Archive for the ‘Social Network/Media’ Category

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.

 

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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/

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)

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 challenge facing especially young people in his generation is the fact that we are so into the things of this life and this world that we have so little to do with the Creator of the World and life itself. In other words, we have become so worldly and less godly; that our perspective of life is narrowed to this world alone and nothing beyond. But as are “earthly relevant”, we ought to be “heavenly conscious”.
Young people today flaunt and patronize life and material possessions more than anything else. The social media/ network have been on the fore of this craze. It is with this burden that I write this piece. I have stood and seen may life literally hold firm and revolving around the social media. I saw it become an addiction- gradually taking hold of me and dictating the pace. No! It just had to be handled and it was! I had to be in control and not the other way round. This is not just a problem I once encountered, but one that is currently ravaging the core of youthful interactions across the world.
Anything that takes the fore in the life of a man, whatever seizes his moments, time and energy; whatever controls his passion, zeal and dedication becomes his god. [It is therefore pertinent to note that even Atheist have gods, contrary to their claims of “NO GOD”]. And when it is not GOD- Yahweh, then it is “anti-God”! (2Thesselonians 2.4)

Therefore, let us look at the Bible’s perspective to loving the media. Our key scriptural consideration will be 1John 2.15-17. It reads;

15 love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

I will like to proceed thus: the Social Network/ Media are not evil, originally. In other words, the media itself is not bad. It was not created to be so; it was intended for the good of man, to advance the course of life. But he who now controls it is evil. And that is the reality we don’t wanna wake up to. That is to say, the evil one, the devil, Satan now controls the things of this world (1 Corinthians 4.4), including the entertainment industry, fashion, and our social media and social networks. I am not been “too spiritual” as some perceive it to be [I have no apologies If I am], but I am only being factual about the Times. So because Satan is now the God of this world, John warns that we must not commit our hearts in love to this world and the things in it, this is because love makes us vulnerable to the “love-object”.
The Social Network/ Media, as a lust of the flesh I.e. as seen in verse 6, could easily lead us into sin. It is an invention of the world. It is now being manipulated by the evil one for luring the hearts of young people into sin and being lost from God. The essence of this note is to bring you to that awareness. “Love not the world, neither the things of the world…” does not mean “do not use the social network or media entirely.” It must not take the whole of our time, and resources; it must dictate our lifestyle nor set the course for our existence. It should not cease our love or capture our heart. It must not lead us into sin or take God’s place in our lives.
At this point I must mention here that I think it is somewhat impossible to live in this age without interacting with either the media or social network. It will bring about serious limitations and inefficiencies in daily life. Is that to say we cannot do without the media or social networks? By no means. At least, I have known some people who are not into social networking till this day. The idea therefore, is to build our lives first on God’s Word, daily. Ecclesiastes 12.13 teaches us that the whole duty of man is to fear God and obey His commandment. This implies a Believer must first perform his duty of knowing and living by the tenets of God so as to build a healthy lifestyle on a solid foundation- before he or she is qualified to engage in interacting with the world. In other words we must first find our love and wrap it around that precious hope we have- Jesus, before ever attempting to ride life’s road! This is because according to Ephesians 5.16b, “the World is evil” and capable of corrupting any mind not insulated and rooted in the Word of God. This is a true fact! If you don’t know, let me bring this to your notice [or better still ask the agents of the dark world for first-hand info]: the devil and his agents are now working every second, using any means possible to bring believers with them into eternal condemnation! Any means possible. One sure ways in this tyms has been the social media/ networks! Watch it! The media and Social network today is filled with many evil, ills and desensitizing messages targeted against Christians in the World. We must not be ignorant of this.
So, is loving the Social network/ Media a sin? Loving the media/ Social network as we have established refers to showering it with our care, attention, time, passion and devotion- that nothing else matters to us but it. It means building our lives around it such that it dictates our decision making, conduct and behavior. This is living in bondage! For “anyone who does this, has not the love of the Father”. This means that God’s love cannot dwell within us when we have given its place to “another.” Anyone who derives satisfaction from these things will pass away with them; for these things are eternally perishable.
If this world and everything in it will pass away, why waste our time and resources on perishable things? Why not invest more in kingdom activities with eternal reward.

