Have you seen the documentary called The Social Dilemma? I really recommend this to you. It’s about how social media companies like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter that were developed to create connections between people have really done the opposite to the point where all of our social media interaction is becoming more and more divisive and ultimately leading to a cultural and even civil war!
The crazy thing is, the people involved in warning us of the dangers of social media are the very people who were involved in creating this technology in the first place. And they recognize that what is happening is that social media is creating echo chambers that reinforce your own side or opinion. Social media is becoming a breeding ground for fake news. Conspiracy theories thrive and are shared.
They also talk about the increased dangers of social media for kids and teenagers who have not really known a world apart from social media. “Likes’ become a currency. And depression and even suicide have been on the rise by 31% ever since the popularity of these platforms. Now, obviously, there’s more to it than just the influence of social media.
We need to look closely at what God’s Word has to say about how we leverage and interact with our technology. We know it’s not going away, but we have to be wise in the way we use it.
We need to check our tech. Our technology becomes wrecknology and wrecks our relationships, and our peace and sanity. It can wreck your relationship with God. I’ve seen it happen as you get caught up in something weird online or people’s opinions start to influence you away from God. So, you’ve got to check it, before you wreck it! We need to put some guardrails in place that will keep us from going off the rails on a Crazy Train!
Some people use technology to just directly attack other people. They think they can say whatever they want about somebody else. They say things they would never say to their face because they’re hiding behind their phone or their keyboard. They’re vicious!
Some people think technology can save us. That technology is our future. Some people make technology their god. But it’s a poor substitute for God. It can become a false idol in our lives when we get so dependent on it. Our iPhone can become an iDol.
You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. 1 Corinthians 6:12
He’s saying, not that it’s necessarily bad. But sometimes good is the enemy of great. Don’t settle for second best. So, let’s talk about:
1) We’re More Distracted.
“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8 (KJV)
2) We’re More Dissatisfied.
Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content. Ecclesiastes 1:8 (NLT)
3) We’re More Depressed.
They knew God but did not praise and thank him for being God. Instead, their thoughts were pointless, and their misguided minds were plunged into darkness. Romans 1:21
4) We’re More Disconnected.
If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Ecclesiastes 4:10 (NLT)
Spend time with God daily.
O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1
Make time for real people.
The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray. Proverbs 12:26
Ask the right people the right question to get the right answer.
Let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of Jesus’ return is drawing near. Hebrews 10:25
Don’t Miss the Real for the Ideal.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, Philippians 3:13
Practice a digital Sabbath.
“So there is a special rest still waiting for the people of God. For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world.” Hebrews 4:9-10
God wants to give you that rest. And so for you, it may mean on a specific day of the week, no Facebook. For the next week, you may say, I need to unplug from social media. For the first half of each day, stay off the internet. I don’t know what you need to do, but you can ask God, and pray and see if you need to just disconnect from social media so you can connect or reconnect with God.
What would your social media, status updates, pictures say is most important to you? If someone was trying to gather evidence to see if you’re a Christian, could they find that on social media. I don’t mean posting a Bible verse or a Christian quote every now and then. I mean from the totality of who you present yourself to be. Which I hope is the real you. That you are leveraging your social media to point people closer to Jesus. Because people need hope. And we have that hope.
God has given us this technology, that can be used to divide us. And it’s very effective at that. Or we can use it to share the greatest news in history that God loves people, that He wants to have a personal relationship with them. And they can know Him by getting to know Jesus.
He wants to restore your mind, not your phone, but your personal operating system, he does that to you when you trust in Him, it’s a factory reset!, and renew your soul, and recharge your strength when you search for Him, He says you will find Him with you search for Him, not on Google, but search for God with all you’ve got!
Talk it Out Discussion Questions
1. What technology has changed the regular, daily habits of your life the most? How?
2. Read Romans 1:16-25.
- What verse or idea stands out to you the most? Why?
- According to verse 17, why is the message of Jesus “Good News”?
- In verse 18, Paul says the wrath of God is being revealed to sinful people. According to this passage, God is already punishing wickedness, and He does this by giving people what they stubbornly insist on getting (see verse 24). What evidence do you see of this in our world today?
- Reread verse 25. Do you see tendencies toward idolatry (giving ultimate status through our actions and our attitudes to anything other than God) regarding any technology in your life?
3. Read Proverbs 4:5-8 and James 1:5. If it’s our responsibility to get wisdom and pray for wisdom, what are some ways God answers our prayers? What are some practical things we can do to partner with God in making us wise, especially when it comes to making decisions about technology. Be specific. Brainstorm ideas.
4. Use the following questions as a personal inventory:
- Does my current use of technology enhance or distract from my relationship with God?
- Does my current use of technology enhance or distract from intimacy with my family?
- Does my current use of technology enhance meaningful relationships with my friends, or is my social world becoming more wide and shallow?
- Is my screen time changing the way I think or relate to others in general for the better or the worse?
- Am I using technology to feed other unhealthy addictions (ego, knowledge, porn, gambling, shopping, etc.)?
- Do I have more or less time on my hands to serve others because of the technology I use?
- Am I living more like Jesus and loving more because of my technology?
5. What is one clear, sustainable change you want to make this week to check your tech and put some healthy guardrails in place for your life?