By Caleb Keith –
Social media this week and even the past month has been an apocalyptic storm of fire and brimstone. Every time I hop online there is one more thing to fight over. Is it the presidential race, holiday stress, or something in the air that’s getting everybody stirred up? The answer is probably all of the above. I can’t blame any one person or group, in reality every single one of us is to blame. Social media is, as the name suggests, “social”. All of our liking, sharing, and posting determines what our friends and neighbors see when they log in. What’s going on with social media? We are!
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, etc., every one of these services has a couple things in common. Firstly, the content that each person sees is a result of the friends they choose or the people they follow. Secondly, with the click of a mouse that content either dies in your feed or is spread like a virus from you to every single one of your friends. Who we choose to follow, what we choose to like, and what we share isn’t as frivolous as it may seem. Those decisions are important to social media companies looking to make a buck, and they are important to how people view you on social media.
Following, sharing, and liking are the building blocks of the current fire and brimstone nature of social media. The capstone is what I like to call the counter share. Counter sharing is posting an article or even a status that blatantly objects to a popular social media trend. The biggest recent example is the Starbucks cup fiasco. As soon as people saw one post about how some Christians freaked out over a cup, others started counter posting. Most of my Christian friends immediately posted status updates or articles rejecting the lunacy making sure that their friends know they aren’t one of those “crazy” Christians. Counter Posting comes from a desire to defend ourselves even when we aren’t involved. The amount of Christians Counter Posting got the whole cup fiasco more attention then if we all would have just ignored it and let it die in our news feed.
What’s wrong with social media? We are. Our anger is. Our fear is. Most importantly, our sinful nature is. Social media is content generated by sinners for sinners so of course it is as messed up as we are. The old Adam always crawls up and makes us afraid of negative social labels, and we react to it. We cannot write enough posts defending or attacking the right things. There is no social media redemption; there is only Christ. In the Gospel alone we can escape the fire and brimstone of social media, which in reality is the fire and brimstone of our sinful nature reflecting on the computer screen. As we continue liking, sharing and posting, let’s remember that we are not redeemed by what we post, or counter post, on social media, but by the blood of the Lamb, who died and rose for our sins.