Excessive use of Social media: spending many hours watching movies, soap operas; MTV, Channel O, Big Brother Africa; uncontrolled use of the internet, Social networking: engaging in facebook , BBM, whatsapp, twitter, 2go, skype, etc- chatting all day…except “thou art” an Online attendant, what would a young person spend such long hours doing online? [I remember the days when we used to spend almost the whole day on 2go…ask me: how has it paid of?]
The Social Media/ Network has proved to be among the top “addiction-objects” young people battle with alongside, sexual immorality, pornography and drugs/substance abuse. Surprisingly, the social media has been associated with high rate/ increase of sexual imorality of all sorts!

To the average mediocre-mind young person out there- “what the heck is wrong with me?” but the God-chaser who wants to identify and live for Jesus and still be relevant to their World- would acknowledge these truths.
Therefore, I call for a balanced Social/ online life with our spiritual life. We must first find our life on the Solid Rock- JESUS, before interacting at depths with this World. We must maintain our lives as Christians even online, we must not change our identities online…we ought to remain Christlike even online. Needless but pertinent to say, I am an ‘Onliner’- but more a Christian; a Believer, a Worshiper and ever will be. I am more a Sinner than you; but has admitted my weakness before my Father in whom I am now made whole & perfect through Jesus. This I enjoy without regret! I have just decided- God is my addiction! That’s the only addiction that adds to a man’s life. The rest sucks to eternal death. Ask Chris Delvan, he’d tell you. So, you will ever struggle and wallow in addiction of any sort- until you admit your weakness at the foot of the Master, and there seek redress.
Therefore, let your passion first be for God (Ps69.9) & not the social media. The bottom line remains:
”whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God”. Grace be multiplied to you.

