Social media is bad for our souls.
It wastes our time.
How many times have you wanted to just send a message to a friend, but you get pulled across into your newsfeed, only to look up an hour later. “What happened?!?!” Facebook’s infinite scroll is from the Devil.
It distracts us.
(Hang on, I just have to post this picture. It’s epic.)
It makes us restless.
We fiddle with our phones while listening to one another. We glance at the screen to check the time…and the notifications. We pop in to see what people are up to…repeatedly. Check. Check. Check. Check.
It isolates us.
We have a hard time getting together. I think social media is partly to blame for The Friendship Crisis.
It makes us more envious, greedy, lustful, proud, lazy, and so on.
Our minds are opened to the lives being lived around us and around the planet. Friends are doing amazing things. Friends have better stuff. Friends are beautiful. Friends make us want to take a nap. It’s all their fault.
It makes us smug.
If I see the Facebook page of Sister Mary Martha’s Home for Poor Poor Children, I like it, so I “like” it. In clicking that button, I am proclaiming my unwavering support for those Poor Poor Children and my admiration for the saintly Sister Mary Martha. “I am proud of what I’ve done. I’ve made a difference!” (No, I haven’t.)
It keeps us from enjoying life.
We are so eager to share the best parts of our life that we’re not actually present to them. We don’t really experience them, let alone enjoy them. Everything is mediated by our devices. This helps welcome others into our enjoyable moments, but don’t we enjoy them less?
Social media is bad for our souls. That is precisely why we need to use social media. (Click to tweet this.)
Because social media is also bad for our friends’ souls. And we need to love our friends.
We celebrate heroes. Firemen run into burning buildings. Soldiers run into warzones. Missionaries move into slums. We honor people who enter into dangerous situations. This is appropriate.
But somehow facing the temptations and risks of social media in order to care for our friends is just too hard, too daunting. A lot of well-meaning people have started asking if we should keep using social media. An exodus has begun, of people who say the risks are too high, that the cost isn’t worth it.
“We don’t really need to cultivate relationships with others,” is the real message.
I don’t care if social media is bad for our souls. I really don’t care whether you like it or not.
I care if your friends like it.
And I care if you love them.
What do you think? Leave a comment here.