Every morning when 22-year-old Kate wakes up, she rolls over and looks at her smart phone to see if anyone has sent her a text message or email. After responding to a few messages, she taps an icon on the screen immediately it takes her to a networking site where she updates her status and gets updated on everyone elses. Finally, she sends a message that announces to the world that she is in fact awake and happy.
Most of us would have a hard time imagining a life without a cyber world. Think of how it affects our communication and media consumption. Without the Internet, what good would our cell phones be? We would actually have to use them for verbal conversation again. While the Internet was conceived in the late 1950s and early 1960s, it wasnt until the early 1990s that its popularity soared.
Consider the following statistics: In Africa, 67 million people use the Internet; in Asia, more than 738 million people; in Europe more than 418 million; and in America, almost 253 million people use the Internet.
Some would argue that technology is neutral; no one would claim that the actions taking place inside the medium are neutral. The rise of social networking over the past decade gives need for us to address a biblical worldview in the cyber world. You cannot live your life separate from your worldview. Every decision you make derives from it.
These are the questions we must be asking as we communicate, minister, and lead in the world of social networking.
Am I representing the attitude of Christ (Rom. 15:1-3)? Your online community must see the image of Christ in the way you communicate through social networking.
Are my social networking activities under the control of the flesh or the Holy Spirit (Ga. 5:13-26)? Satan is always looking for ways to grab a foothold in our lives. One click, one look, one thought is all it takes. We are only one step away from stupid.
Does social networking have a positive spiritual impact on self (1 Cor. 6:12; 10:23-24)? Everything in life has consequences. If you are not careful, social networking will be your opportunity to gossip, tear down, and slander.
Will social networking addict (1 Cor. 6:12)? Technology, like most things, exists to serve us, instead you often become addicted to it. In fact, social networking can easily become an idol.
Does social networking go against your conscience (Rom. 14:14)? Your conscience is often the last line of defense before falling into evil.
Will social networking disrupt fellowship and damage existing relationships (Rom. 14:15)? You must draw the line between a Facebook friend and a friend you have close interaction with.
Will social networking damage your reputation (Rom. 14:16)?
Will social networking remove focus from the big picture of Gods Kingdom (Rom. 14:17-19)? Are you making most of the time you spend on Facebook, Myspace, twitter, and other sites? Technology can be a great tool for the Kingdom, but you must consciously choose to use it that way.
Does social networking further the advancement of the Gospel (1 Cor. 9:19-24; 10:33)? You are a missionary. Take advantage of the opportunities to have conversations about the Gospel online.
As Christians we are tempted to make unnecessary concessions to those outside the Faith. We give in too much. Now, I dont mean that we should run the risk of making a nuisance of ourselves by witnessing at improper times, but there comes a time when we must show that we disagree. We must show our Christian colors if we are to be true to Jesus Christ. We cannot remain silent or concede everything away. C.S. Lewis from God in the Dock
–taken from Chasing Elephants by Brent Crowe