Twitter and the Curse of Social Media

“But all that knowledge comes with a price. My mind can no longer readily switch off to enjoy the slow, beautiful rhythms of life. My mind is constantly rushing toward how much danger lies ahead, how many enemies we face, and how ruthless people have become.”

I joined Twitter years ago as a personal experiment to “find my voice,” and see if I had anything valuable to add to the world.

I remember when I first joined. I was confronted with American politics for the first time in my life!

I saw a post from Hillsong worship leader, Brooke Ligertwood (who I love and admire btw) talking about the DNC convention. I commented on her post, asking how she could support abortion. (I had no idea what I was doing.)

She promptly responded with a “what the heck are you talking about!?”

Of course, I immediately deleted my post like a coward. Just to post another, then delete it, and so went the whole day. I was unable to think about anything else.

I was immediately enchanted and mildly horrified, that I had this kind of access to people.

Fast Forward 7 years, and it has taken me this long to learn that, regardless of who I had access to on Twitter, my voice is most valuable outside of social media; face to face in the real world, slowing down and paying attention to people around me. The exact thing Twitter robs people of.

Twitter has taught me a lot of surprising things.

I found millions of hurting and gravely unhappy people. All trying, day by day, to find significance by giving their quips, jabs, and opinions to people who don’t care about them, or their opinions.

They do this day after day, month after month – spending hours screaming into a void; a pillow – trying to make a difference.

This is how “cancel culture” developed. A strange phenomenon occurs where people start to believe that their opinions and comments are the drivers of change.

People feel a surge of power, and purpose, as they, for example, get to shut down a once thriving business, because the owner shared an opinion different to what they believe to be right. 

Has meaningful change truly happened? In the real world, probably not.

Look at how low humanity has sunk. I have become wiser to the ways of the world. I’ve learned how easily and willingly the media lies, how manipulative, and wasteful all governments have become.

But all that knowledge comes with a price. My mind can no longer readily switch off to enjoy the slow, beautiful rhythms of life.

My mind is constantly rushing toward how much danger lies ahead, how many enemies we face, and how ruthless people have become.

My mind is trapped in Twitter format, scrolling through headlines and tweets that warn me of what is happening globally and locally: “I have to be ready; I have to warn people.”

I have to quote-the-tweet. I have to give my perspective on the matter, because I’ve had time to think about it, and now I have an opinion.

Yet, my family is affected. I don’t have that extra minute, that little bit of additional peace we need when our toddlers demand our attention for the same thing twenty-times in a minute: “Mommy needs to reply to this stranger online real quick!”

What is required of us to no longer live under the weight of how sick the world is?

Personally, I would love for the Twitter servers to be shut down, data deleted. It would be like opening the prison doors!

Imagine if all social media were declared an invasion of privacy? Just maybe people could learn to be civil and be at peace with others and themselves again.

How wonderful if people could learn to mind their own business again!

We must all demand in our families, and workplaces that people work towards civility, and respect, for the sake of our children.

We have to stop lying to ourselves that Twitter is real life.

Wonderful human, this is not the best for you. Living your life scrolling the bird app, even building a ministry on there, is not the best life for you.

It’s not flesh and bones. It’s not reality. Yes, it has the ability to touch real people, but force yourself to move out into the world, into the streets where people walk and live the precious hours of their days.

Learn to love people again. Learn to look into a face and not expect the worst when you find out they are not carbon copy of you. 

I’ve seen the worst of the church displayed on Twitter.

Vile and spiritually dishonest accusations disguised as “Twitter holy.” People ripping other people to shreds in the nicest ways, convinced of their own righteousness.

It’s filthy. This is not the way. Doctrines will differ, but have you ever thought of marching into a neighbouring church and attacking the pastor or congregants? Probably not.

Then why do it in short form while lying in your bed at night?

Are we that arrogant that when the bible teaches us that change comes by love and relationship, we think our continued snarky quips will do the trick?

I mean, if we don’t say it, who knows what they will get up to next!?

Here’s the cracker, none of us has it completely right or figured out. Yet, we parade ourselves. Contrary to the famous verses on love, as having all the truth. Honestly, it’s really gross. The Bible is clear about pride and how we should run our own race, keeping our eyes on the prize.

Twitter is a distraction that could lead to us not finishing well. 

Two hours a day on Twitter for seven-years, equals 5,110 hours lost.

We have to wake up. We have to stop pushing cell phones into the hands of our children, where the filth of the world has free reign to seep right into their hearts. They need to get away from it all as much as we do.

Many of us use Twitter to “educate” ourselves and stay ahead of dangerous trends, but end up becoming hard, critical, and fearful ourselves.

I believe as parents we need to stand watch over our kids, and that includes knowing the dangers they face. There is a spiritual cost when we fight the culture wars on Twitter, more than we treasure peace in our minds, and undistracted time, in our homes.

I would challenge you, as I challenge myself: take an honest and prayerful look at our Twitter interactions.

Really look at your life, and ask yourself some hard questions. Have you been believing some tall tales? Are you wasting your precious time on various social media platforms when you should be obedient somewhere else? How sure are you that this is the best for you?

I genuinely want the best for you. I want you to have more sunshine on your face. More dirt under your fingernails. More exhaustion from being around real people. More plans to fill your days with new things, so much so that you don’t have time to think of Twitter anymore.

Shut it all down. Then feel your happiness creep back in, like spring’s arrival after a long winter. 

The Caldron Pool Show

The Caldron Pool Show: #27 – God and Politics – with Joel Webbon
The Caldron Pool Show: #12 – Jordan Schachtel
The Caldron Pool Show: #45 – The Case for the Christian Family
The Caldron Pool Show: #22 – Rod Lampard


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