By Dimka Philip PhiDims

In our opening our opening series of social networking/ media on Christian youths I laid a foundation as to what is the social network/ media; who is the Christian youth and why we have to examine the interaction of the former and the latter. This rest on the undeniable fact that:
Nothing has so touched entirely the soul of human existence; after God, it is the social Network/ Media.
In today’s dealings, nothing has so exerted direct impact on the lives of 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 alter our lifestyle, culture, principles, norms dreams, aspirations; even our society in a whole…but the social Network/ Media.
From the African perspective, it use to be a “thing” of the western culture. Today, the story is different: it has broken into our homes- our very living rooms. Even the conservative Arab societies that have struggled to close their doors to “western encroachment” can now no longer keep them away. Thanks to satellite TVs (DSTV on the fore), internet, mobile technology, etc.
The social Media/ Network has crossed boundaries, it has bridge gaps, connected continents, linked nations. It has even surmounted great hurdles and barriers of the most hostile communities of the world, even those against the gospel. What a wonder! Isn’t this a great tool for Christian evangelism? Well this is a thought to be discussed in upcoming series.
Therefore, what is this that has so touched the soul of human existence? Shouldn’t it be a concern to the Believer? Let me quickly say, it is nearly impossible to be alive, at least in any developed, developing or underdeveloped society and not make any kind of contact with any of the social medias/ networks.
As a result, what is the consequence of the impact of social media/ Network on the life of a believer? How must this be handled? (Please, refer to the first in this series. Particularly: Principles for Engagement in Social Networking for a Believer). In establishing the effect of social Networking/ the media on the life of a Believer, I’d like to first establish that Social Media/ Network in a whole is not a bad invention. It is not a sin therefore, to engage in social networking or interact with the media. What makes it bad or a sin is how we use it or what we use it for or in a broader sense, how we allow its bad influence to rub on us and thus affect our walk with God. Of course, therefore, the social media has advantages which it presents to us. Rather than say advantages and disadvantages, we will examine its effects on the Believer, especially youths, and the implication of such.
Some of these include;
Deep engrossment/ abuse of the Social Networks/ Media- 1 Corinthians 7.31 warns that those who make use of the things of this world must be careful not to be engrossed or deeply involved in/with them or carried away by them. What has been the attitude of young people towards these things today? It is pertinent to know and admit that the internet, mobile communication, the satellites, home videos, etc, all, like drugs, have great tendencies to be addictive. 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. For example, a survey I read some years ago suggests that many of the young people who use blackberry smart phones end up sleeping off most nights- holding their blackberry in their hands. (Funny enough, it has happened to me). This suggest excessive us. Now if Blackberry use is the last thing a young person will do every night before sleep and very early in the mornings; where is then the place of devotions in the morning and night. Some might argue that devotions must not necessarily be early in the morning. But the issue is what eludes your heart and seizes your passion stays on the fore of your daily interaction. Therefore, this uncontrolled use has weakened faith building lifestyles like devotions, fellowships, meditations, reaching out, etc.
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. This denotes sheer addiction due to deep uncontrolled engrossment in social media activities. It has caused Christian youths to lose reverence for God. Mike Everett, in his piece on social media, points out that “the seduction of social media can suck us in, and before we know it we are becoming more influenced by the noise around us than we are by the word of God working within us.” As a result, we ought to strike some balance between our relationship with God (…time spent with Him…studying the Word, fellowshipping with Believers, praying, etc) and social network/ media involvement.
Decision-making/ Interaction with others-
The goal of interaction or socialization or relationship (whether human or electronic) is INFLUNCE! All forms of interaction yields influence; i.e., whether those involved are aware of it or not, one is influencing the other. Hanging out with a group of friends engaging in bad behavior and say you are not involved is a lie to one’s self. For the impact is gradual and in time one will find one’s self actively involved on the group’s bad behavior.
Inferentially, the Christian youth must be aware that he/she is constantly being been influenced by what he/she see or hear or engaged in on the social media; and more importantly, know that they also influence those with whom they interact either positively or negatively. For example, the “African culture” has been infiltrated by the Western lifestyle. How? Via the social media of course. Step out into our streets and see; from the mode of dressing, the way we speak, act (conduct ourselves), interact, etc. Very heartbreaking is the sight of the negative effects of this influence. The media has gone further to influnce our belief about love, relationship, sex, marriage etc. some years back I was talking to a sister about what they learn from these soap operas (My Eternal, Last Chance, etc) they watch: she proudly shared that they learn about how to love their spouses; about life; relationship, etc. [The media today is filled with lies.] check the lives of the so called celebrities and Actors you are looking up to; they can hardly even keep their homes, most live in divorce, they sleep around; having one scandal or the other. With all humility is ask, how can such a person teach you about love or life, sex, relationship or marriage? How? Where is God’s place in the whole matter?
What we learn from the social media as whole must not be the basis of our decision making in life. This is to say, we must not allow it to model our lives because the Word of God must be our yardstick in interacting with the World.
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed there to according to Thy Word. Thy word have I hid in mine heart I might not sin against Thee.” Psalms 19:9,1.
God’s word must be our only influence…allow it to engulf you.
Pornography/ Sex-Provoking Clips and Song-
The social media/ Network has been the Fastest Avenue for the spread of sex clips, pornographic pictures, sex-provoking songs, sex items, etc., among young people. Some few years ago an act called “SEX-TING” came up. This refers to the sharing of nude pictures amongst friends using mostly MMS. This means you don’t have to do online or use words. Young people have also been found to engage in sex chats on social networks, even via phone calls, on 2go, BBM, whatsapp, etc. Many engage in sex online. The internet is filled with hundreds of sex/ pornographic sites. To bring it even closer, social networks are hosting (either with or without their knowledge) sex chat rooms, groups, pages, etc as the case maybe; on facebook, whatsapp, 2go, BBM, etc. the internet has developed its own world of sexual immorality.
What about the phones of young people today? Unfortunately Christians inclusive- it has become a harbor of blue films, sex photos, sex-provoking songs and music videos, etc. Friends, I do not give you tales. I write you what I have confirmed first hand in my years of interacting with young people, their phones, and the internet. If you are not ready to keep a working relationship with God, then the social media should be the last place you ‘wanna’ be or engage in- trust me! For you’ll be totally lured and be a tool for mass destruction.
“For this is the will of God, even our sanctification, that yea should abstain from fornication: that every one of you should know how to posses his vessel in sanctification and honour.” 1Thesselonians 4.3-4.
It is God’s will that we all remain sexually pure.
Idols and gods-
Jefferson Bethke, our famous guy of Spoken Words said:
”We mock and we laugh at the Israelites’ Golden Calf but we do the same thing right back it just looks a little different than that. So question: what’s on your throne… what defines you? What do you give ultimate worth? And what if taken will bring ultimate hurt? Now see, that is your god…”
Our BlackBerry phones, iPhones, iPads, Kindles, Tablets, DSTVs, soap operas, internet, social network…have succeeded over the years in becoming the god of many. They have become the things we value more than mid-week services, church bible study, youth fellowship, personal quie-time, evangelism, prayers, etc. Can you imagine the sudden swap!
Many young people prefer to hang-out on facebook than go for youth fellowship; to watch the popular “10am to 11am” morning program than to spend time praying for a friend. Others could have sleepless nights when they lost their blackberry or iPad but would not even be sad over a lost sinner. What an irony! Some would rather get an iphone than lend the money for a friends school fees or pay to watch football instead of giving a friend lunch money.
Our craze or love for the media must not supersede our devotion to God. When this happens, we begin to make idols of them.
”For zeal for Thy house hath eaten me up…” Psalms 69.9
What takes your passion and zeal? What are you most enthusiastic about? When it is other than God then you are not on the right path.
If you have been following you must have noticed all of the effets discussed above are negative. That is not to say that there are no positive effects for believers, no. There are, but these ones and more have threatened our faith over time.
One great importance of the social media especially to the church is the fact that it serves a great tool for Christian evangelism. (This effect will be featured exclusively in an up-coming piece). This is because social networking sites and of course the media, cut across boundaries. As stated in the introductory article, 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.
Social network/ media has also bridged the gap among different Christian groups and Ministers all over the World. It has facilitated interaction amongst believers worldwide. Sharing challenges, ideas, and testimonies…about what God is doing in other Nations. Instant needs for intercession has also been broadcasted severally across the world via the media. In addition, social networks have been a point of Christian youth interaction. For example COCIN has its facebook Group [CHURCH OF CHRIST IN NATIONS (COCIN)], COCIN RCC JOS Youths also have their facebook Group (COCIN YOUTH FELLOWSHIP RCC JOS), and so on. There we have nice time discussing and sharing about God online. I also operate a Christian Youth Blog “SOCIAL NETWORK/MEDIA AND THE CHRISTIAN YOUTH”; you can find that on: http://www.realphidims.wordpress.com. We also operate a facebook “PRAYER ROOM” where we prayer on matters with testimonies. On Whatsaap we also interact on the RCC Jos Youth platform.
Here is the bottom-line: to live for Jesus even while online, not change our colours in anonymity.
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 would they be pleased? Do I have dark corners on my laptop or phone? Do I have secret facebook, 2go, or twitter accounts with which is do evil? Finally, do I remain a believer even when online?
God help us build a healthy christian lifestyle as we run this race.

