The unnoticed force of social media and entertainment
Social Media and Entertainment
I used to love instagram, snapchat, spending my whole night watching movies (like 13 reasons why) and TV shows, I used to admire almost everything about Amandla Stenberg, and some japanese actresses. I was into social media, secular musics, movies and TV shows. They gave me such a temporary pleasure, excitement, motivation to appear more attractive, fun imaginations in my head . . . until I realized that they were sucking away my true joy and my strength, mentally and most importantly spiritually.
1. Unwise comparison (2 Corinthians 10:12)
Have you ever felt like, “Oh my stomach has too much fat, I need to lose weight” after looking at an instagrammer or an actor/actress in a movie? It is not a crime to feel that way, besides it is good to stay “healthy”, yes “healthy”. I know people who for the sake of wanting to look like one of the instagrammers, actors, and actresses, abnormally starved themselves, buying brand watches they cannot afford, and became discontented in their body, clothes and life style. Besides, some “perfect” bodies you see are photoshopped, some lamborghinis you see may not even belong to them, the beautiful duplex you see people have, some are struggling to pay the mortgages. You do not see “behind the scenes” of those thing see and desire to have or be like. God created each an everyone of us with different plans and purposes, therefore, let us be self-contented with what we have and who we are if the things you are disatisfied with is not essential (1 Corinthians 6:12).
2. Loss of interest in God and Spiritual matters
When you feed yourself with the trends and life style of the world, your desire to dress like them, behave like them, think like them, be like them, increases. Not just that, when I watch some secular dramas it drains my spiritual strength. While it may not necessarily be a sin to do these things, they may not be spiritually benefial for us. The bible says in 1 Corinthians 6:12, “"I have the right to do anything," you say--but not everything is beneficial. "I have the right to do anything"--but I will not be mastered by anything.”
3. More time on screen, less time for God
If you do not have high level of self-control, you are likely to spend your whole night or whole day watching random videos on snapchat, instagram, facebook, youtube (suggestions after suggestions!), and before you know it, an hour gone, 2 hours gone, 3 hours . . . Those hours we would have spent in studying the word of God and praying for the world, families, church and ourselves are gone. Probably too tired to pray or read the word of God after hours on screen and therefore go to bed or continue with hour daily routine.
“For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”Many times we know the right thing to do, but our flesh may be weak to do those things(Matthew 26:41), this is when you need to pray more and ask God for grace of self-control. Also, even if you have a good level of self-control, and spend certain amount of time on the screen, it is spiritually harmful if you don't still spend quality time in prayer and the word of God.
It is true that not everything we see on social media and entertainment (movies, musics, etc) is spiritually detrimental. Sometimes, we want to relax and rest, the question we should be asking ourselves is, What impact does it have on my spiritual life? If it glorifies sin, should we be taking pleasure in watching and listening to them? (Even if you are not the composer, the actor, or committer of the sin). The bible says in Romans 1:32, “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
And again, even if the things we look, watch and listen to are godly, if we don't do the needful - Prayers, reading and obedience of His word, it will mean nothing to you and to God. While you get edified and encouraged through sermon's, gospel movies, musics and books, make sure to do the needful. Yes, it is easier said than done, and that is why we need to pray for grace and read the word of God to gain heavenly wisdom to perservere and endure in this present age filled with corruption and sin all over the internet, as well as outside the internet. May His grace be with you.