While social media venues (Facebook, Twitter, in particular) were originally touted as perfect communication tools for family and friends living far away, these forms of communication have turned into Pandora boxes of communication.

Seeing pictures of far-away friends and family always fills my heart with joy. For anyone living away from their roots or special friends, they understand this gift. But if gone unchecked, this “gift” can suck you dry emotionally. Consider how social media has changed our lives.

Social Media can steal your time. Social media has the tendency to be a black hole in our lives. Often we open our accounts (our good intention is to open it for just minute), and before we know it hours have passed and we’re still staring at the screen. That’s time gone forever with little-to-nothing to show for it.

Social Media can offer a false sense of reality. “How many friends do you have?” is a question many ask when discussing social media accounts. Don’t let the definition of Facebook friends confuse you. How many of your “friends” would come over in the middle of the night if you needed help? Remember your real friendships and take care of those relationships.

Social Media opens us to unwarranted criticism. We all have navels and opinions. That used to be accepted as the norm. But on social media, however, the “norm” is when one person’s opinion matches everyone else’s. Showing a different viewpoint often opens you to hatred from countless sources. The anonymity that surrounds social media has made vipers out of the most docile social media participant. Would you accept that comment from a friend sitting with you over a cup of coffee? If the venom that’s spewed over social media is hurtful, it may be best to disengage immediately.

Hmm, why again is social media so popular?

Recognize it as a tool, not a way of life. Control your forms of communication and don’t let them control you.

And for the love of all that’s right in the world, please be nice to one another. It’s perfectly acceptable to acknowledge any differences we may have, but civility and respect must be greater than our drive to be “right”. Jesus had a word or two on that:

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 NIV

Don’t get caught-up in the social media dilemma. Stick with Jesus’ comment. And if that gets you unfriended, what exactly have you lost?

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