Great Movement!

Posted: May 26, 2014 in Social Network/Media

The Social Media/ network has fast become an epidemic upon the face of the earth! It is a wave that has glide over a large portion of the lives- even the intimate lives of people! The truth is we don’t have a private life again…been engrossed in the social media! Its a lie that poses to connect us…while its aim is actually to expose and exploit us! But what is this tool in the Hands of the Christian- I mean the Born-again Believer? It has remain debatable. But what do you think?
I hope to expose this in an upcoming piece I am already putting together! God keep you!

Dimka, Philip.

In Opening:
According to the US Census Bureau, the World population is estimated at 7, 045,493, 590 people at the start of 2013. Therefore, there are about 7.5b people on earth. The National Population Commission (NPC) has estimated the current population of people resident in Nigeria to be 167 million as at 2006, with a 2.3% growth rate per annum. If my calculations are right population is estimated to 174, 260, 869 people in Nigeria. According to my estimate, more than 70% of the World’s and Nigeria’s Population respective is exposed to the Social Media.
“Nothing has so touched entirely the soul of human existence; after God – it is the Social Media”.
– Philip Dimka
Psychological studies have revealed that nature of which humans are part of is characterized by interaction/relationship/Socialization. Since Bible times we find that man has always sought to connect and relate first to Divinity (God) and to man. E.g. Adam and God; Adam and Eve; Cain and Abel, etc.
Thus; the world is connected, we are all linked up in a sense; hardly can anything be achieved is isolation of self – for nothing has ever been achieved so. Therefore, the need for Socialization, even Social Media/Network.

SOCIAL NETWORK/MEDIA
The main way that large number of people receives information and entertainment, i.e. T.V, Radio, News Paper.
The word “Social” means connected with society and the way it is organized. Also, connected with activities in which people meet each other for pleasure. On the other hand, “network” means a closely connected group of people, etc, that exchange information. it has also been defined as a number of computers and other devices that are connected together so that equipment and information can be shared. – Oxford Advanced Learn Dictionary 6th Edition.
Therefore Social Network is an interconnected medium/avenue where people (call over the world) meet to share information, entertainment basically for pleasure. in other words, a device or platform that allows you connect with others and share information/entertainment – “online of offline” is a Social network/ Media.
Social Networking is the act of engaging the social network.

