Social media. The topic often brings negative associations.
We’ve all seen those posts that make us cringe.
You know the ones.
When people share WAY too much information.
Or worse, when social media is used to slam others and stir up drama.
When things are said online that would never be said in person.
But what if we could recognize social media for the powerful tool that it is, and choose to use it for good?
The ways that social media can be used are as limitless as our imaginations. But I want to mention four ways that I have seen it used in ways that benefit others.
- Support, Encouragement and Building Up:
This one has touched my life personally, when others have used social media to reach out to me to support, encourage and build me up.
Sometimes, we can send a Facebook message or even an encouraging comment on a post easier than we can pick up the phone to call someone.
Although our focus is on social media, a text may be used in the same way. Sometimes it is good to get a phone call, or a card or something, but in the world we live in, a few heart-felt words sent by the most available method can really mean a lot.
- Making Prayer Needs Known/Responding To Prayer Needs:
Social media is a very efficient way to ask for prayer, and to find out when others stand in need of prayer.
So many times, I see prayer requests made by people who I don’t see or talk with very often, but I can stop in the middle of scrolling through a news feed long enough to lift them up to the Father in prayer.
I also know that others have prayed for me because of a request on social media.
- Sense of Community:
Social media can help us feel connected to others. Even those who are far away.
I have family and friends who I don’t see very often, but I can stay connected through Facebook. (This is just the one I use most often. The same can be accomplished through Instagram or Snap Chat, or whatever platform you prefer.)
I even have friends who live in Nicaragua, who I may only see once a year, but we still stay in touch, building and strengthening relationships as we share life together through online communication.
Social media is a great way to share the Gospel! You never know who you are reaching when you share your faith online.
My family has asked me before why I accept friend requests from people I don’t even know..I don’t accept all friend requests…we have to exercise good judgement..but I do accept most.
Because I don’t know who God might be sending my way for a purpose.
That person I don’t know may be just the person who needs to hear something that God puts on my heart to say.
And just maybe, there might also be a message that God wants to send to me through the post of someone else on social media.
You just never know.
So, just remember, social media is just a tool in our hands. We can use it any way we want. We can tear down or build up. We can even share our faith online, with a much more vast audience than we would have in the course of a normal day.
Yes, it can be a time-suck. (We just have to make a choice to control how much of our time it dominates.) And yes, some people do use it inappropriately, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a great thing when used in the right way!