10 Landmines to Avoid in the Land of Social Media

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Whether we like it or not, we live in the land of social media and, like an old minefield, it’s dangerous. As Christians, we need biblical wisdom. We need to realize that although things may be acceptable in the world’s eyes, not everything is beneficial or constructive (1 Corinthians 10:23). Additionally, as we live our lives, Jesus calls us to be “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Matthew 10:16).

How do we begin to live in the wisdom of God as we cross such a hostile land? Let’s open the book of Proverbs and identify ten different lies that social media tries to pass as truth.

1. Social Media Networks Have Your Best at Heart

My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave. She gives no thought to the way of life; her paths wander aimlessly, but she does not know it. 

Proverbs 5:1 

The people who run social media are not for you, they are for themselves. On one hand, you are a consumer buying their product. On the other, you are a product they are selling to other companies. Social media is not neutral – this shouldn’t surprise us because the institution of sin has been this way since the beginning.

In the book of Proverbs, wisdom and folly are given human characteristics, and lady folly plays the adulterer. Her ways are sweet, smooth, enticing and convincing, but they always leads to death. As social media institutions seek their own profits, they sell you smooth and sweet lies about the usefulness of their tool, but even they don’t know the destructive destiny of their path.

How do you avoid this landmine?

Understand that social media is not neutral, which means that you must always be on your guard.

2. Social Media Provides an Accurate Description of Reality

Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

Proverbs 30:8–9

From news articles to long lost friends, your social media feed is only a tiny, tailored slice of reality. It’s a game of smoke and mirrors and spinning the truth. Social media gives you a skewed perspective on reality and, unsurprisingly, causes you to evaluate the whole of your life against a perfected portion of others. But what does this proverb say? If you want to live in wisdom, you need to learn to be content with what you have.

How do you avoid this landmine?

You must believe the Lord has provided everything you need to be content and happy. Further, you need to understand that social media gives you a false picture of the whole of reality.

3. Social Media Will Help You Relax and Rest

The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Proverbs 19:23

How many times do you mindlessly screen scroll trying to rest and relax? Did you know that scrolling through your social media platform has the exact opposite effect on your life? Studies show that social media use causes you to get less sleep, feel more anxious and stressed and makes your brain continue to work.

According to this proverb, it is only the fear, respect, reverence and worship of the Lord that will bring you life. Since Genesis Chapter 3, sin has brought toil, stress, hardship and restlessness, but God has provided humanity true rest through His Son Jesus.

How do we avoid this landmine?

Understand that social media will not help you rest and relax. Further, believe that Jesus is calling you into a deeper relationship with him, and He is the only way to have true rest (Matthew 11:28–30).

4. You Don't Need to Limit Your Time on Social Media

The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

Proverbs 13:4

The average American spends 142 minutes on social media platforms every single day. In truth, these platforms are doing exactly what they were created for: consuming as much of your time as possible. This is time you will never get back.

To live in wisdom, you must learn to number your days (Psalm 90:12). Notice the warning in the proverb above – the lazy person is one who wastes their time on fulfilling the bottomless appetite. This means that in the context of social media, you will never be satisfied as long as you remain stuck in a time wasting loop.

How do you avoid this landmine?

Understand that a sluggard’s appetite is never filled and the Lord is always calling you to something greater to do with your time. From a practical standpoint, keep a log of how much time you spend on social platforms.

5. All of the Hearts and Like are Valuable

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better to be lowly in spirit along with the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.

Proverbs 16:18

Your self-worth is not determined by your online interactions. According to some of its creators, social media attempts to create a dopamine-driven, social validation feedback loop by hacking human psychology. But this brittle, conflated sense of value leaves users vacant and empty.

From a biblical perspective, when you run to social media to find personal validation, you are stuck in a pride loop. However, the Bible reminds you that your value and worth are not dependent upon what you do but on the image that you bear (Genesis 1:26–28).

How do you avoid this landmine?

Understand that you will never find satisfaction in “hearts and likes,” and your value has already been determined by God.

6. What You Consume on Social Media is Harmless

With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. 22 All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer[a] stepping into a noose[b] 23     till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life. 24 Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. 25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. 26 Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. 27 Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.

Proverbs 7:21–27

According to this proverb, it’s foolish to live as though this seductive adulteress called “social media” won’t affect you. Remember why they call it a social media “feed” in the first place: because that is your diet. You are shaped by what you consume.

How do we avoid this landmine?

Understand the dangers of your social media feed and believe that your character is being shaped by the information you take in. Additionally, attempt to shape the content on your feed by interacting with (likes, hearts, shares, comments, posts, etc.) wholesome and edifying content.

7. Posts, Comments and Online Interactions are Meaningless

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. 24 Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.

Proverbs 4:23–24

Social media platforms often provide a veil for the coward. People take to comments and posts, saying things online they would never say to someone’s face. If we aren’t careful, we can begin to think that our online interactions mean less than our in-person interactions, or that our online interactions aren’t truly a reflection of our hearts.

This is a lie. Jesus reminds us that the mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart (Luke 6:45). In other words, anything you type, post or comment reflects what is in your heart.

How do you avoid this landmine?

Understand that you will be held accountable for everything you post and interact with online. A heart captivated by Jesus will be encouraging, loving, quiet, restorative and forgiving, no matter the platform.

8. Social Media Keeps You in the Know About Everything

Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds.

Proverbs 27:23

Have you ever felt like you can’t get away from social media because you will miss out on something? Unfortunately, it is this kind of thinking that leads you to worry about gossip and news that you can’t do anything about.

This proverb is a good reminder – you don’t have to be in the know on all the other stuff because you are responsible and will be held accountable for the stuff in your life. If all your energy, thoughts, emotions, and time go elsewhere, then you end up neglecting the condition of your own flocks.

How do we avoid this landmine?

Understand that you are responsible with what the Lord has entrusted to you. Don’t get worked up about things that have no eternal significance and that you can’t do anything about.

9. Social Media is a Good Avenue for Deep Relationships

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

Proverbs 17:17

Your friends on social media are distant friends at best. These platforms fail to provide deep, meaningful and impactful relationship because they are limited.

Proverbs 17 reminds us that you are called to always love others with endurance and patience. As these platforms cater to the good and pretty sides of life, deep relationships require you to know the bad, ugly and hard sides of life too. To put it differently, they require both your commitment and time.

How do we avoid this landmine?

Understand that social media will never be a full substitute for deep relationships. Deep relationships require physical presence: in hospital rooms, living rooms, over coffee, providing meals and holding hands as you pray, cry and laugh together.

10. Social Media is Better than What is Happening Right in Front of You

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.

Proverbs 27:1

In many ways, this landmine serves as a conclusion. Social media is designed to distract you, promising you peace and rest as you spend more and more time sucked into the meaningless vortex. However, in getting sucked into this virtual world, you miss what the Lord is doing all around you and you end up boasting in tomorrow.

How do we avoid this landmine?

Understand that what is right in front of you is always better than what’s digitally in your pocket. Be still and enjoy the God who is always around you. What if the reason you haven’t heard from God recently is because the world is talking louder in your life than He is?

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.

Proverbs 4:25

The land of social media is a minefield and, unfortunately, it’s here to stay. We must learn to identify the landmines and live in God’s wisdom. If we use this ancient wisdom in the land of social media, we can aim to use these tools for good. However, if we fail to heed these warnings, the deadly consequences are inevitable.

*This blog post has been condensed and modified from a sermon presented on Oct. 23, 2021. To view the full sermon, check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tM0fsKperNw

Written by: Beau Landers