Social media – specifically Facebook – presents some significant opportunities that did not exist a decade ago, in multiple areas of life. But there are also significant spiritual dangers that Christians should seriously consider, and not go blindly into the world of social media without considering the pitfalls. Some would say that Christians should not use Facebook at all.
The first and most obvious danger of Facebook is vanity, especially for people who are young and attractive. A particularly well-shot profile picture can bring lots of adulation and a swelled ago. Pictures of children or pets can serve the same end vicariously. Given the many Biblical warnings against pride, Christians should consider what we put on Facebook and why we’re really posting it.
Another danger is adultery. Much has been made about the connection between social media and adultery, especially evidence linking Facebook and divorce. Connecting with a high school or college sweetheart can lead a Christian down a dangerous path that would not have necessarily been available twenty years ago. Obviously, sin proceeds from the heart, not technology. But we should be wary of the increased opportunity for sin presented by the technology in our lives.
Facebook also presents the opportunity for resentment and bitterness. If your life is not what you thought it would be, and you see your Facebook “friends” doing all of these cool and interesting things, it is easy to be dissatisfied with your life and depressed about your station. It is important to remember areas where we have been blessed and be thankful, as we are commanded to do many times in Scripture. Recognizing the temptation to jealousy, resentment and bitterness is important in resisting it.
Obviously, there are many good things about Facebook too, and opportunities to enrich our lives in many ways. But as with any tool, Facebook can have good and bad uses. Some Christians are not on Facebook at all, on principle. Whether one decides to use Facebook or not, it is good to recognize what is on there and to think about why and how you are using it.