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Social Media and Digital Discernment – MacArthur

Although I do have this website, I’m really very illiterate when it comes to social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.  I don’t have accounts so most of facebook is unavailable to me.  I have at times contemplated getting accounts since often I will find out about something after the fact, like a prayer request, but by the time I find out the need is past. 🙁  However, the advantages have yet to outweigh the disadvantages in my mind.  I’m honestly not interested in what someone ate for supper or the great shirt they just bought. (Granted everyone doesn’t include such mundane details, but I’d only be interested in that kind of detail from very, very few people; husband or son.)  Of course, I could do what my oldest son does.  He has an account with minimal info available and he never posts.  But that allows him access and “friend” status enough to know what is going on with others.  He has been accused of “lurking”.  🙂

There are portions of social media that just set wrong with me and honestly the only way I can explain it is it is like high school popularity all over again.  See you can strive to be friends with lots and lots of people but to what purpose?  You can’t truly be friends with that many people.  Then of course you can un-friend people and relatives when you get mad at them.  The ultimate insult. {sarcasm}  Social media can give a false sense of intimacy.  There is no way to be truly intimate friends when just passing sound bites back and forth.  True intimacy is a lost art, even in the physical sense.  Social media doesn’t seem to be helping.

But granted I may be wrong and might at some point change my mind.  But for now the benefits don’t outweigh the time investment.  But MacArthur has a post about being discerning with social media.

Social Media and Digital Discernment

On the one hand, social networking websites provide numerous benefits and opportunities. Many of the ministries with which I am involved (like Grace to You and The Master’s College & Seminary) utilize social networking to dispense resources and keep people updated with ministry news.3 Social networking can be a useful tool when used to communicate the right things—messages that honor Christ, exalt His Word, and direct people to profitable tools for spiritual growth.

But social networking can also be abused. When it consists of nothing more than random babblings and personal monologues, it can become self-centered, unrestrained and narcissistic. When it consumes our lives, it can be addictive and controlling. Used unwisely, it is filled with potential pitfalls and temptations. For those who follow Christ, we are called to submit every area of our lives to His lordship—including how we use social media. With that in mind, let’s look at the following five areas of caution:

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This article is referred to in MacArthur’s post – Solomon on Social Media

…  Count to ten before posting, sharing, sending, submitting. “Do you see a man who is hasty in his words? There is more hope for a fool than for him (29:20).” How many arguments could be avoided and how many relationships saved if people were only a little less hasty with their words? Before posting an article or before replying to a Facebook status, it is always (always!) a good idea to re-read what you have written and consider if your words accurately express your feelings and if expressing such feelings is necessary and edifying. And while I’m on the topic, a spell-check doesn’t hurt either. …


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