“Nothing has so touched entirely, the soul of human existence; after God- it is the Social Media/network.”

— Dimka Philip

Quote  —  Posted: April 1, 2014 in Uncategorized
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Over the years, the social media and the cyberspace has evolved to become user-friendly, personalized and easily accessible across different platforms. The internet and the social media has become so personalized that it becomes part of one’s life and become fun especially for young people.

This singular adaptive feature of the social media and the internet gives it acceptance and usage across large age groups; and makes it look & feel safe an environment. But the big question remains: is it that safe?

The major concern for us in answering this question today is to ascertain the nature of the internet and what we send into it.

Try to picture a standard sized swimming pool filled with water. Again, picture yourself throwing coins into the pools at different time intervals. Let it even take years so to say, the coins will still remain there and whenever they are needed, any good swimmer can dive in and find all the coins, with none missing. Draining the water even will not get any of them lost.

So it is with the cyberspace. The internet is such a place as the swimming pool described above.

195239547One thing the average internet user has not found out is that whatever you send into the internet can never be lost or deleted. Yes I mean nothing you ever post on the internet can ever be recalled. Again, yes, your delete key function is not for real.

The internet is one large black hole, and most people are not aware of. It is an embodiment that is not defined by space, whatsoever. I could say it is alive and real to this world, even to the world beyond as time will later prove.

So, whatever you release into this “intelligent embodiment” remains alive in it and could be recalled or retrieved in a hundred or even thousand years to come. That is why users must think about their future while using the internet & cyberspace. The delete key function can delete a file or document from a device but cannot erase the trace it leaves behind. That’s why advance recovery software today can retrieve lost/deleted files form any saving device.

Today, a lot has been made easy through technological advancement and these leaps in time should concern any young person out there using the net.

We now have “wayback machine”, a digital archive of the World Wide Web and other information on the Internet created by the Internet Archive, which enables you to capture, manage and search collections of digital content without any technical expertise or hosting facilities. This means that this company host and manages contents from websites across the globe and can be gone back to in time.

This simply presupposes that in the nearest future [though this, I believe is already obtainable in advanced civilizations], employers of labor can simply get information about stuffs you have posted in the net, which could in turn promote or hunt you.

The government will someday have right to pull off private stuffs you might have been keeping away.

One of the costliest mistake to ever make as regards the internet is to believe it is safe. It is not. As a result, sexting has been on the rise. Sexting is the act of sending explicitly sexual messages or photographs between cell phones. Combining a sensual photo with text messages is creating a sext. Believing it’s a safe zone, many have hidden behind this mechanism to perpetrate evil. But this could only be for a while. All things online are very accessible.

Oversea, many universities have hired professionals to research what prospective students have released on the Internet. Most teens don’t look far enough into the future to actually see the big picture. Their world is immediate & that is dangerous.

Rather than follow the trend of the World as regards social media and the internet, young believers must explore productive ways to engage their world seeking positive ways to contribute excellently to our passing generation.

Consider the internet as an unimaginably large capacity external hard drive that collects information about not just things but people all over the world.

I strongly opine that the internet today, is mostly evolving to house the databases of people from around the world; including their locations, interests, life goals and aspirations, abilities, capabilities, etc. Such that they can be incapacitated at any time.

I fear that our Internet/digital tech companies are doing more than just providing portable and affordable internet services downloadto people around the world. They daily update their databases with your preferences, post and general data for only God knows what purpose.

Early 2013, a friend drew my attention to a warning that most sites will begin to require personal data of internet users when they come seeking information, to gain track of their activities online and most of them are for ungodly gains. I noticed the rapid increase of this demand in the years 2014-2015. Today, this reality is something else.

What should you post online? For me, The Bible’s Book of Philippians 4.8 answers this quiet well. It says: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 

The truth is, whatever you should want to post online, on any social media platform should meet the above stated criteria. We must aim to exhort, encourage, grace and improve whoever we come in contact with.

We must bear it well in mind that someday whatever post online will either speak for or against us in near time to come. We should also hold on to the fact that whatever hidden things we harbor on our phones to the satisfaction of sinful nature is not secured no matter how much we keep it secure. Your devices [mostly android] are largely insecure by many instances. Many phones, emails, facebook accounts, etc are being hacked by the day.  Whatever the case, a big advice will be: do not keep personal stuff on your devices, because any grade one hacker can access most of it.

Therefore, Christian Youths must shun all forms of ungodly addiction and explore all means to feed on worthy things that will build and sustain the God-purity in them. We must be determined to stay pure even online. The internet as I have always said is meant to be a tool, one we can employ greatly for our good.

I must say at this point that, we can hardly guard against releasing our basic information to the world, e.g, the government and other agencies through forms we fill and other things. It might not mean anything to the average person now, but it amounts to a lot in the reign of the “strong man”. What will keep us apart is our unwavering faith in Jesus Christ when the time comes.

