Some hail social media as an antichrist that’s corrupting the world. As with each technological advance throughout history, people tend to take sides and proclaim it “good” or “evil.” It is neither. It is there.
The explosion of social media opened a vast territory to be explored and conquered. Each tentative step encountered blessings and dangers. The brave ones step into unchartered territory, map it out, and guide others safely into the digital age. Those who stay behind are usually those who cower in fear and ignorance, and proclaim it evil.
This brave new world began for most of us with the introduction of home computers in the early 80’s. Education, communication, and entertainment were available at a click of a keyboard, but so were predators and addictions. A new wave of decisions and boundaries had to be developed for families, churches, and businesses.
Parents struggle to keep up with all the social media sites. The parental pendulum can swing from overprotective where kids aren’t allowed to wander at all, to under protective and kids are ensnared. Wisdom about internet safety gives kids the blessing of social media without the pitfalls.
Writers need a social media platform to find potential readers and those that need their God-given message. The initial concern for privacy has to be overcome to be a public figure.
Grandparents know if they want to be in touch with their kids and grandkids, they need to hang out where they are. While everyone still loves hand-written letters, digital contact is better than no contact.
So after internal and external debate, research, and testimonies usually mature individuals reach the same conclusion.
Social media isn’t evil, but it can be used to showcase the evil within.
Social media isn’t good, but it can be used to accomplish good.
The younger generations have raced ahead in social media and baby boomers are struggling to see their way through the cloud of dust on the trail. But, there is a path to this new frontier and there is a purpose.
Let us count 23 ways our lives can be blessed by social media.
1. Find Old Friends
Classmates, neighbors, kids I counseled at Bible camp, and former church members from previous towns have been found through Facebook. It’s a joy to have friends from every decade of my existence a part of my daily life. Many times the Holy Spirit has inspired me to find someone and there is always a reason.
2. Make New Friends
While we rightfully advise our kids to beware, I have made very good friends through blogging. I met Kendra, the self-appointed Queen of Brussels Sprouts and massive stroke survivor, for the first time when she flew from Alaska to visit me. I blogged about how God Saved the Queen.
3. Communicate with Loved Ones
While face-to-face contact is the best in any relationship, it isn’t always possible. My grandkids live 1655.4miles away from me, but who’s counting? I know when someone snitched cookies, grew a tooth, or lost a tooth. Even my mom is on Facebook! I love having access to the people I love.
If you’ve never used the massive Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature in the library, you have no idea what it’s like to squint over hundreds of pages of font 4 printing to find pertinent old magazine articles, look them up on micro-fiche, then print said information on shiny, expensive paper. There’s no more hauling 50 pounds of library books home, unless you want to.
5. Medical Information and Encouragement
My mother-in-law, a nurses supervisor for a large hospital, gave me a pediatric nursing textbook when I had my first child. Of course, a lot of it I didn’t understand, so she eventually bought me a medical dictionary. Ten years later, she bought me an updated textbook. If I needed personal advice, I would call a friend and try to describe the symptoms over the phone.
If you’re suffering from something, there’s a wealth of information and a Facebook support group. You can discover things your doctor didn’t or won’t tell you.
6. Multitude of Counselors
In the olden days of rotary dial phones, we would call one or two people and ask for advice. But, you can’t be rude, so would be obligated to be on the phone a minimum of 10-15 minutes in polite conversation.
Today we can put a question out on Facebook and in a few hours gather enough information from people of various ages and experiences to make an educated decision.
7. Olden Women Teach Younger Women
This charge is Titus is more easily fulfilled if you’re hanging out online with the younger women. They are more likely to reach out to social media than a phone to get advice on anything from recipes to the Bible. Statistics show Pinterest users are 80% women, most of them 25-34 years old. The younger generation needs and wants to be mentored. They’re out on social media looking for answers. Be available.
