Culture, Technology

#trending: social media

As we tackle some of the most current (and often divisive) issues, the topic of social media may be best seen as the very waters in which our dialogue on current issues swims. As Matt reminded us in his message, “Social Media pours fuel on the fire of the major issues of our day.” We want to encourage our continued engagement and reflection on our use of social media so that we might better love God and others in our digital age.

Further engagement:

Here are some books we recommend on the topic of social media and our current culture of increased polarization:

12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You by Tony Reinke

Liking Jesus by Craig Groeschel

Digital Invasion by Dr. Archibald Hart & Sylvia Hart Frejd

IGen by Twenge

 

What are ways in which we can engage with social media with love, respect and maturity? Here are two articles that provide practical helps and guidelines:

5 Questions to Ask Before Posting to Social Media// Relevant Magazine

A Social Media Heart Check// Desiring God

 

To Watch:

Here are two authors/speakers whose insight and wisdom can help us reflect on ways social media and technology build up or break down our relationships. Both offer wise counsel and insight for parents/families in their talks.

Kara Powell (Fuller Youth Institute) – Confronting our Technology Addiction

 

Andy Crouch (Christianity Today) – Managing Technology

And for parents, we recommend Andy’s book, The Tech Wise Familyyou can see our review here.

 

Deeper Reflection:

How is social media impacting us and our spiritual formation? How can we combat the ways it has led to increased unsettledness, envy, and anxiety in our lives? Here are some tools to help us move toward greater freedom and control of social media usage and influence in our lives:

Articles

Why We Should Escape Social Media// Desiring God

Disconnect in Order to Connect// Premier Christianity

Practices

  • Consider a social media fast. Like with any fasting, pick a time period that works for you. Perhaps start with one 24-hour period. Many have found it helpful to fast for one week from social media, removing an app from their phone to make it less accessible. There is no right or wrong way to do this, but taking a “social media pause” can show us the ways we can better manage and be in control of our social media usage.
  • Accountability with others. Are there people in our life who can help provide feedback and positive encouragement with our social media usage? As we take the time to do self-examination regarding our social media usage, we can also lean into the power of accountability. It might feel risky, but we aren’t meant to live out our faith alone, but are rather called to “spur one another on” as we follow Christ (Heb. 10:24).

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About the Author: Craig Gartland
Craig is Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Blackhawk and oversees Adult Ministries. He completed his Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and spent over two decades of his career in campus ministry. He is married to Sharon and they have four children. His passions include cycling, listening to jazz music, photography, and the writings of C.S. Lewis.