Our Addiction to Activity, Noise, Facebook, and Twitter
Ever since I can remember I’ve been a tech junkie. I love technology, I love new gadgets, and I love knowing cool new tricks to use on my computer or phone. As you can imagine I am an Apple disciple (you can’t be a good Christian without having a Macbook, right?). Just joking. But there’s something so beautiful about the seamless synchronization of all their devices when put together. With that being said though something has made me a little uneasy the last couple months.
With the release of my last video I practically gained a social media following overnight. To being an obscure guy with like 3 twitter followers I now have almost 105,000 Facebook likes and 43,000 twitter followers. Immediately I loved it. It was an awesome opportunity for me to continue to share Jesus’ and His beautiful grace! Subtly though day by day I realized just how dangerous the platform had become. I began to love the quick stimulation of Twitter and Facebook because there was always something new to read, something cool to share, and something clever to post. I became more consumed with spreading an idea of Jesus, rather than being consumed with Jesus Himself. I chose talking about Jesus, over Jesus. What a crappy trade. I realized it was a problem when one morning I woke up and was more excited to check my phone than have time with my Creator. I began to care more about what others said about me, rather than what God has already said of me in Jesus. I wanted to hear other’s feeble affirmation of me, rather than God’s firm and secure affirmation of me in Jesus. The biggest reason we are all so entrenched in social media is simply because we want someone to care about us.
It was through that and conversations with others that I realized we are absolutely addicted to noise, stimulation, fake affirmation, busyness, and feeling “in the loop.” All social media is fine, but the issue comes down to how you steward it. We have to honestly ask ourselves, have we become a slave to it? If we’re honest I’d say most of us are. The first thing we want to do when we get off a plane, get up in the morning, or get back from camping is check our phone (that is, if anyone still camps). Don’t lie, I’m not the only one. What we don’t realize is just how dangerous it truly is. It has this weird way of numbing us to the still small voice of Jesus. We no longer are able to rest and bathe in prayer just waiting on the Lord because we’d rather Him just post a status update–it’d make it a lot easier. Even though I do believe God can speak through social media (and He does) I do think we must make a special place in our lives for that still and quiet time. As you see with Elijah in 1st Kings 19, God didn’t speak in the ways it seemed.
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
The Lord was in the gentle whisper. So, my question to you is are you looking for Him, or should I say settling for Him, in the noisy parts of life like your newsfeed or Twitter updates? Only living close to Jesus, walking in the Spirit moment by moment, will we be able to experience what we were created to experience. So, where do you maybe need to draw the line and establish healthy boundaries for yourself and your social media accounts? For me, I am thinking through a technology sabbath right now, just shutting down for a day to seek His face, and focus up on my week. Still trying to figure out how to do this the best, and I’m sure it’s something that will change and mold over time. The tough question I had to ask myself was, is my social media behavior reflecting Jesus as Lord in my life or is it reflecting Jesus as a puppet I come to at the end of the night with my scraps? Am I bringing Him glory through my social media, or is my obsession with social media actually stealing glory from Him? I’ll leave with a John Piper quote that sent chills down my spine the first time I heard it.
“One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that our lack of prayer was not from lack of time.”
How can you change your social media or technology behavior to better reflect God’s glory? How can you steward the gift of Facebook and Twitter without losing an ear for His still small voice?
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