Social Media—Is It Really Social?

By Curtis Rittenour
Posted March 28, 2017

Social media has come to dominate the social landscape in the United States.

Nearly 70 percent of U.S. adults use social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. A recent study published by the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Research on Media, Health, and Technology reports an association between increased time spent on social media and increased feelings of social isolation. The study found that the negative impact on mental health was doubled for the person spending just two hours per day on social media compared to a person who spent less than thirty minutes a day.

According to the study, the negative impact of social isolation becomes more apparent in teenagers and young adults as the growth of social media use has expanded exponentially. This seems counter-intuitive because the goal of social media is to “connect” people. Researchers are suggesting several reasons for the apparent increase in social isolation. For instance, time spent online takes time away from interactions with real people in real time and space. And social media portrays a false reality of life and leads people to assume that others have a better life because of comments and pictures. This can create feelings of jealousy and self-pity that lead to increased antisocial behavior.

The use of social media platforms points to the inherent human need for companionship with which God created us. He said, “It is not good that man should be alone” and brought a wife to Adam (Genesis 2:18–22). We were created to be social beings, people who interact with other real people.

Have you taken time to notice all the social interactions in the Bible record?

Maybe the greatest example is Christ becoming flesh to live among us (John 1:14). God chose to come and interact with us in real life so that we can interact with Him in real, eternal life in heaven (Revelation 21:1–3). We invite you to take a break from social media and find out more about Christ coming down for social interaction with us by clicking here.
Curtis Rittenour
Curtis J. Rittenour is the senior writer at Amazing Facts International. He pastored for 25 years and has authored books, magazine articles, blogs, and seminars.
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