At the founding of Facebook in 2004, our world changed. Making our lives public suddenly became the craze. In just four years Facebook overtook it’s main competitor, MySpace,1 and it continues to grow by the million each month. It didn’t stop with Facebook either. YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram, and Tumblr all came on the scene. Every year, time spent on social media grows. Recent statistics report that the average person spends 3.2 hours per day on social media.2 That’s staggering. Social media has become all consuming and addicting.
As Christians, what perspective should we take? As with anything else in our lives, we must turn to the Bible for our answer. What does God’s Word counsel us to focus our minds on? It says in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” We must pass everything we look at through this filter. Are the posts we view on social media sites praiseworthy to God? Does what we say lead others to noble thoughts and conversation?
The Bible also warns us against speaking idle words. “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment” (Matthew 12:36). We must remember that we will be accountable for not only every word we speak, but every sentence we type. Do our posts build up or tear down? Is what we say necessary or uplifting?
Seek First the Kingdom…
Then there is the issue of time management. Most people do not realize how much time they spend online. It’s important that we carefully manage our schedules, and not waste hours in useless browsing. Jesus encourages us to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteous.” (Matthew 6:33). When we get up in the morning, do we seek the Lord first in His Word and in prayer, or do we jump on Facebook and see what our friends are up to?
Let’s all earnestly seek God on this issue. Social media sites are not necessarily bad, in and of themselves. They can be a fun way to connect with friends, and even witness for Jesus. But they can be an obsession and time-waster. If you are addicted to social media, and feel that you cannot live without it, then you need to honestly take stock of your life. It might be time for you to close your account.
In thinking about your priorities, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather commune with God in prayer, or talk with my friends on Facebook?”