Huffingtonpost recently ran an article on the huge numbers of young people who are ditching social media, well one or two types of it. I can verify this independently as numbers of our young writers in both Australia and New Zealand have done likewise.
These are some of the reasons why millennials are doing just this
- More and more 'older people' now use Facebook
- Facebook one young respondent said was full of old people
- Instagram is used to facilitate other's own self worth
- Spending copious amount of time on social media I don't have
- My work gave me an ultimatum – changed my focus
- Good friends and I text each other
- Getting likes becomes a ore-occupation
- Created in me an unwanted jealously streak in me
- Sick of reading about other people's lives
- Sharing became a measure of my own importance
You get the drift. Quite possibly each of us might recognise some of these above and could add numerous other issues in wanting to ditch social media.
There are other reasons associated with this. I know one person whose Facebook page got hijacked on several occasions and each time closed it down and initiated a fresh page and made it private. Another I know had numerous photos of a now – ex or prior relationships, and the whole things became problematic. Another saw it as a history of their activities and thought that breached their more realistic aspects of privacy.
Others still found that it became too public and people at work and in additional social arenas such as their work place, sport teams, entertainment and arts societies, and all their other spheres of activities found it counter productive.
Social media advantages
Many mission people use social media to communicate effectively with their supporter base. In this sense, they upload their social media with activities associated with their mission activities for their supporter network prayer and interest in the mission.
Others use it to highlight the brokenness of the political class, illustrating how terrible things really are and the cover-ups, the lies, the rubbery figures, the corruption and the like. In this sense social media has been very effective.
On the other hand, President Donald Trump in the pre US election period utilised Twitter so effectively he was able to by-pass what he considered those media outlets that gave bias reporting.
Churches, sports associations, cultural groups, play times, schools, under graduate and post graduate course work and announcements, the work place, travel schedules and a host of other like minded people in recognised groups utilise social media to great effect. It has become a wonderful bonus to the smooth running of their organisations.
Likewise criminal efforts and terror cells utilise social media toward their evil goals and these have been well documented.
As Deuteronomy says, all such things can be a blessing or a curse, and it is the measure of which becomes a blessing and an aid to our daily living or is of huge determent. The courts are finding more and more cases where social media has been exercised to evil effect. The law itself is constantly being upgraded to meet such community demands.
For many Christians, social media has got past the point of being a blessing with the negatives out weighing the positives.
As a 65 year old, I for one, running a young writer ministry find it frustrating that some of these young people object to the phone, rather text. As one with 40 years experience in pastoral and community chaplaincy ministry, I much prefer to hear the voice and the tones which is often far more revealing.
I am able to recount innumerable times such voice and tone indictments have revealed galvanising ministry which would never have been picked up in a text message.
Having said that, the many millennials who are ditching social media or being extremely selective in what app they have at their finger tips have found it to be counter productive to their lives. They have experienced these various social media apps and then thought better of them.
There is certainly something of the heart in all this. Young people today are showing reflective attitudes in all this, and many in my circle are telling me, their friends are more open to deeper things boding well in one to one 'deep and sensible' evangelism.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html