"Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior." - 2 Timothy 2:16
Last month, after my apology post, I got much better at limiting my social media intake. I was cutting down significantly. However, I was still not feeling very positive. My mood was far worse than it had been in months. I had anxiety without even knowing I had it. I started becoming unmotivated and lazy. I was extremely distracted. I was having trouble focusing on simple instructions. My brain was going a million miles an hour with no explanation as to why. I couldn't sleep at night because my brain just refused to shut off. I somehow knew that social media had something to do with it, but I couldn't quite figure out why. I had limited my social media intake hadn't I?
Then, two weeks ago, a man named Joseph Schillero Jr., who founded Gateway to the Heart Ministries, came and spoke at my church about the dangers of social media. He gave a forty-five minute biblical discussion about why we should limit and research our media choices. He read portions of his book which was all about filtering out what you read and watch and why you should. His message spoke to me greatly. I ended up buying his book.
After that, the-dangers-of-social-media-topic seemed to pop up everywhere. I was randomly reading Bible verses that weirdly pertained to social media. I had friends telling me how depressed and angry they were feeling after reading something online. My daily devotional chose to talk about social media problems for that day. My phone suddenly started overheating every time I opened up a social media app. On top of that, I was working through the workbook that I bought from Mr. Schillero.
It was like God was warning me - warning me that I was heading down a bad path. Yes, I had limited social media intake, but that wasn't the complete problem. The problem was I was not filtering out what I was looking at. I was still reading and listening to poisonous garbage even though it was not as much poisonous garbage I usually listened to. I didn't realize that a little bit of poison is still poison.
Finally, I pinpointed my problem. With my limited time on social media, I was reading comments, opinions, and arguments of strange people I didn't even know. I read hateful comments from people who insulted each other. I read opinions of individuals who blasphemed God. I watched content that slandered others. I was actively engaging in drama and poisonous content even though I wasn't personally arguing with anyone myself.
Two days ago, I read 2 Timothy 2:16. Though I've read this verse several times before, it took on a whole new meaning to me. The verse said, "Avoid worthless, foolish talk that only leads to more godless behavior."
I had always believed that this verse meant that I shouldn't be actively talking about foolish things. But when I read the verse again, I realized it said to avoid foolish talk. It did't matter if I was the one doing the talking or not. I should have avoided all foolish discussion because, as the verse says, it leads to more godless behavior.
There is a lot of foolishness on social media. As Christians, we are supposed to avoid all foolish, worthless talk. This includes arguments and ungodly opinions of others. This doesn't mean to go and live on and island all by yourself, but it does mean that you need to filter what you are reading, watching, and taking in. It also means to not partake in any foolish behavior yourself. My point is, don't argue with others on social media. This does nothing to promote the faith. In fact, don't even read arguments on social media. There is nothing to be gained from that except for anxiety and depression. (Trust me, I know from experience.)
To close this post, I am going to give some basic biblical filters you should use for what you are watching/reading on social media:
Do your social media choices go against God?
Are you spending too much time on social media?
Do you feel uplifted after reading/watching things on social media, or do you feel depressed afterward?
Do your social media choices value others?
Would I want my kids to follow the example of my social media presence?
*Five of these filters were taken from Joseph Schillero's book, "Biblical Filters for your Media Choices," but he talks about ten different filters. If you feel you need to filter your media intake, and this is something that speaks to you, I definitely recommend purchasing his book for 5 dollars. It is well worth the read.