The Power and Danger of Social Media

Social media has made it possible to connect with others I might never come in contact with in off screen life. Navigating the vast arena of the internet provides both power and danger. I must be alert to the dangers not only from others but also the danger I might create unthinkingly.

My word for 2021 is hope. When January arrived my plan was to share words of hope every day on my Facebook platform. With so much pain and fear infesting lives due to the changes from COVID19 virus, I wanted to speak positive thoughts and hope to uplift anyone who read my morning posts. Then I fell into two traps.

The first was realizing I was obsessed with wanting to know if anyone read my post and if they liked it or had given me any comments. With this awakening came the possibility I was using the platform for my selfish reasons, not for the purpose I wanted. I feared I was taking glory for myself and not giving it to God. Instead of learning from this and changing the amount of time I spent “checking” statuses, I backed away altogether. I took a leave of absence and stopped posting for a few days.

Trap two came quickly after I resumed my Facebook presence. Oh, the negativity I saw on Facebook and all the hate!! I never responded to any of these and quickly began scrolling past all of them. I decided there were “friends” I needed to delete. So easy to push a button and remove someone from my online life. I changed my account to “friends only.” What had I accomplished? Actually, the problem wasn’t with anyone but myself. I believed all the negativity would be removed from my online life. Just like not tuning into the news on a daily basis had eliminated my mind being flooded with fear and anger.

What happened was another removal of myself from Facebook. I wasn’t hurting anyone but myself. What?!? What do I mean by that? I am an introvert. My Facebook platform was meant to be a ministry. God created me with a passion to feel others’ pain and grief and want to offer hope of healing through Jesus. To do this I needed Facebook. I needed connections. I needed to find a balance and I needed be brave enough to be honest and engage in a way to show I care.

In a devotional today, I read: “Doing community in the no-man’s-land of social media can be tough.” (Walking in Grace, Dalene Reyburn). Though I may be connected to a large multitude of people, I’m still isolated. I want to share truth, hope, and love in an honest way and let God do the rest.

Lifting my cup of tea on this beautiful fall day as I tell God, “Here I am, Lord.”