Issue 964 – Unsociable Media – January 21, 2023
Good morning. Tomorrow, Kathy and I are headed out on a trip to visit family and babysit grandchildren in Ontario. There will be no Gleanings until Tuesday.
We live in an increasingly divided world. We have become increasingly tribalized for a wide range of sociological, philosophical and political reasons.
We are divided by colour, economics, worldview, political affiliation, nationality, etc. The splits are, by and large, not amicable. Post a social media post on almost any target and watch what happens.
It can be a statement of well-researched truth, a joke, or a matter of personal opinion. The trolls will come out from under the bridges and attack. The self-appointed experts will jump in and tell you why your position (whatever it is) is wrong. The SJW (Social Justice Warrior) wannabes lurk in the dark, waiting for an opportunity to virtue-signal.
Attacks can quickly become ad hominem (against the person, not the issue). People you thought you knew very well suddenly unfriend you or attack you verbally with their comments.
Social media can be useful in that it offers everyone a voice. Social media can be destructive in that it provides everyone with a voice.
We have tossed authority and expertise out the window and created a society of instant “experts” who yesterday didn’t know an issue existed and consider themselves world-class experts and authorities today. Woe betides the one who questions them or disagrees with them.
News that once would take months to become known is now visible within seconds and forgotten within minutes. Truth is determined by one brief video of one aspect of an event instead of waiting to learn the whole story. By the time the entire truth comes out, we have seen violent backlashes, protests and wanton destruction. With no accountability, the mobs move on to the next target.
People make a living as “social influencers” on various social media platforms. People hang on to “their” influencer’s every word and buy the products that their influencer uses. They have no particular skills or expertise in any area other than perhaps being attractive and having a flair for self-promotion.
What has happened?
The problem is nothing new; people have rejected God and His Word. It’s the same sin as Adam and Eve; people want to be like God. They want to make their own rules, be “masters” of their own destiny and live a life free of consequences. Each has their personal version of utopia with them at the helm.
I am reminded of some words that repeatedly occur in the book of Judges.
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 17:6
Since everyone has their own eyes, chaos must result. It is a system that cannot sustain itself. For there to be order, there must be absolute truth.
We could remove ourselves from all forms of social media as some have done, but that can be isolating in today’s world. Or we can be more discerning about our platforms and the types of people and posts we allow into our circle.
There will be conflicts and issues even with totally Christian social media platforms. After all, believers are not perfect yet.
How do we change things? We start by letting Jesus change us through the power of the Holy Spirit and the truth of God’s Word. We learn to love and forgive. We become slower to take offence and leave vengeance up to the Lord. We take those changes into our everyday life, including our social media choices.
We don’t have to preach or Bible thump. We don’t have to jump on every perceived doctrinal error or heresy we encounter online. Most platforms aren’t designed for that type of discussion.
Let us “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
God is sovereign, even over social media.
Hallelu Yah / Praise God
Gleanings From The Word
Experience an extraordinary God in ordinary life.
Soli Deo Gloria (For the glory of God alone)
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Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is from the English Standard Version (ESV).
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