As we scroll through our “News Feed” are we truly engaging socially with our “Friends”? Our idea of interaction with others has been reduced to a like, a share, and an occasional comment (which usually doesn’t say more than, “Great post!”, “I agree”, “I disagree”, etc.–The like button would work just as well in many cases.). The question becomes are we supporting and growing our friendship through a stream of clicks and comments.

I believe we should examine our use of social media. Social media is a great tool for keeping in touch with friends and family who live far away. The problem begins, however, when we mindlessly begin the “News Feed” scroll of death. Yes, I believe it is a death–a slow killing of our precious time and brain cells. The internet is endlessly hyperlinked. You click on one thing which leads to another in an endless stream. Yet, we should ask ourselves how we feel after a binge “News Feed” scroll. Refreshed? Or perhaps brain-dead and feeling more lonely and restless than when we started?

Besides being a temptation to mentally vegetate while scrolling through an endless list of statuses and articles, social media has become more of a ego trip than a social interaction. We live in a world filled with “Selfies” and snapchats. It seems that we have become infatuated with our own image. How can we live a meaningful life absorbed with ourselves? Think about the people who have had a major influence in your life. What about people who we consider to have lived great lives? Do you think Mother Teresa would have been more absorbed with updating her status or with treating the poor and sick all around her? Have we turned our eyes inward and lost sight of what matters?

The unexamined lifeNot all use of social media is bad, but I think we need to examine our use of it. As Socrates said,

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” -Socrates

Pope Francis (aka @Pontifex) gives a good example on how to use social media well. Here is a recent tweet from Pope Francis worth thinking about:

Let us take to heart what Pope Francis says, and not use social media as an ego trip, but as a means of bringing friends and family closer to our loving Creator. We should bring intentionality to our social media interactions. We should not add to the noise that overwhelms social media, but we should add to the light that shines forth Beauty, goodness, and truth.