Do you use Social Media? I was introduced to FaceBook by my son when he first went to university. It enabled him to keep me up to date and was a lovely and positive experience while he was away from home.
Later, FaceBook became a huge blessing and source of comfort to me as a vast number of colleagues used it when my first husband died and I was away from work – it enabled them to send their messages of support and comfort to me but without it being intrusive as I could dip in and out as and when I wanted.
I now use it to keep in touch with the many families we have involved with the church Edward Bear club for pre-schoolers (see details inside this magazine).
These are all positive examples of how Social Media can be a huge benefit. However, there is also a worrying trend whereby Social Media causes separation from the world of real human interaction. It can just be far too easy to sit in front of the screen and ‘chat’ or ‘tweet’ and not feel the need to meet with people and talk face to face.
Some people appear to live out their lives on social media posting every little detail of trivia of what they are getting up to, spending vast amounts of precious time interacting with a screen, posting endless photographs and presenting an image of themselves that they want others to see.
United Christian Broadcasts produced an article in their Bible reading notes last month which is very topical and I would like to quote from it:
‘Real relationships aren’t built by posting updates, or tweeting and re-tweeting the most thought-provoking quotes. It takes more time than that. The greatest social networking involves meeting someone’s needs in a way that never would’ve happened without a one-on-one connection. That’s what Jesus did. Most of His public ministry was spent pouring Himself into twelve men who, in turn, went out in His name and poured themselves into others. The Bible says, ‘Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.’ The psalmist spelled out how many people today feel deep down: ‘No one is concerned for me … no one cares’ (Psalm 142:4). If you want to meet people’s needs, you have to get ‘up close and personal’. That’s what Jesus did, and He’s your example.’
Whilst this technology opens up huge opportunities it can also produce a laziness whereby the click of a button can seem all that is needed to have made contact with someone. How many of our young people are losing the art of true interaction and conversation which can ultimately lead to social isolation?
Social media can be a wonderful blessing and may it be exactly that and enhance that which is already there, not take the place of it.
Every blessing, Rachel Foster