We had a talk on Social Media at our 20-30's group last night. I help run it, I don't qualify age wise.
Anyway I settled down to listen, thinking how helpful this was going to be for all those addicted young people around me, feeling all warm and self-righteous, with the smug glow of a man who doesn't use Facebook.
Sam, who was speaking, began with a staggering set of statistics about how many people use social media and how much time they spend on it. I felt even better about myself. Then he launched into his first point: "Social media feeds the idol of getting people's approval".
"Well that's not me!" I thought. "The blogs I post are often about how much I need Jesus as a saviour, not about how great I am." And I felt even better about myself.
Then Sam popped my little ego bubble. He asked us if we ever go back to things we post to see how many people have liked them. And I do. Regularly. In fact I often feel a little bit sad if no one likes a post and a little bit happier if I make it into double figures (This has been rare, so happiness has had to be sought in other things like cake, crisps etc).
Apparently this is to do with science and sin! The science of it is that research has shown that when people get a "Like" on a post they release dopamine, a chemical neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's reward and pleasure centres. "Likes" literally make you feel good about yourself.
Proverbs 29:25 says: "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe."
That is biologically true of social media. Living for "Likes" is chemically addictive in the same way cigarettes, alcohol and gambling are.
It's to do with sin because I am seeking to find my security and meaning in the opinions of anonymous people. Rather than looking to the love of God who has sent his Son to die for me, so that I am his precious child. Freedom from fear of people comes from knowing God as your Father.
Romans 8:14 "For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirityou received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
So please don't "Like" this or any of my other blogs. Do read them if their helpful. Feel free to share them with others. But for my sake don't "Like" them.