The Role of Social Media in our Lives and its Influence on our Faith
The social media has become a massive influence in the lives of millions of people, the world over and from all walks of life. We simply have to take cognizance of the vast amount of posts that get placed on Facebook everyday to see affirmation of this fact. Facebook is merely one site that gets utilized by the masses, not to mention a plethora of other sites like Twitter, Linked In, Flickr, Disaboom, Spinalpedia…. and the list goes on – there is at least one site for each letter of the English alphabet. Rather an astounding fact.
I have questions that are coming to the fore of my mind as a result of behaviours that are beginning to emerge amongst the many people I deal with on a day to day basis. Here is one scenario that I wish to highlight, obviously without mentioning names, but for the sake of integrity, the scenario is absolutely true.
Recently I took note that a number of people had de-friended me on Facebook. These are people that I have daily interaction and relationship with, on a one-to-one basis. All three of the people are related in some way or another and have associated interactions with people that I deal with in my work scenario. One of the people in question is very ill and in hospital, has been for nearly a month and a half. It is clear to me that one of my colleagues has paid this person a visit and perhaps extrapolated upon comments I have, at one time or another, made, taking them entirely out of context and, as such, planted a seed of massive animosity in the heart and mind of said sick and hospitalised person, resulting in this decision to un-friend me. Never, on any occasion, has any party approached ME for MY comment or so much as made an attempt at contextualising what may or may not have been said.
This picture now being painted, the question must arise in the mind of an intelligent person: How much value do we place in one-on-one humanistic relationships any longer? Are we simply living our lives out on a virtual platform and negating valuable interpersonal relationships that have played out for sometimes many years longer than the social media has been in existence? I am not saying that healthy and wonderful relationships cannot be cultivated on the basis of social media interaction – in fact, the contrary is true in my case – I have recently begun to develop incredibly meaningful and deep relationships with people that I have met through the social media…… Ryan, Robert and Jeff…. thank you for your invaluable input into my life….. I love you guys. What I am saying is that there seems to be an immature approach to actual relationships that gets played out through the various forms of social media.
This question now emerges in my consciousness….. “Based on actions and emotions that get enacted on forums of social media sites, as numerous as they are, are people inviting illness and an un-holistic approach to their own wellness into their realm of existence?”
In the instance of the scenario I have presented above, I believe firmly that my question holds water. This person has chosen to accept the statements of a gossip-mongering fool as truth, has in turn chosen to harbour feelings of extreme negativity toward me, sans qualification, and thereby played an intrinsic role in their own lack of healing and return to a place of holistic health.
One hears requests for prayer to act as an assistive measure to the intervention of modern medicine in such situations being brought to the table. My take on this is that no amount of prayer, nor medical intervention can be given any credence when, in the heart of a person, remains a spirit of unforgiveness and the inability to confront uncomfortable issues. Jesus addresses this very issue in Matthew 18:22. Unforgiveness will fester and will bring us to a place of absolute desolation, both in our spiritual lives and in the realm of our health and wellness.
I ask whoever has taken the time out to read this to please comment and contribute some further insight into this pressing and pertinent subject that I am certain has crossed the minds of others facing similar difficulty.