3 Things Social Media Teaches us about God
Social media is a double-edged sword. On one end you have unlimited access to constant updates about everything that you love, hate, and desire, but on the other end it demands things of you that you were never created to give or do.
It requires you to be omniscient (all-knowing)
In a woke world where you’re supposed to know the history of every genocide, every protest, and the many layers and facets of every social theory that is constantly evolving, social media provides the perfect storm. While you get a front row seat to videos, pictures and stories of things you never knew existed, you also feel this ever growing pressure to know all these issues thoroughly so that you can repost it on your story as a sign of solidarity. While it's important to be aware of what’s going on in our world, at the same time, no one was created to know and understand everything that there is to know and understand. And the truth is that social media doesn’t provide a space for slow, deep, undistracted and critical thinking that leads to the acquiring of valuable information. Most times, it provides the exact opposite.
2. It requires you to be omnipresent (all-present)
One of the bittersweet aspects of social media is its power to connect us. With one scroll we can be in our friend’s kitchen watching them make a meal, and then in the next moment we can be in the middle of war torn Afghanistan, staring into the eyes of a child who’s just lost everything. The act of scrolling literally brings us in and out of worlds we have no background and or real context for. And in these curated worlds we experience a fast and unprocessed depth and range of emotions that come with being dragged and dropped into the screenshot lives of people we most times barely know. But with our desire to be everywhere at all times, we lose the ability to focus on the only space that was designed to hold our finite minds, bodies and souls; the present.
3. It requires you to be omnipotent (all-powerful)
There is something about social media that makes us feel powerful. Maybe it’s the fact that we have a degree of access to anyone in the planet that’s also on social media, or that we no longer have to rely on the traditional gatekeepers of media to qualify our voices and opinions, or maybe it’s that we’re able to destroy someone’s life in 140 characters or less in a way that we can never take back even if we regret it later. Social media massages our reactionary natures and dulls the voice in the back of our heads that reminds us that every thought, opinion and word we speak, needs to be filtered with caution and grace. With social media, we often forget that with great power comes great responsibility and even greater consequences.
While social media has a lot of great advantages, I believe its drawbacks can remind us of how deeply human we are. In our search to know everything there is to know, we are reminded that only God is all-knowing. In our desire to be with everyone we love and despise, anytime we want, we are reminded that only God is all-present. In our lust for power and recognition, we are reminded that only God is all-powerful and perfect enough to hold the responsibility that comes with it.
In our hearts we hate to acknowledge our humanity and accept the fact that we are encased in finite bodies that have limits we cannot exceed. But the beautiful thing is that when we accept those limits, we are better able to turn our focus upwards in worship towards a God who is limitless and perfect in ways we simply cannot grasp, yet can fully trust and totally rest in.
PS. As I wrote in this blog post, I don’t believe that social media is a space that’s conducive towards slow, critical thinking, and productive, healthy engagement. As I try to veer off from having to rely on social media to connect you to my writing, I kindly ask that you subscribe to my blog and share this post with someone else you think would benefit from it!