By: Allie Joy Hudson
3 min. read
A Cultural Gamechanger
I remember one part of my thirteenth birthday so clearly. I had been waiting for about a year to get my own Facebook. (Sorry, Dad, for all of the random quizzes I took on your account in the meantime. I just really had to know what flavor of ice cream best matched my personality…) But I remember coming home after school, marching down to our family computer, and being so excited to make my own account.
It’s pretty strange to think about social media when we actually take a step back from it. Over the course of two and a half decades, a phenomenon that was hardly a thought at the end of the twentieth century has totally changed the way we use the Internet, communicate, receive information, and interact with other people.
Whether we like it or use it or not, social media has become an integral part of our culture. And, like many other parts of our culture, while it has good elements to it, there are a lot of things about social media that are potential danger spots when it comes to our sexual integrity.
If we are on guard about our sexual integrity in other ways, how do we do this well when it comes to social media? We need to ask ourselves these three questions:
What am I actively consuming?
This question is pretty overt and is easy to see impure motives in. Take a look at what you’re intentionally pursuing and placing on your social media feed, and you’ll have your answer.
This involves who we’re choosing to be friends with, what accounts we’re following, what ads we’re looking at, and so on. If we’re purposefully choosing or seeking out content that we know is not beneficial to our hearts and minds, let’s recognize that, and do it quickly.
Is there any content that you’re seeking out that is damaging to your thought life and your relationships? Cut it off. Unfriend that person, unfollow that account, block those ads. Do what you need to do.
What am I passively consuming?
This question has deep roots, and it can be a bit harder to see on the surface. This is where we need to examine our motives.
Even if we aren’t directly looking for them, sexual ads or pictures often pop up on social media (and the Internet in general). Be honest with yourself here: Why are you getting on social media right now? Are you doing so in hopes of scrolling past something? Are you lingering when you do?
Maybe this issue looks a bit different for you. Even if you aren’t using social media to seek out sexual content, maybe scrolling is eating up your time. Social media is designed to be addictive, and it’s very easy to fall into this trap. Are you using scrolling as a means to distract yourself from relationships or work that really need your attention? Are you using it to numb your emotions?
Check your motives here. This is so so important. Ask yourself, “Why am I getting on social media right now?” and be honest with yourself.
What am I posting?
What we’re putting out there on the world wide web is significant too. As we post or share things, let’s consider why we’re doing it. Is it for attention or validation?
What about the content of what we post? How is it representing us, our marriage, and our relationship with Jesus? Be careful with the words you write and the content you choose to forward.
As I mentioned earlier, social media is a huge part of our society. If we choose not to take part in it, though, I really don’t think we’re missing out on a lot. Honestly, for many of us, that’s probably the wise thing to do. If social media is a trigger for you, delete it. Block it. I think of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:27-30 here.
If we do choose to take part in social media, which isn’t in and of itself a bad thing, I want to encourage you, along with myself, to be smart about it. Ask yourself these questions about what you’re consuming and sharing. Be honest with yourself and, if there’s something on social media that is a trip-up for you, remove it. Starve your eyes of that negative thing and choose to fill your mind with good, God-honoring things.
When we choose to be careful with what we set before our eyes, we set good, healthy boundaries in place. This is a way we can honor the Lord, our relationships, and ourselves.
We have the Spirit in us, so we do have the ability to choose not to give into sin. Let’s choose to honor God and continue to fight the fight for sexual integrity on all fronts, including our Instagram accounts.
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Allie Joy Hudson is first and foremost a daughter of the King. She has worked with Proven for two and a half years and serves as the Content Manager. Allie graduated from Liberty University with a B.A. in English and minors in Spanish and Psychology. She completed her Senior Honors Thesis on the presentation of postmodern sexuality in short fiction. She enjoys reading, writing, playing the viola, running, singing, and photography. Allie is passionate about her ever-growing C.S. Lewis collection, cultivating relationships, and proclaiming truth in the twisted arena of postmodern sexuality. Allie lives in Pennsylvania and is overjoyed to be married to the love of her life.