Should We Really Ditch Social Media?

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After reading your suggestion to ditch social media entirely, I see you have accounts on all the major platforms. What’s up with that?

Busted! I was inclined to invoke the perennial parental response—do as I say, not as I do—but it’s more complicated than that. My work requires it. Yes, I work for the CRC, and both this denomination and this magazine want as many likes and shares with their posts on social media as you do. It’s likely your church does too.

Social media in one form or another is here to stay. I have no illusions that what I write here is going to convince you to begin the difficult task of closing down your Facebook or Twitter account. So what’s a person to do?

For starters, know you are being manipulated. At their core, Google and Facebook are ad agencies. And they are enablers on an unfathomable scale. Let’s stop blaming them entirely for what we willingly allow them to do with our information—and I mean information in the broadest possible sense: your name and location, but also your online behavior, including that millisecond pause on one thing or another as you scroll through your feeds.

Need convincing? Watch the film The Social Dilemma. It’s a docudrama that clearly and alarmingly explains how social media platforms target individuals. Again, what’s a Christian person to do?

Maybe we shouldn’t run away scared. Maybe I am wrong to suggest we ditch social media. Aren’t we challenged to do our part to redeem every bit of this fallen world? Maybe we need to act more like Christians online. Comment as we’d like to be commented on. Post something original. Do our personal best to engage “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable” (Phil. 4:8).

About the Author

Dean Heetderks is co-director of Ministry Support Services of the CRC and art director of The Banner. Wondering about any part of the digital side of your life? Tell him about it at dean.heetderks@gmail.com

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Comments

I think of social media as a garden. Your garden is as wild or manicured as you choose. Some people don't want a garden or probably shouldn't have a garden so they choose to just live in an apartment (that's fine!), some people simply want some window boxes, some others will devote hours and hours to transforming their whole yard into a masterwork. If you take the time to develop wisdom and learn how to use the necessary tools, social media sites can help you stay connected with friends are share life together when you can't be face to face. There's also nothing wrong with simply choosing not to participate.

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