Friendship

Tweets & Peeps: When Social Media & Friends Collide

Republished from Baptist Bulletin April/May 2017 with permission. © Regular Baptist Press, all rights reserved.

by Daryl A. Neipp

In 2013, researchers conducted an online survey and discovered that 78 percent of users have experienced a rise in arguments and hostility within social media platforms.

Specific findings include these:

  • 3 in 4 have witnessed an argument on social media;
  • 4 in 5 report rising incivility online;
  • 2 in 5 have blocked, unsubscribed, or unfriended someone as a result;
  • 1 in 5 have reduced in-person contact with someone over a cyber argument;
  • 88 percent believe that people are less polite on social media than in person;
  • 81 percent say emotional conversations held on social media are most often unresolved.
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Why Can't We Be Friends?

Today’s ideas about “biblical” love, dating, and courtship come from a variety of sources. Notable influencers in this area have been Bill Gothard, Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye), Josh McDowell and Richard Ross (True Love Waits). I’m sure all of us are affected by our own experiences as a young person navigating the mine field of romantic relationships, and all this combined together may add up to more confusion than clarity.

My biggest concern is the lack of Bible in “biblical” advice about The Search for a Spouse. The Bible guides us in several ways, including command, doctrine, principle, precedent, and illustration. Taking in all the preaching and teaching I’ve heard over the years would lead me to believe that there is a mandate for every Christian to focus on acquiring a spouse with an accompanying list of commandments so each can find The Right One.

We are not very quick to acknowledge the few clear Scriptural reasons we are given to pursue marriage: to avoid fornication, as a picture of Christ and the church, and to raise godly children. Even though Paul advocates for singlehood, we can ignore him whenever he speaks by permission and not of commandment. Right?

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