Last week we ended our Faith Hub: Where God and Technology Connect series with these 5 questions on balancing faith and technology. This week we’re moving on to discuss achieving a personal balance of our faith and technology.
How are we making the connections between God and our technology use to begin with? We have no USB, no flashdrives, no scanner for bar codes to connect to God. How do we connect our intangible faith to our tangible phones? Where do the spiritual and virtual worlds either flow or collide?
The spiritual and virtual worlds connect through our usage- our personal “faith hub”, if you will. The faith hub forms an existence when we are engaged virtually through our minds, physically through the time we spend, and spiritually by the content we prefer and cultivate.
Can I surprise you by saying that I’ve not personally achieved a “perfect” balance integrating my faith and technology usage? 😉 But because I’ve been in the thick of working a personal balance for myself, I can confidently propose three potential guidelines to balancing your faith and technology or social media usage. Here we go:
1. Be practical about the amount of time you spend using media devices.
For purposes of this article, we will not go into a detailed time management assessment. However, two simple questions to ask yourself in regards to this particular point is:
Is my media usage slowing productivity (or stopping it all together) ?
Are my relationships suffering because of overuse of media devices or social media?
Technology has given me the opportunity to write and connect with readers all across the globe. But I believe when my online relationships consume my time to the point of excluding my real life relationships with which God has entrusted me, then the purpose of the technology usage has been overused and therefore, abused. Even more so, if online time overrules time with God, then there is no doubt it is an idol.
Little children, keep yourselves from idols. I John 5:21
(Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts. I John 5:21 NLT)
As a Christian, the gift of social media and technology usage shouldn’t SLOW our faith in God; it should GROW our faith in God.
2. Be purposeful about the manner in which you use media devices.
If the temptation is to hop on Facebook and complain about the first thing that goes wrong in your day, then this is not purposeful. If the temptation is to spend excessive time scanning Pinterest to fill a void that isn’t going to be filled by this activity, then this is not purposeful.
We must very purposefully choose our own words and actions in cyberspace because these are as real as if they were spoken and heard in person. I’ve made my share of social media faux pas! But I often think twice about my mama’s rule of speaking as we grew up. “Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?” Now you could argue that a lot of social media isn’t truly necessary; however, even having fun is necessary. Laughter is the best medicine! So have fun with technology and social media- but be purposeful about it and don’t waste the privilege.
3. Be pursuing and pleasing God through my technology and social media usage.
Maybe you could give God the front page of your media device by placing your Bible app in the home section. Perhaps your facebook feed needs a cleanup- some things that simply don’t fill your mind with good thoughts have meandered in and you’d be embarrassed if your children saw it. What if your self-discipline rule was to give God time in prayer before checking your texts?
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. I Cor. 10:31
So we have four simple words to guide our social media and technology usage:
practical, purposeful, pursuing (God) and pleasing (God).
Looking forward to next week as we continue to discuss Faith Hub: Where God and Technology Connect! Be sure to check out the awesome bloggers linking up this week and before you go, I’d love to read your answer to this question in the comments below:
What personal guidelines have you set to guide your social media and technology usage?