Use And Misuse Of Social Media

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“Nothing has so touched entirely the soul of human existence; after God, it is the social Media”. — Dimka Philip

In today’s dealings, nothing has so exerted direct impact on the lives of both men and women alike; young and old; rich and poor; the farmer and the Teacher alike; the student and the working class; the unbeliever and the child of God- nothing has so altered our lifestyle, culture, principles, norms dreams, aspirations; even our society in a whole…but the social Network/ Media. since it began, numerous platforms from to yahoo messenger 1998 and Facebook 2004 and so on.

As a Christian youth, you need to constantly ask yourself how you use the internet (social media). Also, how do my decisions and goals dictate my behavior on the internet even most importantly; at what point and how do the applications, networking, processes, people I meet online influence me? How is that changing my behavior and as a result, my life?
1. Evangelism - One great importance of the social media especially to the church is the fact that it serves a great tool for Christian evangelism. This is because social networking sites and of course the media, cut across boundaries, the social media has “penetrated the hardest of barriers; they have broken the strongest of resistance” all to unite different civilizations and cultures- it is therefore a sure-effective tool for Christian evangelism. Matt 24:14
2. Research and Advance studies 3. Talent Development and skill acquisition
4. Engaging better minds (Academic forum and group) 5. Purchase of goods (Konga, Jumia, Alibaba etc.)
6. Academic development 7. Communication – Written, audio and video
8. Marketing/Advertisement 9. Access to Newspapers/News updates
10. Healthcare 11.Job opportunity 12. Learning Languages – Online teachers and translators
1. Networks/ Social Media Addiction – Our Smart phones have been designed to be addictive. Every single activity comes with a notification alert so you are forced to refer to it each moment. These devices have been carefully designed to greatly appeal to users and actively engage us, highly interactive and easily usable.
Our generation is one at risk to be an addict generation, not just addicted to drugs and substances, but to the media, to social networks and gadgets. They are designed to be interactive, thus have a way of engaging the users’ whole sense. So, when the Christian youth does not take note of this, the problem begins. Deep engrossment or uncontrolled use of the social media disassociates us from faith-building lifestyles. — 1 Corinthians 6.12
An addiction can be fun in the immediate, but could cost you something vital in the long run.
2. Chatting During Worship/Classes - Many times, young people have been found “2go-ing”, “whatsapp-ing”, “Facebook-ing” or even watching videos or listening to music with their media devices- in church- during worship. Spending many hours watching movies, soap operas; MTV, Big Brother Africa; uncontrolled use of the internet, Social networking: engaging in Facebook , BBM, whatsapp, twitter, 2go, Skype will negatively reduce your time of devotion in one way or the other. Mal 1:6
3. Choosing Ungodly Role Models - The Christian youth must be aware that he/she is constantly being influenced by what he/she see or hear or engages with on the social media; and more importantly, know that they also influence those with whom they interact either positively or negatively. Check the lives of the so called celebrities and actors you are looking up to; they can hardly even keep their homes, most end in divorce, display perversions; having one scandal or the other. II Cor 6:14
4. Revenge Pornography – Circulating sexually explicit photographs or videos without consent. While it is possible to commit the crime without a smartphone, however, it is the ubiquity of mobiles fitted with cameras and internet browsers that have made the crime to soar. In many countries revenge pornography carries many years of imprisonment for offenders. Ezekiel. 22:9-12
5. Cyber Bullying – Cyber bullying is the uses of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. By definition, it occurs among young people. When an adult is involved, it may meet the definition of cyber-harassment or cyber stalking, a crime that can have legal consequences and involve jail time.
6. E-Cultism/MysticismBeware of thinking that you are immune from cult involvement; the cults have millions of members around the world who once thought they were immune, and still don’t know they are in a cult! The Internet/ social media are a major tool for recruitment. Christian youths must never visit websites that promote horoscope, witchcraft and Satanism. Some online games are cunningly scripted to initiate players. Gal 5:20
7. Yahoo Yahoo! A crime in which the perpetrator develops a scheme using one or more elements of the Internet to deprive a person of property or any interest, estate, or right by a false representation of a matter of fact, whether by providing misleading information or by concealment of information. Lev 19:13
8. Internet Romance and Datingusing the Internet to arrange meetings with other people in the hope of finding someone to have a romantic relationship with. Many undiscerning youth have fallen victim of online predators.  
9. E-betting – also known as Internet gambling or I-Gambling. John 19:23-24
10- Online Riots, Rebellion and related harmful use of the social media for terrorism and other criminal purposes. Some emoticons have been introduced on Whatsapp to promote homosexuality and other unscriptural ways of life the undiscerning Christian user may not be aware of. (I Sam 15:23)
In conclusion, to build a healthy online lifestyle, we must try to answer the questions: what do I do when online? How much time do I spend online? How do I interact online? Do I glorify God? What if my parents, youth leader, Pastor or even Jesus check my phone or online activities will they be pleased? Do I have dark corners on my laptop or phone? Do I have secret Facebook or other social media accounts set up for dark dealings? Do I remain a believer even when online?
Proper use of the social can facilitate success for youths in various ways (awards, scholarship, etc.) while wrong use of the social media results in academic failure, backsliding and eventual damning of the soul.

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