Insights & Information

Words, Wisdom, and the Digital Age

Blog Art Kyle 22

Our phones have many interesting features and functions. One in particular can be useful, but also can be quite convicting--the “screen time” tracker. Each Sunday morning, I get a weekly report on the amount of time from the previous seven days that was spent with my eyes on the tiny 6-inch screen held in the palm of my hand. I’ll be honest some weeks aren’t so bad, and then there are others that honestly hurt my overall average.

When it comes to my time on the phone, one quote from John Piper always gnaws at my conscience. Piper said, “One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time.”

For most people, the majority of the time spent on our devices lands us on one of the variety of social media platforms. As of 2022, the average amount of daily social media use stood at 147 minutes per day (2 hours and 27 minutes)! That is a lot of time spent scrolling, clicking, reading, and absorbing information and pictures. Now let me say, this is not a blog to guilt trip us all into deleting our social media apps (although I would highly recommend it!), instead this is a recognition that these things are not going away; therefore, we need to thoughtfully, and biblically, figure out how to utilize them.

Proverbs 18 is a great guide for speech, and I think it can also be applied to the way we act as social media users. The opening two verses reveal why the human heart is drawn to social media so easily: isolation and platform. Verses one and two say, “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” Here’s the message social media platforms give to us, you can be alone and simultaneously be connected to everyone. You can let your voice be heard, and yet you don’t have to listen to the response (you can mute those!).

This calls out the danger of submerging our lives into this social media world, spending hours daily feeding our hearts and minds with the content placed there. Therefore, we need a test that can help us determine if the content I’m posting and the content I’m consuming are aligned with scripture as Philippians 4:8, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

3 Question Test for Social Media Interaction:

  1. To what end? – Does posting this or does this post move me toward Christ or away from Him?
  2. For what influence? – Does this edify me and others, or build nothing of lasting value?
  3. Who/What am I serving? – Does this expose my freedom in Christ, or bondage to sin?

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