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Using social media responsibly

I recently read an interesting article in the UK's Grace Magazine by Pastor Andrew King on christians and social media. The article identifies three dangers of social media to Christians and six opportunities that we should embrace to help us use social media responsiby. 

Three dangers :

1) The danger of being shallow rather wise. The vast amount of information that is generated by social media means that that there's a real danger that we waste our time updating or reading trivia. Most of what we read is not important. 

2) The danger of being selfish rather than serving. Whether it is carefully constructing my comments to attract a person's attention, or regularly checking for their replies, social media runs the risk of making an idol out of our own significance.

3) The danger of being connected rather than communal. Social media has the danger of removing our minds to 'somewhere else' rather than where we are.  With our phones and tablets on, social media escapism can become pervasive. 

Six opportunities :

1) Keep, or establish, a habit of reading good Christian books, both old and new, alongside your use of social media.

2) Be intentional in your use of social media, even in your reading and writing of 'trivial' posts. That is, keep in mind the purpose for which you are using it.

3) Be aware of that the idolatry of self is never far from any of us; think before you post comments fishing for a response, and reread all your comments before you post them remembering all the people who will read them.

4) Think through how social media contact can enable face to face, or at least voice to voice contact. Use social media as a channel to deeper and longer conversations serving others for the sake of Christ. 

5) Be ready to switch off or silence your social media feeds when you are in community; always value the beauty of face-to-face community life. 

6) Use your social media to talk up good times together, to continue conversations started when together, and to arrange to meet again. 

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

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