May we find grace to thrive in righteousness and share the same with our cyber-world.

 

Superiority. Relevance. Identity, Image. Public Perception. All these govern the interactive process on the cyberspaces, especially the Social Media space.
The more you interact, the more you want to dominate. The more you engage, the more you want to be termed relevant. The more you are recognized the more you want to be identified with. The more you are identified with, the more it writes on you and therefore desire a more polished self image. And of cause, the more we might want to keep up with Appearances.
In this spirit, the social media platforms becomes our daily diary. As I thought about what I had observed over the years, I told myself, Facebook is not a diary. It shouldn’t be. Again I recalled, social media is only a tool and should not form the rules.
The socsocial-media-imageial media has become for us today the very battle ground for putting forth our ideologies to our friends and followers. We struggle to share what we believe, in fact that is not really a problem, but we begin to fight hard to make sure others agree with us; and that’s where I’m sure the problem lies. If at all we believe in the saving power of the Gospel of Christ, We share and trust God to transform…so it should be even online. What we believe to be true, we can only hope others believe to be true also, but not be offended with the fact that they do not.
Lately, the social media has been booming with a lot of “hot topics” ranging from politics, to religion, social, economic & even intellectual issues. The tendency is there for believers to engage in these issues, which is not in any way a problem, but how do we engage and not cause problems? As Ben Carson rightly pointed out in his address in a Fellowship Foundation National Breakfast Prayer; it is difficult to address a large group of people these days without offending anyone. This is quite hard and has become the issue each and every Christian addressing issues online must face. Should we compromise to satisfy the expectation of all in order to achieve our place in the scheme of things or be careful to rightly divide truth and leave it to achieve its purpose? Another question that arises for us even is: what is the nature of truth? Especially in the open world. In this critical race, it is important to know that, we are not the only ones online who seek to dominate, who seek to be heard or gain relevance, in truth, everyone online seek that whether are conscious of it or not.
As we strive to put forth what we believe to be true, we must be sure that we indeed hold this truth and have began to defend it with our lives and general conduct even before convincing “our World” to buy it for free.
A great disadvantage the social media instills which is linked to persistent use is in that fact that it gradually begins to influence and thus define the self-concept of users.
Like. Comment. Share. Tag. Retweet. Follow. Followers, etc. All these are instruments of social media medium of validation. They function to convey to a sense of acceptance, identification & validation. These tools are used to allow those around us on the cyberspace communicate with us. Thus, they end up becoming our platform to define self online. Many believe the much friends they have than others make them more popular. The more likes, the more acceptance; the more shares, the more relevance. So that when one makes a post and there are no likes, it begin to tell upon one’s psyche.
Thus, Peoples’ response to our post and comments begin to form the basis upon which we define relevance to ourselves and what we post.
When we reach a point where we solely rely upon this type of validation from people, we begin to lose meaning to our role even online, which goes a long way to affect our physical & socio-interaction. How this happens is that we slowly drift from the true meaning of our message to look upon how we hope to reach others to impress. This is terrible for interaction.
The whole underlying principle for social media interaction is misleading. Our content online is not meant for others, at least it shouldn’t be. That’s the impression being made. It is meant first for us. We must first digest and use these contents, believe in their validity before we share with the world. That is the function of the Jesus we received. That we would have Him and are made of Him before we are qualified to share Him with others. That’s what breed effectiveness of interaction even in the cyberspace.
Again, we try to use the instrument of media to talk to others. This is not a bad idea, but it can be a bad idea. This is what I mean; we must not allow the media to become the tool we use to address peoples’ issue. That’s what is rampant today. We must not imbibe the habit of always talking of & about others and forgetting to always speak to ourselves. The social media tools, especially facebook tends to make us the “saints” that we are not. There is a thin line between that and addressing public issues, online. This also must be done with caution.
Today, even more tomorrow, the opportunities the internet, cyberspace and even the social media holds abounds and will continue to do, greatly.
The internet will see great explosion in the coming years. Speedy advancements will be experienced in different areas that will change the way we interact with the media and internet. This will involve the uniqueness of cyber products and services, the ease with which they can be accessed and the opportunities they afford.
The internet, online and offline media will witness great personalization and therefore attract great attention during these years. Specialized advancements to accommodate the younger generation will be experienced. This will give a greater rise to social media usage than we are witnessing now.
The Christian youth must become aware of these dynamics and thread carefully in this Technology-inclined World today. We must remind ourselves that the media is only but a tool and should be only handle thus.
In all: 15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people);
Ephesians 5.

 

Besides their skin, what the average human being in the 21st century would always want to carry along at every instance is their mobile phones. Nomophobia” (No-mobile-phone-phobia) is the fear of not having a mobile phone or not carrying one’s mobile phone. This refers to the intense anxiety and fear that overcomes an individual when they don’t have their smart or mobile phones on them. People run into a brief  state of panic or experience an episode of mild shock whenever they can’t find their phones or are not able to use it temporarily.

