Is Twitter making you bitter?
AJ Turner III
We no longer need to pick up a newspaper to find out what is going on in our world. Instead, we open an app. With a few clicks on a phone or a tablet, we can find information about anything our heart desires.
Social media lets us interact with people we most likely would not know or stay in touch with. It provides a window into others’ lives and allows us to know things we wouldn’t have known otherwise.
Social media can bring out the best in people, but more often than not, it brings out the worst in people.
Having so much info at our fingertips has its benefits. But it also has its setbacks. Have you gotten on social media with good intentions only to fall down a rabbit hole and end up regretting getting online to begin with?
Social media can bring out the best in people, but more often than not, it brings out the worst in people. So next time you find yourself involved in a hurtful thread, here are some tips to get you through.
Instead of Getting Bitter Get Better
Rather picking up your phone or tablet when you’re bored, pick up a book. The Bible is always a good suggestion. Instead of grazing through your social media feed, feed yourself God’s Word or learn something new. If you need a good book suggestion, check out these recommendations from our campus pastors.
James 1:21 tells us to, “get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” When we get rid of what brings us down and fill up on what benefits us, we’ll find ourselves getting better rather than getting bitter.
Be a Leader Not a Follower
If you want your social media feed to be filled with wholesomeness, then fill it with uplifting and encouraging stuff yourself. Lead by example. Also, choose carefully who you friend or follow.
The apostle Paul writes, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:29-32).
Fill your timeline with people who build each other up instead of tearing each other down. Make an intentional effort to speak life into the otherwise dry landscape of social media.
Just Turn It Off
We’ve all been given the gift of free will. We have the freedom and ability to make decisions. We can choose what we want to do, and we can choose what we don’t want to do. So if you find yourself being attacked or attacking others every time you get online, you can turn it off.
Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The pattern of this world is to be on at least one or two social media platforms. One study found that teens spend up to nine hours a day on social platforms, and 30 percent of all time spent online is spent on social media interaction.
As we spend less time conversing online and more time conversing with God, we find our thoughts, dreams, and ideas beginning to line up with His.
In this day and age, it can feel like a sacrifice to avoid social media altogether. But as we spend less time conversing online and more time conversing with God, we find our thoughts, dreams, and ideas beginning to line up with His. We begin to see the glass as half full, and hopelessness is replaced by hope in God’s goodness and His promises.
Instead of seeing all we lack on Instagram, we’re reminded of all we are in Christ. Instead of getting discouraged by all the fake news on Facebook, we’re encouraged by the good news of the Gospel.
Social media can seem like an endless pit of people airing opinions. It doesn’t take long to figure out that getting louder doesn’t make things better. Bitterness only hurts you and the people around you. And more often than not social media leaves you bitter rather than make you better.
So if social media leaves you angry and upset, flee from the temptation (i.e. get off social media altogether) or change the conversation. Stop consuming what everyone else is saying, and be a positive voice in the middle of the mayhem.