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Social Media: The Good – The Bad -The Ugly

October 28, 2019 0 Comments

Our broken human nature tends to be drawn to the sensational and the tragic. From the earliest days when news was simply spread by word of mouth it tended to deal with politics, crime and the gossip of the rich and famous. Fast forward several hundred years and now thanks to the internet, news is spread at a rapid pace and in glutinous proportions. With a simple click of, “share,” or “retweet,” the information is quickly passed on without the need to double check its trustworthiness. Writers create, “clickbait” headlines to encourage us to share away. Often the actual articles fail to back up the headline.

GIGO

Many years ago when I first studied computer programing I learned about, GIGO, Garbage in – Garbage Out. If my inputs were bad, I would always get a bad result no matter how well my code was written.

Frequently these days I have friends walking away from social media because they can no longer take all the negative inputs. Feasting on the negative side of social media will eventually take its toll on our mental state.

I used to consume vast quantities of talk radio. During that same period I found myself being negative. I was proud to be grumpy. I took 40 days and turned off the radio and tv and I found myself again. I now intake just enough news to keep up with the important topics of the day.

A good person produces good out of the good stored up in his heart. An evil person produces evil out of the evil stored up in his heart, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. – Luke 6:45 (CSB)

Just a Tool

Social media is just a tool. It is what you make it out to be. If you use it to just read all the negative posts, then that is what will have the greatest impact on your own life. Or you can make the choice (it really is up to you) to use social media as a force for good. You can use it to flood the internet with something encouraging or helpful. I often use it to keep in contact with friends and family who don’t live close by. I have also gained several “internet friends,” who I have never met in person.

I also use it to connect with others in my areas of interest. For me, that is other pastors, leaders, photographers and history buffs.

Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things. – Philippians 4:8 (CSB)

Take a Social Media Fast

Just about any activity can become overwhelming when we engage in it too often. Here are a few suggestions that might be helpful

  • Take a 40 day break – Turn off all social media for forty days. I did this last year and I was amazed how refreshing it was. I promise you the universe will not come to an end
  • Limit yourself to just one or two accounts (not something I do)
  • Limit the people you follow and interact with. Don’t linger on the negative posts. Yes as Christians, we need to engage with all types, even the negative ones (Click here to read a post I wrote on this). But it may be healthy for you back off a bit for your own well being.
  • Commit to be a force for good. Make a choice to share and post those things that lift up instead of tearing down.
  • Limit the time each day / week you spend on social media. If you need some help, there are a number of good apps for your smart phone that can help you set healthy limits.

Social Media, the good the bad, the ugly – choose the good

What about you? Do you find social media as something positive in your life or is it more of a drain? Were there any tips I missed?

photo credit: Visual Content Social Media Mix 3D Icons – Mix #1 via photopin (license)

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Filed in: Faith, Leadership, Life

About the Author:

I am enthusiastic about helping others discover their purpose and grow into a deeper relationship with Jesus. It is great to see their eyes light up at their “Ah Ha!” moment when they discover they were created for something more. My hope is that this blog will help encourage and inspire you along your way. Join the conversation and take the time to share with me your own story. I have been married to my beautiful wife Janice for over 30 years. We currently live in McDonough Georgia with our daughter. Our two boys have left the nest and we have two wonderful grand kids. Of course we cannot forget about our dog Bear.