According to a report by Ofcom (the communications industry regulator in Britain), which released figures in May 2015, the average amount of time spent online has more than doubled from 9.9 hours a week 10 years ago to 20.5 hours. Also, a separate report suggests that the average Briton checks their phone 50 times in one day. (I now begin to wonder how much time the average Nigerian spends online…your guess is as good as mine). As a result, researchers in America have released a 20-point questionnaire to establish quite how addicted you are to your phone. This is to say nomophobia is becoming an issue, a clinical one even.

Smart-phones, tablets, devices…they have become so real to this generation as the food we eat or the clothe we wear. Many can sacrifices alot to keep their phones close; being the first thing they see and touch at dawn and the last they relate with before bed. Prayers for some believers is even becoming secondary. Some believers because of love for these things have even digitalized our devotions, taking them online. That’s good, but this comes with its own limitations.

Phone addiction can become just as damaging as an addiction to alcohol or gambling or pre-marital/extra-marital sex. if not guarded, we would be ruining ourselves rather than building. We have to measure the cost of our phone usage, in terms of our relationships, whether you are spending too much time with you device and paying less attention to people. This is because most times we do not rightly divide our time, we get sucked into our phones that we pay less attention to physical interaction on on-spot relationships. We also have to quantify the effect on our personal lives as individuals.

Persistent-addictive-uncontrolled phone usage is known to cause so much damage. It first of all rub us of smooth, effective and efficient interpersonal communication with those around us. These devices so engage us that it becomes hard for us to relate properly to those around us. This inhibits interpersonal relationship.

Besides, it interferes with our productivity outside the internet. It achieves this by reducing the time, energy and commitment we ought to have channeled into achieving more things per day. It reduces that and daily reduces efficiency.

Smart-phones according to some researches can lead to cancer over years. “Radiofrequency radiation is the type of radiation given off by smartphones, and that radiation can cause imbalances in the human body that can lead to diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. According to the study, people who use their smartphones 20 minutes a day for at least five years are three times more likely to get a brain tumor. What sets this study apart from the others is that the data was collected over the course of 10 years, and offers some compelling evidence to back up its claims. Dr. Yakymenko warns that cancer and other diseases caused by using smartphones can take decades to appear.

In addition, overly phone use can interfere with our sleep circles. If you think that lying in bed and playing games on your smartphone is just harmless fun, then you may want to think again. According to Information Week, mobile computing devices give off a blue light that tricks the brain into thinking that it is still daytime. The brain stops the process of shutting down for sleep, and your sleep cycle is disrupted. Many people who feel that they do not sleep well at night may want to consider whether or not they use their mobile computing devices as they lie in bed. Instead of helping you fall asleep, your smartphone is causing your brain to stay awake and that can have damaging long-term effects. The inability to get the proper amount of rest over the course of many years can lead to high blood pressure and even heart disease.

Smartphone Kills Your Short-Term Memory. A big disadvantage of our smart phone is that it eliminates the need for you to have to remember anything, and that is killing your short-term memory. Before smartphones, people had to memorize phone numbers, dates and important information if they wanted to be able to use it later. But now that smartphones do all of the remembering for us, thus we under use our brain, and it is causing problems with short-term memory.  Some doctors insist that the damage created by people no longer using their short-term memories is similar to receiving head trauma. While you may remember to turn on your favorite television show at night, you might not remember what happened during the course of the day as your short-term memory has been permanently damaged.
Smartphones make life easier, but they can also have damaging long-term effects on your body.

From radiation causing tumors in your brain to the loss of your short-term memory, it is becoming obvious that people need to be more responsible with their smartphone use if they want to avoid serious physical and mental issues as they get older.

These are just few of the effects in addition to failure to meet up with schedules, goals, and appointment; low grades amongst students, etc.

One that has become an issue for we Christian youths is the battle between the media and our Bible. I can’t believe God is struggling with us, with the world. The battle is intense, the price costly. We have so much time, that we don’t have time for the Word. We can chat and surf for hours but can’t study the word for an hour. This give me cause to worry. Which generation then is the herald for the future? We must awaken to the reality that beset us! Imbibe a healthy phone-use habit! Christians must develop discipline. We must Know when to pick our phone and when to drop it.

Finally,  “you wake up in the morning and the first thing you are reaching for is your phone? Then something is wrong with your faith. Jesus must order our lives, not the media.”

