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TEXT: JOHN 17: 15 “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil”
OBJECTIVES OF THE LESSON
- To highlight the many benefits of social media in a digital world that we live in
- To inform, educate and draw the attention of the Christians about the numerous disadvantages of social media.
- Inform about the many abuses of social media.
In Genesis chapter one, after God had created man, He blessed them and said, “be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living things that moveth upon the earth – Gen. 1: 27 – 28.
This power to dominate the earth has received tremendous breakthrough especially in the field of technology. Today we want to have a lesson on an aspect of man’s ability to dominate the earth in the area of information breakthrough – the social media.
WHAT IS SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media are computer-mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career-interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.
The use of something in a wrong or for a bad purpose. Anything can suffer abuse: human beings; drugs; objects etc.
Time will not allow us to go into the history of social media, but let me mention some important social media platforms. They include:
- Social networking (Facebook, Linkedin, Google+)
- Microblogging (Twitter, Tumbir)
- Photo sharing (Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest
- Video sharing (Youtube, Facebook live, Periscope, Vimeo)
You can name others.
BENEFITS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media, contrary to the belief of many, has many benefits, which are:
- Academic Work – social media provides a good opportunity for students to derive information on research work.
- Relationship – No man is an Island. We need each other in this world to survive. Across the globe, social media serves as a medium to building effective relationship.
- Business – Regardless of what you think, or know about social media, one thing is clear: social media brings with it huge benefits for your business and marketing.
Social media Statistics you should know:
Here are some eyebrow-raising statistics about social media marketing:
- Over 2 billion people around the world use facebook
- 75% of online Americans say they’re influenced by products information on social media.
- Social media marketing budgets will double by 2019
- 42% of women online use Pinterest.
As you can see, consumers worldwide are continuing to flock to social media networks like Facebook, Twitter etc to learn, share and consume. This network gives your business a prime opportunity to connect with those who may be interested in your products and services – and on the very channels they use the most.
Here is a look at what social media can do for your business.
- Increase brand recognition
- Showcase your customer service efforts
- Increase traffic to your business website
- Build a community of dedicated followers
- Decrease your marketing costs etc
Information: Social media is the fastest channel for information dissemination nowadays. Place any information on it and see it spread in seconds
Entertainment: Those in entertainment industry derive maximum patronage through it.
Evangelism: With the current security challenges in the world, which has affected one on one discussion of the word of God, social media becomes the best alternative to the propagating of the gospel. Both the individual Christians and the Church as a body should utilize social media as one of the medium of spreading the gospel of our Lord and Saviour. When Jesus said, “go ye into the world and preach the gospel” Matt. 28: 18; Mark 16: 15 – 16. He gave the product – the word, but He never mentioned the method of spreading the word. The ever changing situation in the world nowadays calls for evangelism. Social media becomes the obvious in the method of today’s evangelism. It is the fastest way of building a community of dedicated followers.
DISADVANTAGES OF SOCIAL MEDIA
From progressed nations to under-developed countries, every nation is utilizing the power of social media to enhance life and use it for the bitterness of the people.
However, on the other hand, it has also affected the society in the negative way, just like anything which can be used for both good and bad, social media have also provided negative and positive ways for the people.
It is in the hands of the user to use to its advantage or disadvantage.
Cyberbulling: Most children have become victims of cyberbulling over the past years. Since anyone can create a fake account and do anything without being traced, it has become quite easy to bully on the internet.
Threats, intimidation messages and rumors can be sent to the masses to create discomfort and chaos in the society.
Hacking: Personal privacy and data can be easily hacked and shared on the internet, which can make financial losses and loss to personal life. This is one of the dangerous disadvantages of the social media, and, every user is advised to keep their personal data and accounts safe to avoid such accidents.
Addiction: The addictive part of the social media is very bad and can disturb personal lives as well.
The teenagers are the most affected by the addiction of the social media. They get involved very extensively and are eventually cut off from the society. It can also waste individual time that could have been utilized by productive tasks and activities
Fraud and Scams: Several examples are available where individuals have scamed and commit fraud through the social media.
Security Issues: Now a day’s security agencies have access to people personal accounts which makes their privacy almost compromised. You never know when you are visited by any investigation officers regarding any issue that you mistakenly or unknowingly discussed over the internet. One must be careful on issues he/she discuses on the internet.
Reputation: Social media can easily ruin someone’s reputation being conveyed over the social media.
Cheating and relationship issues: Most of the people have used the social media platform to propose and marry each other. However, after some times, they turn to be wrong in their decision and part ways.
Similarly, couples have cheated each other by showing the fake feelings and incorrect information.
Health issues: The excess usage of social media can also have negative impact on the health. Since exercise is the way to lose weight, most of the people get lazy because of the excessive use of the social media network sites, which in result bring disorder in their routine life.
Glamorizing Drugs and Alcohol: one of the disadvantages of the social media is that people start to follow others who are wealthy or drug addicted and share their views and videos on the web. This eventually, inspires others to follow the same and get addicted to the drugs and alcohol.
Education: Apart from the numerous advantages of the social media on education, it has also affected the students negatively in the area of spoken and written English. Through addiction, slangs and unnecessary abbreviations are transferred to actual and spoken English. Ws for was, u for you, ur for your etc.
ABUSE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Whenever an individual uses a social media wrongly or for a bad purpose, it amounts to abuses. Be it in the area of business, education, entertainment, relationship.
AS A CHRISTIAN:
- Show restraint to certain issues on social media
- Don’t comment on certain issues
- Don’t ‘like’ everything your friends post on social media, hence you will be partaker of evil
- Avoid some jokes
- Don’t advertise your private life on the social media
- Be careful on posting religious matters and arguments. Don’t take the name of the Church of Christ in unnecessary jokes with your friends.
LET US BE GUIDED:
- “Let no corrupt communication (speech) proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers Eph. 4: 29
- “All things are lawful unto me but all things are not expedient; all things are lawful to me but I will not be brought under the power of any” 1 Cor. 6: 12
- “….neither be partner of any other man’s sin: keep thyself pure” 1 Tim. 5: 22
ADVICE TO PARENTS
Statistics have shown that young persons both boys and girls form 75% of social media users. They are mostly affected by the evils associated with it; therefore, the activities of our children should be closely monitored. Parents should be part of the social media world. Be a facebook friend to your children and you will see their other friends and their activities.
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secrete thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil”.
God bless us all