Posts Tagged ‘Social Networking sites’

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.

 

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.