Reference for research data:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/mobile-phones/11600815/Are-you-addicted-to-your-mobile-phone.html

http://www.nigerianbulletin.com/threads/how-smart-phone-addicts-are-slowly-killing-themselves.132620/

Needless to reiterate, but pertinent at this point to state, is the fact that I have been actively online for over thirteen years. Constantly engaging (in and out) with the cyberspace. This is not stated to mean that it is so long a time, but we cannot deny that with such time online come lots of experiences. These experiences have been both negative and positive alike. They write upon the lifespan of one’s psycho-sexual, psychological, intellectual, spiritual and social development.

The first lie that every young person has been fed is the “fact” that we cannot be or live apart the general media, especially the social media. Availability for use does not necessitate actual use. When this is balanced, it becomes important. This then leads to the challenge when one interacts with the general media.

One basic challenge that has constantly plugs its head out in my everyday use of the cyberspace is that of retaining my identity while online! This can be viewed in two dimensions: first is the challenge of remaining the believer that you are deep from within while you are online or secondly, assuming a status of “Believer-ship” that you are not to give others an impression of you.

This is a battle fought by young Believers who network on the internet, both the faithful and the only religious Christians. Young people are constantly influenced by the forces on the cyberspace to conform to a certain lifestyle that is not originally theirs. This influence continually opens us up to large chunks of information and broad groups of people who carry diverse ideologies and philosophies that are strange to the kingdom. You scroll, looking through your timelines reading posts, messages from people who you have links to. You are tagged to one post/picture/video or the other. You are mentioned on one issue or another. Your are poked messaged or shared a link. It goes on and on and on, daily. And you life begins to revolve around a pattern: scroll, click, like, comment, share; add, follow, tweet, mention; post, update, add…like that. It doesn’t seem to be a problem from the surface but it builds a motor-behaviour that takes you farther than you subscribed for. Addiction!

Out there are Christian youngsters, who change their Identities online. These include their names, and other bio-data just to become convenient to do one evil or the other. Some hide under this guise to have sex chats, access pornographic content, and or initiate others into this vain venture. Passionate to understand and explore their sexuality while growing up in perhaps a society or family that doesn’t speak about such, many are forced under such aliases online in order to do evil. As a result, the church is filled with active youths who are under the devils bondage. Our young people need help and the church must step in to help them. For all is not well!

Just like the active literal persecution against the church today, there is a psychological and intellectual persecution directed towards the body of Christ. Most of these other forms of persecution are carried out via the instrument of social and general media; even the print media. Strange ideas like atheism, karma, universality of religion; even the new age religion, the centrality of man and so many others are examples of intellectual war been raged upon and against the belief of Salvation in and through Jesus alone. On the other hand, alien doctrines like one must not wait for marriage before sex; nothing like fornication & masturbation is not a problem; sin is relative and only what you define it to be; there is no hell fire, how can a loving God do such; and many others are actually many psychological persecution the church is facing in other to make cold the knees of saints. All these are being advanced over the media, proposed via movies we watch and made appealing to our minds and consciences in the cyberspace. By now we should already know young people are receiving invitations online to join strange fraternities which turn out to teach New Age beliefs, wizardry, free-mindedness and a lot.  

All these and directed towards influencing and changing the lifestyle of the Believer, towards neutralizing and contaminating our faith. But would this evil prevail?

 

For the God-chaser Social-networker, the social media is only a tool and not the rule. It becomes to him or her, a platform for doing good. The limitless tentacles, widespread reach and efficiency of the instrument of media gives it a uniqueness to become undeniably an effective tool for Christian evangelism. Believer-Networkers can first achieve this by simply living the God-live even online. In this way, employing the use of the tools giving by facebook, twitter, whatsapp, BBM, 2go and other platforms to advance the purpose of the kingdom online. Do not belittle the power your words, post, updates, or any information you pass online. You will be amazed the impact it makes on those who use them. Let all be exhorting to those who hear and see them.

Instead of ideal chats and fruitless surfing, we must begin to wisely engage in internet evangelism. All social Networks are dialogue and relationship based which makes it effective for sharing our perspective which is faith-based online. It is not to be viewed as pulpit to preach, rather as a platform to conveniently startup and convey issues regarding our faith in an acceptable manner. We can easily comment, share links to posts, videos, etc that will engage people in the area of interest as regards God’s perspective. We can also reach out to people in countries where open evangelism is banded, via the social media…starting up chats at points of interest leading to issues of salvation. Lastly, we must realize that we have been blessed with the most effective tool yet, to reach the World.

In all:

10 God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

                               Ephesians 2. MSG

The Social/General Media has become so important, integral and self-inclusive to everyday activities that nearly nothing is fully initiated and achieved without employing its usage. This is not to imply nothing can be done without the social media, but you will bear us witness that it has taken over daily living, that it has become and an unavoidable platform- i.e. the general media. It has become a platform to reach a wide rage and great number of people with a click of tune, as the case may be. It cuts across Nations, peoples, civilizations, and geographical limitations. The internet has become the conveyor of such wonder.

