"In a new analysis of 1 million U.S. teens, my co-authors and I looked at how teens were spending their free time and which activities correlated with happiness, and which didn’t. . . . In one experiment, people who were randomly assigned to give up Facebook for a week ended that time happier, less lonely and less depressed than those who continued to use Facebook." IntellectualTakeout
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:
". . . in the digital playground that is Facebook, our inputs are binary. We either completely like something or we don't; we either completely share something or we don't."
I have joined many parenting- and homeschool-related Facebook groups over the last few years, as well as groups for mom bloggers. Most of the groups I belong to were started by Christian women seeking to help others.
I think it’s fun to log on, see what people are asking about, give a short answer, and move on to the next item in my news feed, because I enjoy the apparent efficiency of digital communication. It’s on my time, and my terms. I answer what I want, when I want. I can think about what I want to say, write and edit and rewrite until I’m satsified. It feels good to think I might have helped someone work out a problem. So that’s a good thing—right?
Not when you realize the extent to which we can choose what we want to reveal and conceal, and the lack of consequences if we don’t exercise wisdom and discernment. I believe these are reasons Facebook groups offer an enticing alternative to personal discipleship.
Christians. Purveyors of truth, protectors of principle, stewards of integrity … until we pass on a fake news story or get hooked by clickbait.
We want to be good examples to our children and students so we can teach them biblical principles of honesty and integrity (Proverbs 12:17, Colossians 3:9), but it’s far too easy in today’s world to react to and share a story before we think it through.
And then with one click, we can spread a lie to a few thousand of our closest friends.
Addressing this issue is a lesson a family can learn together. Here are some useful tips and activities to help you discern truth and avoid passing on gossip and lies.