Who hasn’t spit coffee on their keyboard after reading something hilarious on Facebook? In the Olden Days, as my kids call it, I used to go to the library and check out all the Baby Blues and Family Circus books I could find when I needed the inspiration to dip my hands in the toilet with a poopy cloth diaper just one. more. time. Hey, sometimes a cat video is better than the proverbial apple.
Cooking isn’t one of my favorite sports, so cookbooks don’t entice me. I prefer recipes from friends who can walk me through it or a source with pictures and explanations. What is better than Pinterest for finding recipes and step-by-step tutorials?
10. Homemaking Skills
There is a resurgence of homemaking skills thanks to social media. Other than the fact that sometimes the young moms act like they invented making their own baby food and cloth diapering, (hey, I was dunking my hands in the toilet before you were born, young lady!) I appreciate the return to the simple life, the DIY life, and the living-like-my-poor-gramma life.
11. Find Out of Print Materials
Since travel to the Library of Congress or the cost of vintage books might be impossible, go digital.
12. Enjoy Art
Art inspires. It helps us experience other worlds. Each brushstroke is a message from the heart of the creator. Even though these are some of my favorite galleries I’ve visited, you don’t have to travel to partake to soothe your battle-weary soul.
13. Read anywhere. Anytime. Anything.
I like to read on my phone.
I like to read when I’m alone.
I like to read in the house.
Hiding from the kids like a mouse.
I like to read in the car.
I like to read when hubby is afar.
I can read here or there.
I can read anywhere!
Thanks to my free Kindle app.
14. Use Library Online
I order books, movies, and CD’s online and pick them up at library. They have digital books on loan and many other services you can enjoy while sitting in your jammies, drinking your second cup of coffee.
15. Order Food
Restaurants and grocery stores bring food to your door. To your door, people! Check your favorite restaurants to see if they have phone apps.
16. Shop in Jammies
Even if you love to shop, time can be an issue. If you shop from home the items are shipped to door, sometimes the very next day.
17. Event Planning
You save time, money, and energy using social media to plan an event. We created a Facebook event for our family Christmas event to collaborate on food, presents, and airport pickups. Planning a shower, birthday party, webinar, or conference? There are free services to help with with invites and RSVP’s.
18. Spiritual Food
There are millions of sermons and books online. You can have devotionals and blog posts delivered to your inbox. There is access to unlimited spiritual teaching and inspiration.
19. Parenting Help
Whether you need companionship, instruction, encouragement, or a diversion while locked in the bathroom, you can find it online. You don’t have to go it alone. That moment when you put yourself in time-out you can reach out.
It’s so much easier to work with a group when you collaborate online using cloud technology. Our Northwest Christian Writers Association’s by-laws, agendas, job descriptions, and board notes are all stored in online files so every board member can access them from any device. It saves so much time and cuts down on the crazy email threads we used to have. We’ve also stopped keeping paper copies. All of these sources allow you to have a free cloud account.
21. Further Education
School classes are available for homeschool kids or those seeking college credits. Even if you want to learn just for free and fun that is possible, too.
Podcasts are another great source to continue your lifelong learning quest. Why, yes, I did ask my friends on Facebook to help me with this list, thanks for asking.
iTunes Podcasts (Look for Grammar Girl!)
Ted Talks (18 min or less)
TWiT (This Week in Tech)
Freakanomics (Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner)
Stuff You Missed in History Class
Stuff You Should Know
Novel Marketing ( and James L. Rubart)
ProBlogger (@Darren Rowse)
CrossExamined (Christian Apologetics with Frank Turek)
22. Audio Books
Don’t have free hands? You don’t need them. Listen online from these vast digital libraries.
23. Free Marketing
No matter what product you’re promoting, basic social media is free. To use Facebook for a business, make sure you create a business page and don’t use your profile page.
This list not only gives you some great ways to continue to grow as a person, it gives you at least 23 reasons to stay in your pj’s all day.
Embrace social media.
It’s our new territory to conquer and use for the glory of the Lord.
How has social media been a blessing to your life or ministry?