Over half a century ago, a satanic prophetess named Alice Bailey set out a ten-point plan designed to weaken the Christian religion and curtail the influence of the Church on earth. [Please feel free to goggle and read about the Alice Bailey]. They believe the Church has been allowed to have much influence in the affairs of things; that if the church gets out of the way, “the plan” will be fully established.

To their success, many international organizations like the United Nations, modern states and international bodies are fully executing that agenda by the use of legislation, [Note: the Pope Francis will be in New York September 25th, 2015 to formally in a UN World Conference, deliver an address to kick off one of such conferences at which the “2030 Agenda” will be unveiled]; also the judiciary and the press while “the church remains largely asleep pursuing denominational agenda that has little or no impact on the kingdom.”

One of the agendas postulated by Bailey and the New Age Movement, as it relates to our issue today is the USE MEDIA TO PROMOTE AND CHANGE MINDSET OF CHRISTIANS. According to Alice Bailey, the greatest medium you need to use to influence and change human attitude is media. Bailey postulated that Use the TV, Radio, Press, Cinema; today use the social media will go a long way to influence Christians. You can tell today how successful they have been in implementing the plan over 50 years now via the media as well as advertising agencies, billboards, magazines.

Who controls media today? The New Age of course. So much money is pumped into media and advertising to spread pornographic material and other contents. For example, sex outside of marriage is thrown on your face 80-90 times than sex in marriage via movies, pornographic sites and social media groups. Promiscuity is being promoted as natural; you watch gay sex on T.V. in homes where children’s minds are being neutralized to sensitivity to these things. You wonder why newspapers, T.V, etc do not record anything about Christian activities, God and promote same. They claim that does not sell. What sells is what is generally acceptable by the World.

The social media has carefully been the platform to reach us (Christians) with specialized contents to weaken our faith in Christ, our consciousness and sensitivity to SIN; also to modify our minds into “rational beings” they say.

Today, Pornography is one of such “black-holes” on the social and Home Medias. One figure that comes up again and again is that 37% of the internet is made up of pornographic material. Many of those people who quoted the figure took it from a press release put out in June 2010 by net filtering firm Optenet. Today, the percentage is sure higher. A writer also said that pornography is the life-blood of the internet and I concur with that. The internet has become a niche for young believers to hide and keep dying in pornography; breeding masturbation, fornication and explicit promiscuity. I have infiltrated groups on BBM, Facebook and Whatsapp that encourage sexual immorality…and I tell you, the identities are that of Christian youths. We must wage war against this fun that has brought us to our den, dens of destruction. Our home Medias preach a strange doctrines about sex and marriage. Firstly, that sex is for all and can be tapped at any time with anyone, therefore negating God’s principles of sex-only-in-marriage; secondly that marriage is not a covenant but a “convenience-agreement”; something that one could start and terminate at any time. Pick average movie and these contents have been promoted. Over decades, these notions have been flying around that is why it was easy to legalize Gay marriage in the US and it does not even cause an uproar and some liberal-minded people (fearfully, including “Christians”) feel everyone has a right to his sexual orientation. This is because, over years, it has been made to appeal to their conscience via the instrument of media.

Many messages are being codded-played into our minds via the media, thus, we must be careful. These include; violence, Free-mindedness, universality of “god” or religion (meaning all religions points towards same God); relativity of truth, etc. we must beware of the media today.  

In their plan to disarm the body of Christ and delude mankind, the New World order in their New Age movement employs the media to DISTRACT & ENGAGE!

It is firstly employed to distract our minds from the real things that matter in our lives. The media serves as an interesting place to spend time. That which appeals to our minds, as it has being designed to and takes us off our goals, plans and aspirations on life. While doing so, it substitutes for us by presenting new and interesting contents, especially things that look like our original goals in life.

Friends, this strategy is usually quiet and subtle. It happens subconsciously that the mind involved is usually not aware of the negative changes that are occurring. No matter how much you believe you are in control of your social media use, please check it. Influence is the end-game. They’d always work to influence the mind of the World. We cannot afford to lose control of our minds. We must keep it safe in Christ.

If you ask me, the New Age movement is working well to achieve its plans to influencing the minds of believers through the Social media. They had a plan and are pursuing it to the later. If you ask me does the church in Nigeria have a plan for the next say ten years? Wait, I know God has a plan, but is the Nigerian church fully aware of this plan and is working at it? Amongst others, the church must awaken to discipleship; raising giants that will withstand the evil out there via the media and not raising giant auditoriums that will be made worthless and destroyed in the soonest coming age. The church must also invest in the media as the world. Thank God for Christian social media like “InstaPray” creating platforms for Christian youths. The church must teach and preach more about the ills of the media [teach those in church] and how to overcome it. Thank God for the work of Bro. Adeshina from Jos.

