SOCIAL MEDIA: THE BATTLE OF IDEOLOGY; CONCEPT OF SELF; 2016 & BEYOND.

Posted: March 26, 2016 in Social Network/Media

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.

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