CHRISTIAN YOUTHS
These are young people who have the mind of Christ; they bear/share his attitude Phil 2.5. They follow or are followers of Christ.
WHY THE STUDY?
“Nothing has so touched entirely the soul of human existence; after God – it is the social media” – Philip Dimka.
We cannot live in a world and not involved with it, be productive within it. Therefore, to be productive, we need to interact with the world. 1Thes 4:11, 12. So there is no just how we can avoid the social media, directly or indirectly. We have to be Heavenly conscious and while Earthly relevant.

SOCIAL NETWORKING/MEDIA
Top 6 most popular Social Networking sites as at December, 2013.
1. Facebook – 750,000,000 monthly visitors
2. Twitter – 250,000,000 ;; ;;
3. Linkedin – 110,000,000 ;; ;;
4. Pinterest – 85,000,000 ;; ;;
5. Google+ – 65,000,000 ;; ;;
6. Orkut, meetup, mylife, etc.
This is just outrageous! Imagine all these people online! This definitely includes you and I.
Top Mobile Social Networking/ Media
1. BBM Television
2. Whatsapp Radio
3. 2go Newspaper
4. Baddoo Cable networks
5. Eskimi, ect Satelite networks
These have penetrated the hardest of barriers; they have broken the strongest or resistance. They are a sure tool of Christian evangelism.
Social Networks/Media have become an addiction amongst Christian Youths. Young people spend long minutes, even hours online or attached to the media… doing what? Is the question that needs to be answered and answered well.
Should Christian Youths be engage in social networking? Another mind bugging one…
PRINCIPLES OF ENGAGEMENT IN SOCIAL NETWORKING FOR A BELIEVER
1. Ecclesiastes 12.13
The Christian Social Networker must first perform his or her duty of meeting God first, before he/she is qualified to meet and interact with the world. This is the Whole duty of man- to devote himself to His maker. only on God is man fit to interact with His world. All we do online is under the heavenly radar and will be accredited to us before God. Many people find the social networks and media a place to hide and do all sort…but that’s a deception of the devil. Take roots first in God- downward and bear fruits upward.

2. 1 Corinthians 7: 29
The Christian Social Networker must know that Time is short. Eph 5: 15-16. And thus we must make proper use of the available time of grace given us by God. First, by not wasting it by spending long stupendous hours online; and making proper use of time spent interacting with the media world. When the believer has this in mind, abuse of these social network/ media is avoided.

3. 1 Corinthians 7:29,31
The Social networker must not be deeply engrossed and therefore lost in the activity! As actors in this world, we must not be too involved with this world that we get lost in it. This is because the days are evil. Eph 5:16b. the Bible in 2Peter 2.8 made it clear how Lot the just man living among the unrighteous in Sodom, was tortured in his soul daily with what He saw and heard of their evil and wicked deeds. Lot lived among them. The more we deeply engross our self with the things of this world our righteous souls ll suffer corruption. You will bear me witness of what the media presents us today. We shall separately discuss that.

4. 1Cor 10:31, Col. 3: 17-23
The Social networker must interact in a godly manner, he/she must post, share and promote Jesus, even online. This is because Christ is our identity and we must live Him daily. Because, if we are ashamed of Him or deny Him online, he will do same to us before His Father.
These guidelines and even more will guide the young believers in his/her interaction with the world through the social Network/Media. 1Corin 7:31 draws our attention to the fact that we are in this world thus we ought to interact with it – to make benefit of it but importantly must not be “engrossed” in it or “abuse it”. Why? It answers that the time is short and the days are evil. Short: we might be lost in it as time might catch up with us; evil: it can corrupt us and turn our hearts against God.
As a child of God therefore, you must answer these questions: what do you do when you come online (2go, BBM, twitter, facebook, etc)? Does it equal that which you spend with God? What kind of programs/ films do you watch? Do they teach you about God? Are they pure, excellent, worthy of a believer? We can go on and on. As we look forward to more series about this topic, I will like us to close this introductory part with Philippians 4:8.
Finally brethren, whatever things are true…honest…just…pure…lovely of good report. If there be any virtue…praise, thinks on these things.
God keep you.