The World will stop at nothing to defeat us. We must be conscious of this and work to overcome in through the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore:

11  “Besides this you know what [a critical] hour this is, how it is high time now for you to wake up out of your sleep (rouse to reality). For salvation (final deliverance) is nearer to us now than when we first believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Christ, the Messiah)”

Romans 13. (AMP)

Every morning, I have my social media routine. Instagram first – it’s my favorite. I open Twitter, check my email and finally Facebook where I mindlessly scroll and swipe, pausing on the stories that I’m most interested in seeing. Sound familiar?

Throughout my day, I would unconsciously open my browser on my phone, type in “f” and hit enter. My phone knows that “f” in the search bar means Facebook. I’ve trained it that well. Then, a month ago I quit Facebook.

To be honest, I was struggling to see the purpose of my scrolling. I would find myself just wasting time and getting lost in the deep abyss of updates, religious rants and cat videos. I would log off and fail to recall seeing anything of value. Yes, it was nice to be “connected.” But the more often I said it, the less I believed it was actually true.

The average American spends 40 minutes a day on Facebook.(1) And among adult users on the social media site, the average number of friends is 338.(2) So if we do the math, we spend roughly 7 seconds per friend (assuming we haven’t blocked half of them because of their political views, baby pictures, or Farmville invitations!)

I suppose this is why I quit. I didn’t need one more excuse to perpetuate false connections with friends. Being a traveling musician, I am learning to value the time spent face-to-face with people. I long for deeper relationships, broader conversations; to know and to be known. It is becoming more and more difficult to cultivate offline relationships in our online world.

Henri Nouwen says this, “What we see, and like to see, is cure and change. But what we do not see and do not want to see is care: the participation in the pain, the solidarity in suffering, the sharing in the experience of brokenness.”(3)

Care takes time. True connection takes time and presence – much longer than the 7 seconds we allot while we are online. Brené Brown defines connection “as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”(4)

In our ever-present need for social connection, the temptation is to believe that it happens online. That by sharing our opinions, favorite selfies and blogs, we are seen, heard and valued. But we were designed for more. We were designed for an exchange. Jesus’ ministry was not only focused on the masses, but also spent intentionally with his 12 best friends.

The night before he was betrayed and murdered, he gave them the greatest charge. “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples – when they see the love you have for each other.” (John 13:34-35) Jesus revealed that connection was an exchange. A receiving of love and a giving of love. Connection is not something we observe, but rather something in which we participate.

Love is cultivated over time. Quitting Facebook didn’t free up a ton of time and I don’t believe it is the solution to our problem with connection. But it is one less distraction I fight against each day. My hope is to be more present in each moment. To love more fully. To care more deeply. To take serious the charge of Jesus, to love the way He has loved me.

(1) Mark Zuckerberg, Q2 earnings call. Reported by nbcnews.com

(2) Pew Research Center, 6 New Facts about Facebook. Aaron Smith. 2/3/14

(3) Henri JM Nouwen, Out of Solitude

(4) Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection.

https://www.weareworship.com/us/blog-2/quitting-facebook

The goal of every interaction is INFLUENCE! This truth has so many been unaware of. Whether you realize it or not, whether you affirm it or not, the aim of every form of engagement, relationship, whatsoever form of contact—influence is the end-game. The higher authority always greets the lower one. The great over the small, in this case.  Anyone, especially the devote child of God who is able to unravel the mystery of influence in any form of interaction will be mindful of what he/she interacts with and even so, to what extent they relate.

You are basically a product of Nature and Nurture. In other words, a product of Heredity (nature) and Environment (Nurture). Heredity refers to the gene interaction of your parents, thus you look like them; while Environmental factors means the influence that accrue from the society one grows up in, upbringing, etc. While Heredity forms the “plate” and “Blueprint” of the “you” that you know; the environmental becomes the pen that writes upon that “plate” or the “operating system” the “blueprint” runs by. This is a basic Psychological fact. The environment becomes the basic force that models the individual’s beliefs, values, norms; therefore breeding attitudes, character, etc. These include the physical, social, intellectual, even the spiritual environment. Simply put, what you read, watch, listen to, interact with forms the broad influence of your life. It will not be farfetched to say you are presently a product of all these things over the years. Those who disagree with this fact do so in ignorance due to the fact that the influence-process happens subconsciously i.e. below conscious awareness.

In fact, the reason why we are encouraged to keep constant proper communion with Christ is that the more time we spend with Him, the more we are transformed to become like Him. (2 Corinthians 3.18). The more He influences us to produce effective change- to become like Him. Why? Influence remains the key function.

Social Media craze has had a serious grip upon this generation over the past two decades. The media and social networks have served as a link to a large populace not only in Nigeria, but of the whole world. Business, investments, industries, etc; all have found blossom through the internet/media/social media.

