I am coming off of a three-week break from social media and blogging. It was a good break and a needed disconnect from the incessant buzz of Facebook and Twitter. Taking a three-week break forced me to really examine my social media usage and learn some new lessons. I thought it might be a good idea to share some of the lessons I've learned from my three-week break.
1. Social Media is a Powerful Tool
The internet and social media are just that – a tool. It can be used for good or it can be used for great evil. It all depends on the intention of the person as to whether social media becomes a productive and edifying tool or a destructive, piercing weapon. It can be extremely powerful either way you wield it. Our sin can quite easily cause us to use social media to hurt others, gossip, or criticize. Yet, I long to seek new ways to use social media to connect with other, encourage people in their faith, and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
2. Social Media can become an Addiction
Social Media is like heroin. It can become quickly addicting. I often found myself overly dependent on checking the social network for likes, comments, messages, etc. Like an addict looking for his next high, I would scroll through my iPhone looking for another dosage. Over the past three weeks I deleted all the social media network from my iPhone so I would not even be tempted to open them up. It was good to take a break and be free from the addiction, but to also rest my mind from generating content to build up the body of Christ.
3. Social Media Connects the World
Through my blog and social media this past year, I have had the opportunity to meet and pray for believers all across the world. It has been amazing to see the ministry opportunities the Lord has given me through stewarding the tool of social media for his glory. I still have a long ways to go in using it properly, but by God's grace I'll get there.
4. Social Media Usage Often Has Sinful Motivations
As I examined my own heart these past three weeks, I learned just how wretched of a sinner I am. I like keeping up with how many views this blog gets or how many likes a post gets on Facebook or how many retweets. It is so easy to begin to post, write, and encourage others not for the glory of God but for the vain praise of men. By God's grace, he has taught me the difficult lesson of fearing him before others and finding my identity not in what people think about me.
5. Social Media is a Ministry
I am more convinced than ever that this blog and my Facebook and Twitter accounts are another form of the ministry God has given me. Keeping content coming through the pipeline is often a lot of work. Writing these blog posts regularly takes great energy. All of this is a ministry for me. It is a joyous labor to serve the church universal through writing and tweeting. By God's grace may he use my efforts and labors for the spread of His name and for His glory.