Teenage Social Media: Introduction to Social Media
The word, “media” brings about many differing opinions and thoughts. To some it simply means pictures, ideas, fun, news, and possibly many more things. To others the word conjures up thoughts of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The word “media” can be stated this way: any form of communication that can reach or influence large numbers of people (example: movies, music, television, internet, etc.) Another way of saying it is: media is “the main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet) regarded collectively.” (Dictionary.com)
Media impacts our lives and culture in so many ways. In fact, its influence can be both positive and negative. In and of itself media is not bad. In fact, it is indifferent. It is simply just a form of communication. The issue of “good or bad” comes down to how it is used. For example, media can be used to promote God’s Word and His Truth. Many people use their personal social media sites to witness for God and encourage others. This is a wonderful tool to use for God’s glory. Moreover, as in many headlines today, media can be a negative things as well. Cyberbullying, spreading gossip, posting negative comments and pictures, and many more are things that have impacted our society and teenage culture negatively. There are many occasions where the “line has been crossed.”
For believers, the Scriptures is God’s Word by which everything should be examined. This of course includes social media. One author says, “We need to take the messages that come out of the media and see how they match up with God’s truth.” If it comes to a point where God’s Word is being challenged, we as believers are held accountable to stand up for God’s truth (Titus 2:11-12). We should be filtering everything we do through Scripture, and that of course includes social media.
Some questions to ponder involving our internet use. “How are you living virtually?” “How are you communicating digitally?” “How are you living your worldview online?” “Do others see Christ in us when we use the internet?” “Are we living out our faith in Christ and representing Him properly when using the internet?”
The Bible speaks to us on how we are to live. Some verses to consult as we think through these questions: Ephesians Ch. 1-2, and 2 Corinthian 5:17. We are God’s creation and His handiwork. Are we living out our lives online that best represents Him?