This exposition does not intend to make useless the value of the media and social networks or denounce them as totally worthless, no! Neither is it to say that believers must all abstain from it. No. But all Believers must come to a stern realization that “the system of this World is not designed to make us succeed”, in fact it is put in place to destroy our faith! This is not a tentative guess, it is a reliable truth. Check the trend of things in this world, make your findings and evaluate. Also, Believers must make a resolve to deal shrewdly with things of this World, especially the internet, media and social networks as is our focus in this dealing. Make it a habit not to lightly believe everything that comes out of the media! For it is highly orchestrated. Learn to sieve whatever you get from the media. Because when addiction to social media sets in, like other forms of addiction, you don’t care whatsoever…you just “wanna” get more of it. Thus we must instill discipline and order as we relate with the social media.

About Influence again, the greater influence the smaller. Even though this might not really matter when addiction sets in…it becomes only a matter of gratification to satisfy the desire to always connect. Influence cannot be seen, it can only be beheld. Its impact is just made manifested. As Myles Munroe would put it, when purpose [of a thing] is not known abuse is inevitable. So when abuse sets in, addiction is not far away, it follows. Thus influence cannot be regulated. If control is not exercised over our relationship with the social media. Believers become the slave to it. And Paul, cautions and advice that we must become slaves to nothing, especially of this world except to Jesus, of whom he is.

Influence as it is, becomes the point of making of actions, attitudes, character, and indeed behavior. We build our values, beliefs and life principles at the “gate” of influence.  We must first greet with the Word daily before we meet the World we live in daily so as to counter this effect as Believers. A question I ask myself as a social media user is: who is exerting the greater influence over the other…the social media or I? I suggest every Believer-social media user must honestly answer that question. I just hope the older generation does not perceive this question to be only for the younger ones who are using facebook, twitter, whatsapp, BBM and the likes of them. This also includes the general media; entertainment media and other forms of media engagement.

In addition, we need to constantly ask ourselves; how do I use the internet (social media) and even more importantly, how does the internet (including social media) use me? Also, how does my does my decisions and goals dictate my behavior on the internet even most importantly; at what point and how does the applications, networking, processes, people I meet online influence me? How is that changing my behavior and as a result, my life?

Is it also true that whenever you come online, your use of these social networks is PRODUCTIVE?

What forms the major INFLUENCE in your life? The Media/Social Media/Internet? Or the sheer and powerful Word of God?

This is my new-found philosophy: that if I must touch the highest Heaven, if I must access the deepest depth; if at all I must access deep secrets as pertaining to the Kingdom; if I must plunge into that ever-flowing spiritual river; if I must tap into spiritual visions in highest realms, deep truths of God,  then I must reshuffle my table of Influence, removing myself from this unreal world that has hijacked the destinies of many and hand over same to Yeshua for constant divine spirit-transformational experience. Jesus must be our daily influence. Greet with the Word of God daily before you meet your World. That’s how you keep in charge.

In all:

18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 3:18 King James Version (KJV)

The birth of Social networks gave rise to social media addiction; the introduction of Smart Phones concerted and established this societal-derogatory venom. Quote me anywhere; social media, especially the social networks have done more harm than good to this generation. [It’s to me, first a basic fact.] This might not be because it was meant for harm, but it has been employed for such cause by “the one who rules the things of this World.” The clamor here and there that the internet, as an advantage, unites the World, making it a global village is just one part of the story for the full truth is not been told. The concluding truth about this is that it will only facilitate the establishment of the One-World Government and aide the work of the anti-christ in near time to come. [These are thought for another day, though]; i.e, besides the evil being perpetrated by the Social Media Daily.

I am highly fascinated by mobile technology and cannot hide my sheer appreciation for the advancement and feat being achieved in the media and communication industries lately. But more important than my fascination, is the truth underlying this whole venture. What truth?  That these technology gadgets have been designed to kill you and I, but least have we realized this.

I have followed the specs of the new Apple Corporation’s iPhone 6 and 6plus, which was released September 19th in the US. By 12th September, iPhone 6 have already been pre-ordered by millions of people around the globe. Surprisingly, in the same week of iPhone 6 release, Apple sold 10 million copies of the phone according to an Apple representative. Isn’t this outrageous??? Today, the cheapest you can purchase iPhone 6 in Nigeria is about 209,999 naira. To add to this fascination is the “fantabuluous” Blackberry Passport, of Blackberry 10.3 BB10 make. What a device! It was launched globally in London, Toronto and Dubai on September 24th, 2014, at 599 dollars, then. It sold over 200,000 in 2 days of release and the Number 1 selling unlocked phone on Amazon.com within just hours of release. Now, this is besides other devices such as the Super sleek slim tablets, palm-tops, iPads and other mobile devices that allow us express and easy access to the internet and smooth communication between and among countries, societies and civilization. While we rejoice for these advancements, I am greatly worried for my generation and for my unborn kids. Would they be safe in such a society?

