I have many social media accounts that I use a lot to keep in touch with friends and see how they are doing. Occasionally there will be a dumb photo or video that I share or annoy my friends and family with. You can probably relate to that and know where I’m coming from. Social media is growing and becoming more popular in the world today with people using it daily. With social media, we can check on friends and family, tell people about our day, see what people think about things, and a lot more. We can reach across the country in seconds. People’s thoughts, beliefs, humor, etc. are displayed. This can be a good thing, but if we aren’t careful, it can be bad. Bad language, immodest clothing, inappropriate images, negative peer-pressure, etc. People post things that aren’t good and godly, so we need to be aware of this. People look at your social media to find out more about you. What do they see? Bad language? Bad pictures or images? Inappropriate topics? As Christians, we are to set an example to the world, including the electronic world; this means we need to be careful about what we post on social media.
I asked some friends what their thoughts were and how they use social media. We came up with some things that can help you keep your social media clean.
1. Monitor who you follow and who follows you. The people that you follow and those following you will be associated with you.
2. Use the acronym THINK: T- is it true? H- is it helpful? I- is it inspiring? N- is it necessary? K- is it kind? We need to be careful about what we say, Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
3. Be aware. When you share or post something, look at it carefully. If it’s something to read you should read it. Check for bad language and inappropriate themes. If it’s a picture, check for immodesty and inappropriate things in it. Do the same thing with a video or anything else.
4. Always remember that social media is a public thing. Once it is out there anyone can see it, so we need to be mindful of what we post. Personal issues are no longer personal if posted.
I’ve talked a lot about how to avoid being like the world, but I haven’t told you the reason why. Think about a painting that is painted in two colors. One is the color black, which makes up most of the painting. The other is a bright color that is making designs all over the canvas. Which one draws your attention? Most likely, the bright color. It’s different from the rest and draws our attention. Now we apply that to the world. The color black is all of the bad things in the world, and the bright color is the absence of that. We might draw more notice by being different from the world. One of the best things might not be something we do; it might be something that we don’t do. People notice when you don’t use bad language, don’t look at inappropriate things, don’t talk bad about people, etc. In Daniel 1:8-16 Daniel and his friends made a difference by not eating the king’s food and drinking his wine. Later Daniel 3 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego set an example by not bowing down to the idol that Nebuchadnezzar set up. They were aware of the fact that others wouldn’t like the fact that they weren’t participating but they did it anyway.
Instead of the ungodly things that we’ve been talking about we can post good, Godly things instead. I know many people that daily post scriptures or spiritual things. Social media can help us spread our faith and evangelize. You can share links to spiritual websites or articles. We can encourage one another. We can post quotes from a lesson we heard or a class we’ve gone to. We can post pictures of us at Christian events. There is a lot we can to do that doesn’t involve inappropriate things.
By Re’Elle Crowell