Well it’s October. The fall is my favorite season. Good-bye bugs and bites! No more 95% humidity and sneezy nose. Bye-bye day light savings time! Better than it being fall, it’s Throwback Wednesday. For those of you who may be new to WordBytes, on Throwback Wednesday, we look at what’s trending in the news or what the hot topic of the week is.
Well if you slept through yesterday, you failed to experience the crash of Facebook and its social media sisters, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Facebook-owned services, WhatsApp and Instagram went down on Monday, for the second time in 2021. This failure left some three billion online users frustrated and unable to connect all over the world. It is reported that Zuckerberg lost nearly $7B alone on the Facebook outage. The outage shut out 2.9 billion Facebook subscribers.
So what did we do when Facebook and her affiliate platforms went down? There are about 3.78 billion social media users worldwide. Social media has become the life blood for us living in the 21st century. It has become not only a source of information, but also our primary connection with others. This sometimes fosters a false sense of belonging and fellowship. Now really, who has over 20,000 friends? Have you ever asked them for a loan?
Where did you get that from?
That’s the question I usually ask people when they share information that I question. Surprisingly, we look to social media to inform our decision making. “If it’s on the internet, it must be true”. Really?
So where do we, who rely on social media platforms, go to get our information. Is social media the “best” source of truth (that is if you’re looking for truth)? Does it help us “respond” wisely or simply “react”?
According to the Pew Research Center, about a quarter of U.S. adults get most of their news through social media. They recently shared information on “Americans Who Mainly Get Their News on Social Media.” Here are some of their key findings.
- U.S. adults who mostly get news through social media lag behind others in attention to election and pandemic news.
- U.S. adults who mostly rely on social media for political news are often less knowledgeable about current events.
- In addition to lower awareness of current events, social media news users hear more about some unproven claims.
Where do you get your information?
When I opened my email today, I received two invitations to help “inform” me. One was 10 Things You Need to Know Today. They highlight key news stories nationally and internationally. They know where I should focus my attention, right? The “1 Thing I Need to Know Today” is that in Christ Jesus, I live, and move, and have my meaning (Acts 17:28). This one thing guides my actions and thoughts for the day.
The other is The Week. Their subject line states, “Read what the world’s thinking”. I asked myself; “do I really care what the world is thinking?” The only Person’s thinking I’m concerned with is God. So I pray that I have the mind of Christ and joyfully obey His will (Phil. 2:5).
Our continual reliance on social media and the Internet makes it necessary to carefully examine the sources of our information. Believers must especially be intentional in practicing spiritual discernment. Truth and life come from God through Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
We must not only seek truth in all we do, but we must also boldly denounce lies that keep others in darkness (Eph. 5:11). A lie by any other name—alternate view, misstatement, or an error in communication, is still a lie. Its intent is to deceive, mislead, and misrepresent.
So for this month’s Throwback Wednesday, we offer for your reading, “Discernment: Light for Darkened Eyes.” MAY THE TRUTH BE WITH YOU!