Sadly, social media has opened another temptation in man’s heart: the temptation to cheat and be unfaithful to one’s spouse. This can be an actual adulterous relationship which social media’s enables through contact with members of opposite sex that otherwise would not occur. Flirtatious comments and flattery easily becomes something more. It can be adultery of the heart, by peering at pictures and updates of someone who is not your spouse.
8. Privacy and Surveillance
In his book Terms of Service, Jacob Silverman shows that what seems like a ‘free service’ is really a massive commercial machine. Information about our likes, dislikes, age, income, movements, connections is being continually harvested, and sold to advertisers. The more information we volunteer, the more we make ourselves into a commodity to be bought and sold. Social media profiles can be used by Governments, intelligence agencies, terrorists, sexual predators, hackers and ransomware criminals, for identity theft and fraud, or for individuals seeking to harm.
Seven Ways to Use Social Media Wisely
1. Have a clear goal for your use, particularly one or more of the first five mentioned.
2. If you are using it for social sharing, reduce your ‘network’ to those you would show a family album to in the privacy of your home.
3. Do not put anything private, that you would not want shared, on the web. Regardless of your privacy settings, once it is in cyberspace, it can be found and used by others. Tighten up your security settings. If your job requires a Facebook or Social media profile, you might want to consider a separate one for work.
4. Time yourself when you go on social media. Set a limit for how long you will be on it. For every half-hour you spend on social media, spend an hour in the actual presence of family and fellow believers.
5. Whatever is tempting you to envy, lust, or to peer into another’s life, cut it off. Whether that means unfollowing, unfriending, deleting, do not make provision to sin (Rom 13:14), and be willing to cut off what causes you to sin.
6. Be hesitant to comment: weigh your words, reactions, and comments before you post them. Digital words will still be judged by God. If you really need to say it, and the person is close enough to you for you to influence, pick up the phone.
7. Cultivate contentment, and repent of the need to show off or find validation through social media.
– David De Bruyn, Professor of Church History, Shepherds’ Seminary Africa