When talking about social media’s effect on most of us in 2023, we have to factor in three years of living with a global pandemic. Covid-19 has caused a likely radical increase in the use of social media as a substitute for physically spending time with our fellow human beings.
Many of us were deeply involved in this form of “virtual life” for years before the appearance of the virus, though. The pandemic may have expanded and intensified its use, but the trend in many nations was already towards social media becoming hugely important to how we relate to each other, for better or worse.
It has already proven to be a “double-edged sword.” Many studies are already on record about how this technology is “rewiring” the way we look at relating to others, and not always for the better. This is true in every nation with Internet access.
A verification check this week indicated the number of people on social media mentioned last week was undercounted by at least two billion. Apparently, the latest figures indicate that 4.26 billion people use it! That, by the way, is more than half the world’s population.
As Christ-followers it is vital that we engage our culture to reach the most souls with His message. With that in mind, no believer can stay in the dark about profound effects of this new development in our history. For better or worse, as representatives of Jesus in the 21st century (including in the airlines), we ignore the profound changes and challenges caused by social media at our own peril, and that of the Gospel.
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8 NASB
This thought was written by Shea Oakley. Shea is Principal Contributor for FCAP Social Media and also serves on our Advisory Board.