Friday, December 30, 2011

Dangers of Online Socializing

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: (Ephesians 4:29, 31 KJV)

Social MediaKeeping in touch with friends, colleagues, and people we know used to be about making phone calls or meeting up once in a while. These days, however, staying connected often relates to the social media—how we live the digital lifestyle of technological convenience through using applications on the Internet. We need only to press or touch a few keys on our mobile phones, tablets or computers, and we can communicate, share text, photos, videos, music and other media files to anyone in the world.

According to TheSocialMediaGuide.com, one of the many definitions of social media is "any media form that displays itself to an open public and encourages interaction between the host and all observers." This definition sums up two key aspects of the social media. The first is the use of any type of media form for sharing over the Internet, and the other is interaction. Social media, therefore, involves the sharing of media files, and participating in activities on the Internet through blogging, commenting, social networking, instant messaging, and the likes.

The ability to socialize and interact with people online through the social media is reckoned by many as one of the greatest breakthrough since the introduction of computers and information technology. Despite the many advantages of social media, however, there are drawbacks which few people realize. These drawbacks include the monitoring and tracking of our behavior patterns through what we post, share online, and the sites we visit to allow related advertisements to lure us into other commitments and sites.

Besides unsolicited ads, another drawback of the social media is the danger of sharing too much about our private lives to the public. Online sharing can affect others or how others view us. Our bosses, colleagues, relatives, and friends, for example, may think of us as weak or ill-mannered reading some of our status update on social networks. Sometimes, leaks through words of mouth can also spread and cause damage to relationships because of people sharing what they read from our social media postings.

The Bible warns us not to let corrupt communication proceeds out of our mouths, but to let what is good and edifying minister grace to the hearers. We are to put away bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking, along with all malice (Ephesians 4:29, 31).

This warning and instruction from the word of God, although refers primarily to the use of speech, is also applicable to how we should communicate on the Internet. We should not let negative words proceed from us, for such words can hurt others and expose us to ridicule. Remember, we are to give account every careless word we use on the day of judgment (Matthew 12:36).

If, therefore, we have a message of encouragement for the people, we should share this instead (Acts 13:15). Whether we are using videos, images, music or other types of media files, let us always share only whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).


Dear Lord, forgive us for too often sharing to the world things that do not edify or minister. Help us not let our bitterness, wrath, anger, thoughtless words, and private lives hurt or mislead others. Remind us constantly Lord to share words of encouragement and things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable or praiseworthy. Protect us from the vices that constantly attempt to lure us away from You or into unnecessary commitment. Do not allow us to fall prey to the evil one O Lord, but guide us by Your Spirit to use tools like the social media carefully and wisely for the extension of Your kingdom.

3 comments:

  1. This is an area where I try to monitor myself as sometimes humor can get the best of me, and then I'm afraid that I haven't been edifying. You make excellent points, Edmond--thanks for this reminder and the scriptural guidelines.

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  2. Hi Lisa ... your sense of humor has been edifying to many of us, for a cheerful heart makes good medicine (Proverbs 17:22)! In times of sorrow or solace, reading your occasional humorous status update puts a smile on my face. You are a blessing, Lisa, and I thank God for you. Have a blessed year ahead. God bless.

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  3. Edmond, you have blessed me enormously with your comment and verse. I feel a little freer--In Christ. Thank you, Brother.

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