3 Guidelines for Balancing Faith and Technology

 bible reading challenge day 28

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.

faithhub3

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.

social media to 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).

guidewords to balancing social media and technology usage

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?



 

 

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8 Comments

  1. Nancy miller says:

    Last fall I too went on a month long Facebook fast, it was at the beginning of a week long vacation with my husband and I just knew how wrapped up I can get in everyone’s lives and concerns, I really wanted to devote my whole attention to him. So purposely started praying about the fast and how to be successful in the fast and talked about it with my husband. I decided I needed to delete the app and any other app that linked to fb. He decided to do the same :-)) so that I wouldn’t be tempted to ask or look at what was happening with people. It was a GREAT vacation! Honestly, the first few days were a bit painful. I realized it had become a bad habit. Soon though, I was feeling FREE and not anxious about what I was missing but very blessed with just where I was at the moment. The fast lasted a month and a few days … I just wasn’t sure about my self-control over it … Your article today reminded me of the fast and the benefits and my concerns of returning to it … Thank you! … It’s time for adjustments 🙂

    Just a few simple things I do with social media … First I will state my purpose in having social media … Originally, it was to find out about what it was bc my teenage daughter was using it. Now, my purpose it two fold, 1. Ministry 2. Keep in touch with family. In saying that, I have personal rules about friending 1. Complaining and swearing NO GO – I know how to use the UNFRIEND that includes when friends like pages with such 2. I keep my “friends list” to just that or family. … I must know you and have a friendship. This is my filtering and purposeful use. My husband is an IT security guy and he’s always giving cautions about fb … I have much to work on in managing use of time.
    I’m thankful for your heart to follow close to God and share and encourage us.

    1. I love that you and your husband gave this gift to each other! What a neat way to enjoy vacation together. Great ideas with the filters you have in place! Oh and we can always use time management discipline- all of us in one form or another. 🙂 Blessings to you Nancy!

  2. Love this, thanks Rachel. I feel like social media has distracted me from the more important things – my faith & family. Just this weekend I made a pact to stay off social media when my kids are awake/around. This is NOT easy though! It sucks me in & I tune everything and everyone else out. I can’t believe how much housework I accomplished that normally wouldn’t get done. Ahhh…is that why I’ve been so behind? Makes me wonder. Praying for the strength to use my time wisely. Social media has it’s place. I love being able to lift up a friend in prayer when I see requests come across the screen. Thank you for making me think and reinforcing something I’d already been thinking about. Have a blessed week.

    1. oh girl. Right there with ya. Learning the balance is tricky. But being in tune to listen when the Spirit tells me enough is enough has been critical! Thank you for your comment and have a great day!

  3. I logged into pinterest and saw your article! Totally relevant to my current facebook detox.
    I’ll have to check more of your faith/technology articles.
    Removing that one form of social media has really been amazing. Thank you for sharing your views on this!

    1. Thank Caitlin! I have two friends on social media fasts right now. It’s interesting that they haven’t really missed it!

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