If you took time to follow the preceding trail of talk, all you see is a World driven by intense craving for the things of this World…picture of a society so concerned, and working tirelessly to satisfy its lust for the things of this age. Where is the place of God in our lives?

Therefore, Social Media addiction is the intense dependence upon and use of the various social media/ network. Persistent use, passionate acquisition; uncontrolled use, competitive possession, all constitute social media addiction. You are addicted to social media/ networks when you ‘love it’; when it takes the bulk of you time and resources daily without yielding constructive positive outcome. When it begins to dictate your lifestyle and set the course for your existence. When it ceases your love and captures your heart. When it takes God’s place and time and stands a god in your life; then you are beginning to lose it.

In His narrative, Pastor Chris Delvan Gwamna said “life can hardly exist in a vacuum, we are consistently under certain influences and our urge for props, stuff, adventure, substances alcohol among others is ever present. Our generation is one at risk to be an addict generation. There is no shortage of options to be hooked on; some people are at a point where they are unconsciously developing one addiction, some are currently grappling with one, while some are struggling to get out of one.”

One thing you must become aware of is the fact that: influence is a product of any kind of interaction, whatsoever. In fact, it is the goal of every kind of interaction. This in turn breeds continual dependence upon the “influencing-obect”, thereby giving birth to the addiction circle. Many Christian youths out there are unaware of the gradual subtle influence of the social media and have fallen to the addiction, thus. Unawares, they believe their interaction with the media is good so far.

Just evaluate: how long do you spend online every day? How constructively productive is your time spent online? Do you constantly share your experiences with the social networks? I mean your Break-ups, fights, relationships, even your locations and personal experiences? Gone are the days of diaries. Facebook is now the new World-class Diary. How much do you esteem your phones and devices? How do you feel when you cannot go online for a while? How do you react when you cannot find your phone or device? Do you know why you go crazy? It is not because of your contacts…that is what you always say. It’s because you have wrapped your life around your phone; because it is your new found love. It is because your whole life is in it. If your phone is to be analyzed, it will tell everything about you.

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. But the question is this: were they designed to do just what we were told?

“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. To the the internet and the technology of this age. As a result also, to the civilization (beliefs, religions, ideas, gods, etc) of this generation. That is what addiction to the media does. It links us up with destiny-destroying and life-killing agents.

There is only one way out for young believers who want to be earthly relevant, yet heavenly conscious; those who want to strike the balance between interacting with this World and living for God. And that is dealing with the social media addiction.

Therefore:

All things are lawful unto me but not all things are expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

— 1 Corinthians 6.12

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God grant us grace to overcome. Keep faith!

Only one source frees us from Social Media Addiction: find out!

FREEMAN'S LOUNGE

Pst Chris Delvan Gwamna

Pst Chris Delvan Gwamna

THE BEST KEPT SECRET ABOUT ADDICTION

When you mention names like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, Shaquile O’Neal, look closely there could have been a Christopher among the 50 Greatest Players in the history of NBA. Sadly Christopher didn’t get to the list; truth is he didn’t even get to play in the NBA. Fast forward twenty years after, Christopher now Pastor Chris Delvan shares in his compelling sermon on the 5th of June at TWB, on how cigarette smoking took away his basket ball dream, and how drugs took away his music dream. An addiction can be fun in the immediate, but could be cost you something vital in the long run?

Chris had a noble dream as a teenager to play for the NBA, which was his ticket to live the life of his dreams, but he smoked twice as much cigarettes, as…

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Okay: I don’t like to say this but I have to! I have had to do some digging after promptings and found out some truths!
“BLASPHEMY CHALLENGE”, “ICE-BUCKET CHALLENGE” now “GRATITUDE CHALLENGE”.

Friends, you don’t wanna do what you don’t know where it stems from…these challenges might seem for a good cause but really have shady roots! Go on Youtube, you’ll see…the Blasphemy Challenge is absolutely ungodly and demonic…it (& others) also inspired the ICE BUCKET challenge (even though it’s for a good cause) and most importantly I also believed it inspire the – “our” GRATITUDE CHALLENGE! Truly, my friend Sweetness Obim Giwa said “I still think we should stop playing catch ups. we should give the world something to emulate…cos we always wait for the world to do then copy…thats really sad”. those were her words and I subscribe to it!
If you search on youtube…you will see videos of how alot of young people around the globe daming their souls; out-rightly denying the God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit!
Friends, we are in a battle if you have not realized it…”no more rumour, there are wars going on”… for your soul, for you life…
Guard your hearts with all diligence…God will see us through.
Friends, lets stop these challenge things…lets go about the normal ways we had been potraying God on our pages before now!

I just shared briefly about this but trust God to write properly about these events and the end of age in our next issue…KEEP FAITH!!!

Never Loose sight of Jesus!!!