How to Quit Facebook, Twitter, & Social Media, or Maybe Not!

Connection

Recently, I wrote a two-part blog post on ending isolation and loneliness. However, when I wrote the blog I intentionally did not include one aspect of connecting with others common in this day and age, social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms are an integral part of our society, but they can contribute to our isolation and loneliness. As a result, many people think the answer is to quit social media, but canceling our accounts is not the answer. In Unfriend Yourself: Three Days to Detox, Discern, and Decide About Social Media Kyle Tennant provides some simple strategies to effectively use social media, which is the basis for this posts advice.

Social media has been criticized for creating a lot of disconnect within our culture. Often critics of social media platforms claim society cannot communicate well as evidenced by their lack of eye contact or short attention spans. Despite being able to communicate easier, communication is no longer genuine or intimate. However, Tennant claims social media itself is not bad, it is our use of Facebook, Twitter, etc. that contributes to our disconnection. This begs the question, “how should we use social media to end our loneliness and isolation, or at all?” Tennant provides two suggestions to this question.

1. Social Media is a Supplement

According to Tennant we should use social media as a means to “supplement” our relationships. He believes that we should never use social media to primarily communicate with any individual. Social media is an artificial form of communication that lacks an intimacy, but can coordinate intimate events. Therefore, we should not terminate our social media accounts, but wisely use them to enhance our real world relationships. Social media is a tool to end our isolation and loneliness as we enhance our personal relationships not to only have virtual relationships.

2. Social Media Should Glorify God

Tennant wrote Unfriend Yourself for practical and for spiritual purposes. He believes that social media can help supplement our intimacy because our personal relationships can glorify God. In Genesis 2:18 God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” Humans were meant for intimacy with one another, and with God. So social media should not be used for our entertainment or to pass time, but intentionally. As a result, social media should be used to point others towards Christ, which is the best way to glorify God. This means we should strive to avoid negativity because this not only hurts a Christian’s testimony, but it also separates the intimacy God seeks for us to have with another.

Social Media

3. Conclusion

We all want to be connected with each other and we all want to minimize our isolation and loneliness. I believe the largest step we can take today is to strategically use social media towards genuine intimacy. Logging off social media does not mean cancelling our accounts. It means intentionally choosing to connect with others through face-to-face contact, phone calls, or even writing letters. God personally connected with us through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ because He wants intimacy with us. How we relate to another serves as practical practice for God’s spiritual intimacy. Let’s be strategic!

“Lincoln’s Battle With God” by Stephen Mansfield

Unknown

“Lincoln’s Battle With God” by Stephen Mansfield

The book chronicles Lincoln’s life and faith from the time of his childhood up until his death. Both at the start of the book and at the end of the book Mansfield does not ever indicate if Lincoln was a Christian or not. Rather throughout the book he presents compelling evidence that could suggest both possibilities. This is because Lincoln often referred to the creator, but rarely to Christ himself.

Two notable events stand out from the book. The first is when he lived in New Salem, Illinois he actually wrote a leaflet that he read to other people explaining why God COULD NOT exist. The leaflet was never found because someone who saw Lincoln’s potential grabbed it from him and burned so it could not be used against him. However, there is a lot of documentation to point towards the former existence of the leaflet. One such example was that the town referred to Lincoln as an “infidel.”

This leads to the other significant event that supports the concept that Lincoln believed in God and possibly Christ. While he was at his Father-In- Laws house in Lexington, KY Lincoln found a book in the library that prompted him to reconsider his views on God. The title interested Lincoln because it used the word “infidel.” In fact the precise name of the book was, “The Christian’s Defense, Containing a Fair Statement, and Impartial Examination of the Leading Objections Urged by Infidels.” Needless to say in Lincoln’s pursuit of God this title would intrigue him. He went so far as to request a copy of the book, meet the author, and people remember seeing it at the White House.

Beyond these two events Mansfield paints a Lincoln that has at the least a very general belief in God and perhaps a belief in Christ. He never tries to say it is either. Also, the book addresses the death of his sons, the depression he faced and how faith played a role, and his marriage with Mary Todd Lincoln. Some of favorite parts of the book are when Lincoln was a boy and he heard the traveling evangelists. Mansfield wrote that it was through his imitation of them and his mother’s appreciation for poetry that Lincoln became the orator that history records.

In application Lincoln’s Battle With God allows the reader to see the worldview of President Lincoln. It also allows one to investigate their own worldview. For example, even if Lincoln was not a Christian one can learn that Christianity does not have to adhere to the lines drawn by humanity. In fact this approach frustrated Lincoln. Rather it is more important to have a holistic biblical view of God and more importantly Christ. President Lincoln refused to accept what others insisted were orthodox Christianity without consulting the bible itself. Christians should also put more stock in reading God’s word than just accepting what the it taught as church tradition. Let us read the word of God and allow God to guide us more than the customs in church we have created.