Social Media is Not Evil

Normally, this blog is for teens. But, occasionally, I feel the need to talk to the parents. This is one of those occasions…

Forgive me if I offend you with this, but Facebook is not evil. Neither is Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or whatever else is new and up-coming in the social media world. They are not, in my opinion, the harbinger of end times or the destruction of society as we know it.

You’d think my generation would be used to new things. Come on, guys! From the time we started Kindergarten until we graduated college, we saw the introduction of cable TV, the CD, the DVD, cell phones, the personal computer, and the internet – to name a few. We know change. We’ve lived it, appreciated it, enjoyed it. Sure, there are precautions that come with new technology, evils that can be introduced through them. But there is also great good, hope, and endless possibility.

Using social media is like driving a car. It doesn’t guide us, we guide it. Like anything else in life, we should approach social media with wisdom and self-control. I wouldn’t get behind the wheel and drive 100 miles an hour or ignore the signs posted on the road. I know that, used in the wrong way, a car can be lethal. But that doesn’t mean I don’t drive! No, it just means I am cautious when I drive. I teach my daughter to be cautious, as she is learning to handle a car. I am making sure she gets enough practice on the road, with me to guide her, before she is permitted to drive on her own.

I try to do the same with social media – I check my kids’ sites, and I have other adults in their lives who check, too. They have some degree of autonomy, but if I sense they are taking advantage of that, they lose the privilege of using it. I am , in short, a parent! It’s a job that isn’t easy and one in which I fail as often as I succeed, but helping my kids learn to navigate their world in a healthy, God-honoring way is supremely important.

Social media is not going away – it will be part of our kids’ lives, just like cable and the internet is part of ours. So help them know how to use it wisely and cautiously. Teach them to “drive” on what can often be a dangerous highway. Don’t avoid what is new – learn to use it wisely and well so you can teach your kids to do the same.

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