Whether we want it to be or not, I would say that social media is no doubt going to continue being a part of our daily lives. I don’t see it going anywhere anytime soon! That may feel discouraging if you’ve experienced some of the less than savory aspects of social media, like cyberbullying, unrealistic expectations about beauty, a loss of friendships, debates, arguments, or something else entirely. Social media can quickly become rather discouraging and exhausting, to be sure! But I would say it actually doesn’t have to be that way.
Instead, we as Christ-followers can seek to do a redeeming work on social media as Jesus’ ambassadors and as His hands and feet. How? Well, here are 5 ideas for how to use social media for good:
Use it to learn and grow.
We’re quickly nearing the end of another big election year. This means tempers are too often flaring and online debates are taking off like wildfire. Leading to this is our seeming inability to follow the instructions of James 1:19 to be “slow to speak and quick to listen”. We’re too busy talking over each other to get anywhere! What if we instead harnessed social media as a tool to enable ourselves to learn, to grow, and to be teachable? What a difference it could make if we would have humble hearts determined to hear and understand where the other person is coming from! What a change of atmosphere that would make on social media.
Use it to serve.
Social media has proven to be an excellent tool for getting the word out about people in need and raising funds to help them. Use social media for this good work yourself, in whatever way you can! Start a fundraiser. Share about someone you know who is in need. Highlight the problem of human trafficking, or another human rights violation you are passionate about. Pray and ask God for wisdom and direction on how you can make a difference in your own little corner of social media!
Use it to encourage.
What we see online can be discouraging enough already. The last thing we want to do is add to that! Airbrushed photos, photoshopped content, and expectations of what you *should* do or how you *should* look abound. Refuse to be a part of the problem. Instead, purpose to speak life and encouragement over your friends or followers on social media. Be a shining light of love and encouragement. You may not even fully realize, this side of heaven, how big of a difference you’ll be able to make by God’s grace!
Use it to share God’s Word, His truth, and His love.
Social media is one of the most powerful platforms today for getting God’s Word out to people who need it. (Which is truly all of us!) Brainstorm ways you can harness this power of social media to spread God’s Word. Invite your followers and friends to join you for a weekly Zoom Bible study. Post an encouraging “verse of the day”. Highlight ways that other believers are making a difference around the world, whether they’re missionaries, pastors, volunteers, doctors or caretakers. Read or elaborate on a chapter of the Bible each day in your Instagram Stories. Post “good news of the day” highlights for some uplifting encouragement. Be creative and make it your own, but share God’s Word faithfully and freely. This is a powerful way to use social media for good!
Use it to spread truth, not bias.
This is a big one, especially during a year like 2020! I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve come across a post or article claiming something that later turns out to be untrue. May we as Christ’s ambassadors do a better job than this. May we be faithful to do our own due diligence. Take a minute to conduct some research, and see if things are true before you offer a biased knee-jerk reaction and click “share”. May we walk by the Spirit in our social media feeds.
Friends, these are just five ways that you can begin using social media for good today! Undoubtedly you can come up with several more yourself. I encourage you to take some time to pray and brainstorm how to do just that. It might make an even bigger difference than you realize!