, right? Whether we're watching television, reading a book, hanging out with friends and so just like the Bible says, you know, bad company can produce bad character, right? We hang around with the wrong people and we can be influenced to the wrong things. Guess what? And it's happening on social media. And it's not just about the people now, it's about the advertising. Yeah, 'cause not only do we have these people that are sharing things that may or may not be correct. But we also have the advertisers shoving stuff down our throat constantly. So just we have to be careful. We have to watch what we watch. We have to be careful about how we manage our input, basically because garbage in garbage out. That's right, we are just like computers. No different. 

00:27:30 Jason 

So, I want to take another direction on social media. And that is Christian groups. Now a lot of us turning to these Christian groups, you know, for support and sharing versus and just everything. And I notice that. There's a lot of false teachings from people that don't quite have it. Maybe they've been taught wrong and so they share it and all you're doing is sharing the wrong message to more people. So, my advice is to be careful in what you share and have a lot of discernment to what you read and what you hear and before you share what you've heard or read, look in the Bible; let's see what it tells you and put things into context. So, when you do share these words that they're the right words.  

My wife actually is on several Christian Facebook groups, and she started noticing all these posts that were false and people were very quick to give it a heart or a like or whatever. And perhaps didn't read it, and there was some posts that had hundreds of likes and hearts and what have you, that was completely wrong, and one was actually about the 10 virgins, and so she brought this to this person's attention and steered her right which turned into a big mess. This person was actually an admin or moderator, and she pulled my wife’s corrective messages off because they didn't align with what she was saying and what she was saying was wrong. And so one thing led to another and went to the owner of the group. And he was reading into it and noticed that my wife was absolutely correct and the poster admin was not correct, in which became very aggressive, and now is not an admin anymore. And he made my wife an admin in the group. So now she is monitoring the group and she has done a tremendous job of getting rid of scammers and false witnesses and just all the bad and the group has been growing and she got a lot of kudos from the owner of the group and so she's doing a fantastic job and it's kind of turned into her little ministry and I’m very proud of her. 

00:30:18 Rick 

Yeah, yeah, I mean,  social media is a powerful platform, and it certainly can be used for good. But as with anything else, any other platform you can, you know you can use it for good. You can also use it for bad. You can take something that's very positive and turn it negative so, you gotta be careful because, you can really come across... you know, people that when they're reading your posts, they're not feeling your heart necessarily. That's why you know, I don't, sometimes I don't get involved in social media for the sake of convincing people they're wrong because it just doesn't always get felt. Sometimes in terms of this big argument. So, you really have to use some discern. And you really have to think carefully through how you're going to say something. You can say if you do it right, you can have a big impact. Apparently your wife had, you know, positive impact, but you can also have a not so good of impact and you can turn a lot of people off to Christ as well.  Everybody is to be discerning not only with put out, but with what you take in but be very wise with what you say you know. I think, what is it that we were talking about a couple of weeks ago in Bible study, being as wise as a serpent and as gentle as a dove and we have to be that way with our words as well. So just encouragement to everybody. 

00:31:49 Nathan 

Yeah, for sure it's. Very easy to be misunderstood on these social media platforms, because when you're dealing with communicate. And I've read that somewhere that what you say is only 30% of your communication. So much of our communication is the tone you use, the high or the pitch of your voice. It's the smile on your face. These are all things that play into your communication. 

00:32:02 Rick 

That is correct. 

00:32:17 Nathan 

And when you're only operating on text only, it is very easy for misunderstandings to occur, so be the change that we seek in this world and start with your page before you start casting stones at other people pages. 

00:32:31 Rick 

Right? 

00:32:34 Nathan 

You're doing your best to walk out your faith, not just in person, but even in your social media platforms as well. 

00:32:41 Rick 

Right, it's a reflection of who you are. In fact, you know a lot of people even know this, but employers now are going to Facebook pages and other social media to find out about you, and you may or may not get a job based on what's your Facebook pages? So it's wise for us to be authentic if we're if we really are Christ followers. Our Facebook, or you know, Pinterest or whatever, I don't use a lot of social media so I don't know but they should reflect a Christian lifestyle. But they don't. Maybe it's time to rethink it. 

00:33:16 Nathan 

Yeah, why not. Also add be very careful who you choose to hang out with on social media, these people that you were inviting to be a part of your profile. Many of them have agendas that do not line up with what Christ would say is his agenda. And if that is the case you were playing with fire, so just be careful while there's an old saying if you lie down with dogs, you'll come up with fleas. 

00:33:40 Jason 

Yeah, that's so true because of one big thing that my wife was noticing. They were letting people into this group that shouldn’t be. But when she became a moderator, when people would apply, she would look at their profile and she would see that they didn't have fruit there. You know, they had raunchy pictures or bad jokes. Right, you know it's a big red flag that they're not really a Christian and they don't belong in a group. 

00:34:06 Nathan 

There's a lot of people that use these platforms with an intent to infiltrate. It's probably the best word for it. Will go, they will do whatever they can to denigrate whatever they can, to mischaracterize whatever they can, to spy. And there's actually a good story of this, in the book of Matthew, when Jesus is talking about the wheat and the tares because we see the same thing happen in churches when you're dealing with people. Live and in person. But just make sure that you're walking and that your walk is pertinent and appropriate.