It is easy to get bogged down. I get it. I have been there. There is so much negativity as I scroll through all the news feeds. Someone is always complaing about something and it’s political season which never makes life any easier. It’s all he said this. He did that. She’s a liar, he’s the second coming of Jesus didn’t you know that? I get exhausted just being on Social Media at this point.
I admit that I have even contemplated just stopping – just quitting.
The chaos is so overwhelming.
Life would be easier right? I wouldn’t be constantly filled with all the drama and negativity right? I would get to plead ignorance, and everyone says ignorance is bliss…right?
There is just one problem. I can’t quit. I can’t just quit social media. I cannot quit because there is a much larger issue at stake.
Did you know that over 1 billion people in this world, in fact as of January 2016 there were 1.59 billion people that use Facebook. Now I don’t know about you, but that is a lot of people. Looking at size alone, China has 1.3 Billion people, India 1.2 Billion therefore if Facebook were a country based on size, it would be the largest country in the world – and it’s life all happens in a digital sphere.
It’s not just Facebook. Of the 10 most populous countries in the world (physical and digital) 4 out of the top 10 are social media networks – and that number increases to 6 of 10 if you include three networks that are part of China’s social media networks (QZone, Baidu Tieba, Sina Weibo)
There are a lot of people on Social Media – which is one of the reasons I can’t just quit, as much as I would like to.
But let’s face it – people are mean and say not nice things – all the time. People will say things on social media that they would never in a million years say to someone face-to-face. I get why people want to quit social media. I get why people are scared to even use it. There are some real dangers. I know the dangers, and yet, I still log on every single day.
Maybe some would say I am addicted to it. That is a possibility.
Maybe some would say I spend too much time on it. Again, another possibility.
Maybe some would say I am avoiding real conversations with real people. Also a possibility.
There are probably a million other valid possibilities regarding my use of social media and an equal number of reasons why I should just stop.
However, I always come back to Jesus.
Jesus? What does Jesus have to do with social media?
Jesus has everything to do with social media. Everything.
You see I can’t quit social media because Jesus commanded his disciples, of which I am one just a few thousand years removed, to Go into all the world and preach the Good News. The “world” Jesus is referring to is now the physical and digital.
I can’t quit social media because I wouldn’t quit the world. I wouldn’t stop going out my front door just because I might run into someone who was having a bad day. I wouldn’t quit going to my place of work just because I may see that one person who offended me a few weeks ago.
If I am committed to going into all the world physically – I need to be as committed to the same command in the digital world. Therefore, I cannot quit social media – what I can do is use it to leverage good and not bad.
I can use it to add value to someone’s life.
I can use it to make someone smile.
I can use it to point other people to this guy I know named Jesus.
I can use it to share the Good News of what Jesus is doing in my life.
I can use it to care for those I am connected with and who are part of my church. In fact I like to think of it at times as Digital Pastoral Care. You can learn a whole lot by just checking on people in the news feeds.
So as much as I would love to up and be done with Social Media, Jesus keeps drawing me back. The benefit far outweighs the negativity.
I guess I am here to stay then. I am here to stay because if Jesus thinks this world was worth dying on a cross for, then the world is worth me shining a light into an often very dark and negative social media world.
Do good. Be good. Add value. Lift others up. Most importantly use this platform to share Jesus in any way you can. Whatever you do – don’t stop and don’t quit – the world needs you.