Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Social Media (12/01/11)
TITLE: Dangers of Online Socializing
By Edmond Ng
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According to TheSocialMediaGuide.com, one of the many definitions of social media is "any media form that displays itself to an open public and encourages interaction between the host and all observers." This definition sums up two key aspects of the social media. The first is the use of any kind of media form for sharing over the Internet, and the other is interaction. Social media, therefore, involves sharing and participating in activities on the Internet, through blogging, commenting, social networking, instant messaging, and the likes.
The ability to socialize and interact with people online through the social media is reckoned by many as one of the greatest breakthrough since the introduction of computers and information technology. Despite the many advantages of social media, however, there are drawbacks which few people realize. These drawbacks include the monitoring and tracking of our behavior patterns, through what we post, share online, and the sites we visit, to allow the placement of related advertisements to lure us to other commitments and sites.
Another drawback of social media is the danger of sharing too much about our private lives to the public, which can affect others or how others view us. Our bosses, colleagues, relatives, and friends, for example, may think of us as weak or ill-mannered reading some of our status update on social networks. Sometimes, leaks through words of mouth can also spread and cause colossal damage to relationships as a result of people sharing what they read from our social media postings.
The Bible warns us not to let corrupt communication proceeds out of our mouths, but to let what is good and edifying minister grace to the hearers. We are also to let all our bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away alongside with all malice (Ephesians 4:29, 31).
This warning and advice from the word of God, although relates primarily to the use of speech, is also applicable to how we should communicate on the Internet. We should not let negative words proceed from us, for such words can hurt others and expose us to ridicule. Remember, we are to give account every careless word we use on the day of judgment (Matthew 12:36). If, therefore, we have a message of encouragement for the people, we should share this instead (Acts 13:15). Whether we are using videos, images, music or other types of media files, let us always share only whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, or praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8).
<i>Dear Lord, forgive us for too often sharing to the world things that do not edify or minister. Help us not let our bitterness, wrath, anger, thoughtless words, and private lives hurt or mislead others. Remind us constantly to share words of encouragement and things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable or praiseworthy. Protect us Lord from the vices that constantly attempt to lure us away from You or into unnecessary commitment. Do not allow us to fall prey to the evil one O Lord, but guide us by Your Spirit to take full advantage of tools like the social media for the extension of Your kingdom.</i>
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